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Property Stocks Drag the Straits Times Index Down This Week

The Singapore stock market, as represented by the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), tumbled 2.4%, or around 77 points, to 3,191.8. Other than trade war fears between the US and China, the market was spooked by the announcement of higher stamp duty rates and tighter loan limits for residential property purchases here.

For the week, of the 30 index components, 20 were in the red while the remaining 10 were in the green.

The big decliners among the Straits Times Index companies were property stocks. City Developments Limited (SGX: C09) plunged 13.4% to S$9.46; UOL Group Limited (SGX: U14) tumbled 12.1% to S$6.70; and CapitaLand Limited (SGX: C31) slipped 5.4% to S$2.99. Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX: BN4), which has a property arm, was the third biggest loser of the index, falling 8% to S$6.58. All three banks ended the week in the negative territory as well.

On the other hand, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74) emerged as the best performing blue-chip stock for the week. Its shares rose 4.9% to S$3.23 apiece. Other big winners over the past five days include Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39) and StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3).

Singapore Press Holdings announced this week that its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH Invest Ltd, has formed a joint venture company with MM2 Asia Ltd (SGX: 1B0). The new company, AsiaOne Online, will be 49% held by Singapore Press Holdings while the remaining 51% will be under MM2 Asia.

AsiaOne Online will “operate a lifestyle entertainment and news portal under the “AsiaOne” brand name through the website at”.

Singapore Press Holdings will announce its financial results for the third quarter ended 31 May 2018 on 11 July 2018. For its second quarter, total operating revenue declined by 1.8% to S$233.7 million, with the media business segment falling 7.4%. Meanwhile, the firm’s bottom-line plummeted 24.9% to S$40.2 million.

Elsewhere, property developer, Oxley Holdings Ltd (SGX: 5UX), saw its shares sink 16.9% to S$0.345 apiece. In 2017, the company made the bulk of its revenue of S$1.34 billion from Singapore properties. During the week, the firm bought back 1.6 million shares from the market at a price range of between S$0.335 and S$0.41. It repurchased the most number of shares on Friday, buying back one million shares at a total cost of slightly less than S$344,700.

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 10.3 and had a distribution yield of 3.1% 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.