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Stocks to watch: UOB, Ascott Reit, Keppel Corp, MLT, Olam, Yangzijiang

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their shares on Friday:

United Overseas Bank (UOB): UOB on Friday posted a net profit of S$1.12 billion for the third quarter, rising 8 per cent from S$1.04 billion a year ago, on the back of stronger client franchise income and trading and investment income. The bank's net interest income rose 5 per cent to S$1.69 billion for the quarter ended Sept 30, driven by healthy loan growth of 8 per cent. UOB shares closed at S$26.83 on Thursday, up 0.9 per cent or 23 Singapore cents.

Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit): The manager of Ascott Reit has divested its entire shareholding interest in wholly-owned subsidiary The Ascott (Vietnam) Investments, and novated the shareholder's loans to an unrelated third-party purchaser for US$10 million. Ascott Reit units closed down two Singapore cents or 1.43 per cent to S$1.38, before the announcement on Thursday.

Keppel Corporation: Keppel Corp's property arm Keppel Land on Thursday said it has invested US$25 million in India-based coworking operator, Smartworks Coworking Space. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corp for the current financial year. Keppel Corp shares closed flat at S$6.86 on Thursday before the announcement.

Market voices on:

Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT): About 154.6 million new units in MLT will begin trading on the Singapore bourse at 9am on Friday. The new units will be issued at an issue price of S$1.617 apiece, under the real estate investment trust’s oversubscribed private placement. MLT units closed at S$1.68 on Thursday, down one cent or 0.6 per cent on an ex-dividend basis.

Olam International: Agri and food giant Olam International has completed its acquisition of Nigerian flour and pasta manufacturer Dangote Flour Mills for 120 billion naira (S$450.4 million). Olam shares closed 0.6 per cent or one Singapore cent higher on Thursday at S$1.83.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding: Yangzijiang has inked new order contracts for six 31,800 dwt Great Lakes bulk carriers, the Chinese shipbuilder said on Thursday. The orders were placed by Bulgarian shipping company Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar). Four of the vessels will be delivered in 2021 to 2022, and the client has the right to exercise the orders for the remaining two. Yangzijiang shares closed up 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.53 per cent to 95.5 Singapore cents on Thursday before the announcement.

Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine): SembMarine Rigs & Floaters has won a contract from Shell Offshore to build and integrate the topside and hull of a floating production unit in the Gulf of Mexico. The project is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of SembMarine for the year ending Dec 31, 2019. SembMarine shares closed down one Singapore cent, or 0.7 per cent to S$1.37 on Thursday.

Chip Eng Seng: Former transport minister Lui Tuck Yew has resigned from the board of Chip Eng Seng, the property and construction group said in a bourse filing. Earlier on Thursday, President Halimah Yacob announced that Mr Lui has been appointed as Singapore's new ambassador-designate to the People's Republic of China. Chip Eng Seng shares closed down 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.81 per cent to 61.5 Singapore cents before the announcement.

China Sunsine Chemical Holdings: China Sunsine is expecting a "material decrease" in its third-quarter net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 from a year ago, mainly due to a decrease in the average selling price of the group's products. China Sunsine shares closed at S$1.14 on Thursday, up 0.9 per cent, or one Singapore cent before this announcement.

Rex International: Rex International on Friday said its unit Lime Petroleum AS has completed a farm-in deal for a 30 per cent stake in two Norwegian Sea drilling licences from DEA Norge. Rex International shares closed at 10.7 Singapore cents on Thursday, up 0.1 Singapore cent or 1 per cent.

Trading halt: Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust's (Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) rose by 2.3 per cent to 3.978 Singapore cents for its second quarter to Sept 30 from 3.887 cents a year ago, boosted by overseas acquisitions while taking into account an enlarged number of units in issue. The Reit called for a trading halt on Friday before market open. Units of Ascendas Reit closed up two Singapore cents or 0.6 per cent higher at S$3.17 on Thursday, before the results were released.