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Stocks to watch: SPH, ST Engineering, Far East H-Trust, Ezion, Thai Beverage


THE following companies made material announcements after the market closed on Thursday:

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH): The group said on Friday it is selling its entire stake in 701Search Pte Ltd to Norway's leading telecommunications operator Telenor ASA for about US$109 million. Under a conditional agreement, SPH Interactive International Pte Ltd (SPHII) will sell to Telenor 60.2 million ordinary shares of 701Search, representing SPHII's entire one-third stake.

Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering: It reported a 6.1 per cent drop in net profit to S$103.4 million for the first quarter ended March 31 on lower revenue. Revenue for the quarter slipped 5.4 per cent to S$1.54 billion, as a higher contribution from the marine sector was partially offset by a lower contribution from the land systems sector as well as "others".

Far East Hospitality Trust ( Far East H-Trust): Citing a softness in demand for the hospitality sector, the trust said its distribution per stapled security for the first quarter ended March 31 fell 13.9 per cent to 0.93 Singapore cents. Net property income slipped 10.4 per cent to S$22.12 million while gross revenue was down 9.5 per cent to S$24.78 million during the period.

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Ezion Holdings: The group on Friday reported that it has sunk into the red with a US$12.74 million net loss for the first quarter ended March 31, compared to a net profit of US$15.49 million a year ago. Revenue slipped 16.4 per cent to US$68.59 million, compared to US$82.09 million a year ago, due to weaker charter rates, and a drop in the utilisation rate of its service rigs and offshore support vessels.

Thai Beverage Public Co: The company reported on Friday a 23.5 per cent drop in its net profit for the fiscal second quarter ended March 31 to 6.56 billion baht (S$266 million) from the previous year, citing a decline in domestic consumption during the period of mourning for the death of the Thai king.