It has been an uneventful November for the Singapore market. So, much for the Santa Rally.
The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) lost 35 points or 1.1%. But that should be looked at in context. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gave up 2.1%; Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite fell 3.5% and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Composite retreated 2.3%.
So, Singapore fared reasonably well.
Wilmar International (SGX: F34), which gained 9.1% not only bucked the market, but it was also the biggest blue-chip riser. The company said a stronger bottom line in the third quarter was thanks to better results in tropical oils and consumer products. It also recognised an exceptional gain from the disposal of a business in Brazil.
Separately, Asia’s leading agribusiness said it hopes to receive regulatory approval early next year for the listing of its China business, Yihai Kerry Ariana. This could happen in early 2020.
Fewer orders for new ships has hit Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (SGX: BS6). It said it secured 15 new contracts for vessels this year compared to 36 last year. However, the market was encouraged by news that shipowners will need to consider the implementation of rules that require the use of low-sulphur fuels. Its shares rose 7.9%
Golden Agri-Resources (SGX: E5H) said profits climbed 53%, even though revenue slipped 11%. It saw better performance from its palm, lauric and other segments. It also booked a gain from the disposal of an Indonesian subsidiary. Its shares rose 4.9%.
Tough market conditions in Indonesia and Vietnam took its toll on Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07), which was the worst performer in the Straits Times Index in November. It fell 6.4% after saying that underlying profits fell by a fifth in the third quarter on revenue that dipped 1%.
Ascendas REIT (SGX: A17U) fell 6% in November, primarily as a result of its 100-for-16 rights issue to raise around S$1.3 billion. The funds will be used to buy 30 business parks in the US. Unlike some of its peers that have opted for private placements or preferential offering or simply taking on more debt, Ascendas REIT has instead chosen to go down the route of a rights issue.
Challenging conditions in the offshore and marine sector impacted performance at Sembcorp Industries (SGX: U96), which fell 4.4%. It also said higher finance costs had affected its bottom line in the third quarter. The conglomerate, which is also involved in energy and urban development, said that its diversified business portfolio should help it weather prevailing macroeconomic uncertainties.
None of the information in this article can be constituted as financial, investment, or other professional advice. It is only intended to provide education. Speak with a professional before making important decisions about your money, your professional life, or even your personal life. Disclosure: David Kuo owns shares in Ascendas REIT and Jardine C&C.