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Stocks to watch: UOB, Manulife US Reit, EHT, ISDN, SIA Engineering, SingPost, NetLink

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

United Overseas Bank (UOB): The bank on Monday launched a QR-based solution to allow businesses to collect payments from buyers through fund transfer service PayNow at the point of delivery. This allows for instant payment and reconciliation, compared with the industry average of four days to reconcile invoices manually.

Manulife US Reit: Manulife US Reit (real estate investment trust) on Monday posted a 2 per cent fall in its third-quarter distribution per unit to 1.48 US cents for the three months ended Sept 30, from 1.51 US cents a year ago. This was mainly due to an enlarged unit base following a placement and preferential offering to partially fund its US$198.8 million acquisition of 400 Capitol Mall. The Reit's third-quarter DPU comprises an advanced distribution of 1.47 US cents to be paid on Nov 29, while the remaining DPU of 0.01 US cent will be paid with its Q4 DPU in the first quarter next year. Manulife US Reit units closed at 92 US cents on Friday, up 0.6 per cent, or 0.5 US cent. 

Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT): Asset management firm ASAP sold six hotels to EHT's sponsor ahead of EHT's initial public offering (IPO) to gain transaction certainty independent of the IPO process, said EHT. The trust was responding to queries from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), which questioned the rationale for the sale to be conducted in such a manner, as opposed to a direct sale of the hotels to the trust. Units in EHT closed at 52.5 US cents on Friday, down 3.5 cents.

ISDN Holdings: Mainboard-listed ISDN Holdings on Monday said it has taken a 33 per cent stake in a joint venture (JV) which will build an 80 megawatt hydroelectric power plant in Cambodia. The industrial automation firm will inject US$500,000 as equity into the JV and another US$2.5 million as a shareholder loan representing the expected investment sum for the project’s initial development phase. The counter closed at 22 Singapore cents on Friday, down 2.2 per cent, or 0.5 cent. 

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SIA Engineering: The group posted a higher net profit of S$46 million for the second quarter ended September, following an increase in airframe and line maintenance revenue and lower expenditure. The bottom line performance was a 21.1 per cent improvement over the year-ago period, said SIA Engineering on Friday evening. The counter closed two Singapore cents or 0.75 per cent down at S$2.65 on Friday.

Singapore Post (SingPost): The postal services provider delivered a 10.3 per cent higher net profit of S$27.7 million for the second quarter. This came from improved performance from associated companies and joint venture, as well as an absence of exceptional fair-value loss on warrants from an associated company incurred last year, said SingPost in a statement on Friday after trading hours. The counter closed 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.52 per cent up at S$0.965 on Friday before the financial results were released.

NetLink NBN Trust: The national broadband operator's net profit for the second quarter rose 24.1 per cent on higher residential connections revenue and installation-related revenue. Its bottom line stood at S$23.2 million, an improvement from S$18.7 million for the corresponding quarter a year ago, announced its trustee-manager NetLink NBN Management on Friday evening. NetLink NBN Trust units were up 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.54 per cent to end at S$0.935 on Friday, before the results were released.

Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT): A 50 per cent-owned unit of MIT, Mapletree Rosewood Data Centre Trust, has completed the acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in three fully fitted hyperscale data centres in North America for US$810.6 million.

Pacific Star Development: Pacific Star Development has flagged that it expects to report a net loss for the first quarter ended Sept 30, citing tough market conditions and higher finance costs. The company is still in the process of finalising its results for Q1 FY20, which will be released on or before Nov 14. The counter last closed at 13 Singapore cents on Oct 30, down one cent.

Trading halt: Environmental engineering services firm Citic Environtech requested a trading halt on Monday morning before the market opened, pending the release of an announcement. The counter closed at 37 Singapore cents on Friday, up 7.3 per cent, or 2.5 cents. 

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