The Singapore Market for the Week

This week, Singapore’s market benchmark the Straits Times Index  (SGX: ^STI) had slumped close to 2% to end Friday at 3,280 points.

Most of the index’s 30 components ended the week with losses, with only six of them managing to clock some gains. The biggest loser in the index was commodities trader Noble Group Limited (SGX: N21), which dropped 9.3% to S$0.68. Meanwhile, bourse operator Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68) was the best performer as it put on 1.6% to S$8.13.

Noble Group, whose business has come under great scrutiny in recent times, said this week that it had commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to conduct an assurance review of its mark-to-market (MTM) models, valuations, and governance framework. Once the review is complete, a summary of the review will be released. My colleague Stanley Lim had taken a look at Noble Group’s mark-to-market models previously in this article.

With regards to Noble Group’s latest decision, Singapore Exchange said that it “welcomes Noble Group’s decision to commission a third-party review of its Mark-to-Market models and valuations. This will address and help bring closure to questions raised by the market on this issue.”

Meanwhile, one of the index components, Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39), had released its fiscal third-quarter earnings during the week.

Operating revenue for the quarter ended 31 May 2015 dipped 0.9% year-on-year to S$306.8 million, mainly due to a 5.6% decline in revenue to S$233.1 million for the media business segment. The segment’s lower revenue in turn, came from a weak advertising market, where total newspaper ad revenue had declined by 9.0% year-on-year during the quarter.

Despite the lower top-line, Singapore Press Holdings’ net profit managed to step up by 9.6% to S$98.2 million. This was largely on the back of higher recurring earnings and lesser losses from associates and jointly-controlled entities.

Singapore Press Holdings’ shares lost 1.2% for the week to end up at S$4.04.

SPH REIT (SGX: SK6U), a real estate investment trust that’s sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings, also released its fiscal third-quarter results during the week. The REIT’s gross revenue and net property income had inched up by 1.6% and 4.3% year over year, respectively. But, that wasn’t enough to help with the REIT’s distributions per unit as the figure came in flat compared to a year ago. The REIT’s units had slipped by 1.4% to S$1.04 during the week.

Currently, the SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), a proxy for the Straits Times Index, is trading at 13.2 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.