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Noble Group Limited Leads the Market Lower this Week

For the holiday-shortened week, Singapore’s market benchmark, the Straits Times Index  (SGX: ^STI), lost 1.7% to close at 3,334 points on Friday.

Of the 30 index components, 25 ended the week with losses. Commodities trading outfit Noble Group Limited (SGX: N21) is unfortunately the worst performer with a 10.7% decrease to S$0.71. This week, Noble had a new substantial shareholder in the form of investment management firm Invesco Limited and its subsidiaries. Invesco had bought 1.184 million shares of Noble at S$0.763 apiece, bringing its stake in the company to 5.009% from 4.992% previously.

At the other end of spectrum, three blue chips saw gains, with Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX: A17U) leading the pack as it put on 2.9% to end the week at S$2.47.

On Wednesday, Ascendas REIT announced that it has issued S$150 million worth of notes with a fixed interest rate of 3.2% per annum. These notes will mature on 3 June 2022 and are being issued under the REIT’s S$5 billion Multicurrency Medium Term Note Programme established in 2009.

Around the end of last week, the REIT also announced that it will be selling its remaining leasehold interest in BBR Building for S$13.9 million to BBR Holdings (S) Ltd (SGX: KJ5). The sale price is “more than double the original purchase price of S$6.8 million in 2005”. Ascendas REIT mentioned that the sale “is in line with the Manager’s proactive asset management strategy to selectively divest properties that have reached a stage which offers limited scope for further income growth and to recycle capital and optimise [Ascendas REIT’s] portfolio.”

Sticking with the Straits Times Index’s universe of stocks, property developer City Developments Limited (SGX: C09) fell 7.1% to S$9.77 during the week. News had emerged that the stock will be dumped from the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Developed Index from June 22 onwards after a quarterly review.

Moving outside the index, integrated offshore solutions provider Ezra Holdings Limited (SGX: 5DN) had tumbled by 25.6% to S$0.29 during the week.

The firm had recently proposed a renounceable rights issue of up to 2.03 billion new shares (200 rights shares for every 100 existing ordinary shares) at a price which represents a “discount of not more than 50 per cent to the theoretical ex-rights price.” In the same announcement, Ezra also proposed to issue S$200 million worth of fixed rate convertible bonds that are due in 2020. The conversion price at which the bonds can be converted into new ordinary shares have not yet been determined.

Ezra has to obtain shareholders’ approval for both the rights and convertible bonds issue; the firm will be setting up an extraordinary general meeting soon for its shareholders with regard to the matter.

The SPDR STI ETF  (SGX: ES3), a proxy for the Straits Times Index, is now trading at 13.4 times its trailing earnings and has a dividend yield 2.8%.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.