Singapore’s most-followed broad stock market index, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), reversed Tuesday’s gains with a 0.63% decline to 3248 today. The STI had plenty of company as well as 20 out of the 30 index components also registered losses.
Telecommunications giant SingTel (SGX: Z74) is the biggest loser among the STI components today with a 2.25% drop to $3.48. The company has kept the local media busy with a slew of press releases recently. The first was an announcement that the company is mulling a sale of its satellite business in Australia that could fetch up to US$1b. The next announcement concerns Indian telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel Ltd, which is 32% owned by Singtel. The chairman of Bharti Airtel, Mr. Sunil Mittal, was summoned to Indian courts to face criminal charges related to telecom bandwidth allocation irregularities in 2002. Singtel has expressed that they have ‘full faith in Bharti Airtel’s corporate governance standards under the leadership of Mr. Mittal’.
Singapore Press Holdings (SGX: T39) is second on the STI “loser’s list” today as it slid 2.22% to $4.41. The newspaper publisher and property developer’s share price hit a 52 week high of $4.52 last Friday after announcing that it is looking to spin-off some of its properties into a REIT. The company’s property business made up 15.0% of its revenue for the first quarter of FY2013 and 21.7% of its pre-tax profit of S$110.4m. Over SPH’s last two completed financial years, the property business contributed an average of 19.6% to the company’s pre-tax profit.
Healthcare provider Raffles Medical Group (SGX: R01) saw its shares slide 1.45% to $3.41 to round up the trio today. The company’s shares have been one of the best performers this year with a 30% increase since the start of 2013. RMG’s share price might have been buoyed by a good 2012 as the company saw a 14.2% growth in full-year turnover to S$311.6m while profits jumped by 13% to S$57.2m. Long-time shareholders of RMG have also been rewarded with four years of consecutive dividend hikes.
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