Golden Agri-Resources Ltd Leads the Market Higher for the Festive Week

For the Christmas week, the market, as represented by the Straits Times Index  (SGX: ^STI), put on 0.9% to close at 2,878 points on the middle of Thursday.

Of the 30 index components, 22 were in the green, with Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H) leading the pack with an 11.1% gain to S$0.35. The eight remaining blue chips all clocked losses. Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74) had lost the most ground – it slumped by 2.7% to S$3.66.

The second best performer in the Straits Times Index was Golden Agri’s counterpart, Noble Group Limited  (SGX: N21). It added 7.1% to S$0.455.

The commodity firm announced on Wednesday that it will be selling its 49% stake in agriculture company Noble Agri to COFCO Corporation for US$750 million in cash. COFCO is one of the largest food processing, manufacturing, and trading outfits in China. Noble Group may also receive up to US$200 million in additional amounts depending on the future performance of the agricultural unit.

COFCO had already owned 51% of Noble Agri prior to the current deal with Noble Group, which it bought for around US$1.5 billion last year. The proceeds from the disposal will be used by Noble Group to pare down its debt. The market first came to know about the latest move in the middle of this month.

Elsewhere, Singapore Post Limited (SGX: S08) slipped from S$1.665 last week to S$1.61 on Thursday, a drop of 3.3% for the week. This is the lowest that Singapore Post’s shares have been over the past 18 months.

On Wednesday, the postal service and e-commerce logistics provider said that it will be looking into some cooperate governance issues after the Business Times had flagged them.

In the announcement, Singapore Post mentioned that its Non-Executive, Lead Independent Director, Keith Tay Ah Kee, has requested the “Chairman of the Board for Special Auditors to be appointed immediately to investigate these issues thoroughly and to report directly to the Board and the Audit Committee.” Tay has also requested for the report to be made available for inspection by regulators, and that appropriate disclosure be presented to shareholders and other stakeholders.

This comes after shock resignation of Singapore Post’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wolfgang Baier, on 10 December.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX:ES3), which is a proxy for the Straits Times Index, is now trading at 11.7 times trailing earnings and has a dividend yield of 3.3%.

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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.