The Singapore Market this Week

Singapore’s market barometer the Straits Times Index  (SGX: ^STI) slumped by 150 points, or 4.5%, to end the week at 3,203 points.

Of the index’s 30 components, some 28 of them had suffered a weekly loss with Noble Group Limited (SGX: N21) leading the pack. The commodities trader had dropped a massive 28.4% to S$0.455 over the course of the week; this equates to S$1.2 billion in market capitalisation being wiped out.

Noble has been facing pressure on many fronts over the past few months. It all started in February this year when a little-known research company, Iceberg Research, put out a report criticizing different aspects of Noble. Ever since Iceberg’s first report, the firm has lost more than S$3 billion in market capitalisation.

Yesterday, it was reported in The Straits Times that the shares of the commodity firm that are borrowed by short-sellers “has now skyrocketed to 600 million shares from around 50 million in mid-April, hitting nearly 15 per cent of its free float”. Free float refers to the number of shares of a company that are held in the public’s hands; in other words, they are shares that are not controlled by the company’s insiders or other strategic shareholders.

The two shares in the Straits Times Index that did not make a loss during the week were Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SGX: Y92) and Olam International Ltd (SGX: O32). The former put on 0.7% to S$0.755 while the latter added 3.4% to S$1.84.

Elsewhere, SMRT Corporation Ltd (SGX: S53) lost 5.8% to finish the week at S$1.385. The bus and rail services provider had released its fiscal first-quarter earnings during the week and saw its revenue rise 7.8% to S$320.3 million. But, its profit after tax and minority interests had decreased by 10% to S$20.1 million.

Currently, the SPDR STI ETF (SGX:ES3), a proxy for the Straits Times Index, is trading at 12.8 times its trailing earnings and has a dividend yield 2.9%.

For more (free!) investing tips and tricks and to keep up to date on the latest financial and stock market news, sign up now for a FREE subscription to The Motley Fool's weekly investing newsletter, Take Stock SingaporeIt will teach you how you can grow your wealth in the years ahead.

Also, like us on Facebook to follow our latest hot articles.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

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.