The Singapore Market This Week: Singapore Press Holdings’ Earnings Focus

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) hit a 52-week high of 3,524.65 points on Tuesday before retreating to close at 3,520.56 points for the week. As compared to the previous week, it added 0.9% for the five days.

Out of the 30 index constituents, 11 were in the red, with Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39) leading the pack down. For the week, the media giant slumped 4% to S$2.63.

Singapore Press Holdings released its financial results for the first quarter ended 30 November 2017 after market close on Friday. It reported a revenue fall of 7% year-on-year to S$258.8 million but a net profit improvement of 32.1% to S$60.4 million. The bottom line was buoyed mainly by gains from the listing of an associate and gains on divestment.

MindChamps PreSchool Ltd (SGX: CNE), an associate that is 26.8% owned by Singapore Press Holdings, went public in November last year. The preschool operator could most likely be the firm that helped to boost some of the media firm’s earnings.

On the other hand, 15 blue-chip stocks were in the green while the remaining four were flat for the week. The biggest winner of the lot was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6).

The shipbuilder announced on Wednesday that it is setting up a company in Singapore that will be involved in leasing and chartering of vessel. Yangzijiang, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yangzijiang Shipping Pte Ltd, will have a 49.45% stake in the private company while several strategic partners will hold the remaining 50.55% equity interest. The investment would enable the group to “better position itself in shipbuilding industry when opportunities arise amid the current trend of consolidation”.

Elsewhere, the chief executive of Tat Hong Holdings Limited (SGX: T03), Roland Ng, and Standard Chartered’s private equity arm are looking to privatise the crane supplier at 50 cents per share.

The price is a 29.9% premium over the last undisturbed trading day’s price of 38.5 cents. The last undisturbed day, 20 September 2017, marked the final full market day before which the company said that it had been approached for a deal regarding its shares.

The offering vehicle is THSC Investments, which is owned jointly by the private equity arm of Standard Chartered and Ng’s TH60 Investments. THSC Investments views that privatising the firm would give it and Tat Hong more flexibility to manage Tat Hong’s business, and optimise the use of its management and resources.

Shares of Tat Hong closed at S$0.485 for the week, up 6.6%.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which can be taken as a proxy for the Straits Times Index, is now valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.6 and has a distribution yield of 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.