The Singapore Market This Week: Hutchison Port Hldg Trust and StarHub Ltd Underperform

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) did not perform well for the week. During the holiday-shortened week, the 30-stock index slumped 2.4% to 3,427.5 points. In all, 24 stocks were in the red while the remaining six were in the green.

There were fears of a trade war after the US said it would impose steep metal tariffs on Europe, Mexico and Canada, which in turn vowed to retaliate. Mid-week, the market was also spooked by the political stalemate in Italy, but it seemed to have eased off after a populist government was sworn in to power.

The biggest loser of the lot was Hutchison Port Hldg Trust (SGX: NS8U). The trust, which plunged 18.2% to US$0.27, was removed from the MSCI Singapore Index and included in the MSCI Singapore Small Cap Index effective from Friday, 1 June 2018. The change came after the mid-year reviews of the equity indices.

StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3), another company that was kicked out from the MSCI Singapore Index and included in the MSCI Singapore Small Cap Index, saw its shares fall 7.2% to S$1.93. Shares in the telco hit a low not seen since end-November 2009.

During the week, Discovery said that 11 Discovery channels, including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Food Network, could be dropped from StarHub’s network as the telco was “not prepared to pay fair value” for the content.

In response, StarHub announced in its Facebook page that it is in “in renewal negotiations with Discovery Networks” and that it is doing everything possible to arrive at a deal which would allow the firm to continue its partnership with Discovery.

On the other end of the spectrum, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6) emerged as the STI’s biggest winner after its shares rose 5.1% to S$1.03.

On Wednesday, the shipbuilder repurchased five million shares for around S$4.5 million. In an announcement on the same day, the firm said that the “share buyback was exercised amid the weak performance of the Yangzijiang’s shares recently”.

It added that the shipbuilding market sentiment continues to be positive and that the company is confident in building up its order book at a healthy pace. As at 31 March 2018, the shipbuilder had an order book of US$4.5 billion, giving it a stable revenue stream for the next 2.5 years.

Elsewhere, shares in Willas-Array Electronics (Holdings) Ltd (SGX: BDR) went up 3.6% to S$1.16 for the week.

The company is one of the largest Hong Kong-based electronics firm with over 3,000 active customers in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. On Friday, Willas-Array posted its earnings for the financial year ended 31 March 2018. Revenue improved by 17.3% year-on-year to HK$4.56 billion while net profit almost tripled to HK$111.96 million from HK$37.51 million. The top-line growth was due to “double-digit increase in sales from the Group’s Industrial, Home Appliance and Automotive segment”.

The board has proposed a first and final dividend of HK$0.42 per share for the latest financial year. In comparison, a year ago, it paid out HK$0.31 per share.

Jawala Inc (SGX: 1J7), a Malaysia-based forest resource company with a focus on industrial tree plantations situated in Sabah, debuted on the Singapore stock exchange on Friday. The public offer tranche of 400,000 shares was 18.5 times subscribed while the placement tranche of 17.6 million shares was fully allotted.

The firm’s shares opened for trading at S$0.265 on Friday afternoon, up from its initial public offering price of $0.25, before ending the day at S$0.26.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which can be taken as a proxy for the Straits Times Index, was valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.1 and had a distribution yield of 2.9% on Friday.

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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.