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The Singapore Stock Market Today: Singapore Press Holdings Limited Forays into the United Kingdom Student Housing Market

Welcome to a brand-new week, everyone. Here are three things about the local stock market that you might be interested in today.

1) For the day, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) fell 13.5 points, or 0.4%, to 3,120.9. Of the 30 index components, 17 were in the red; five were flat while eight finished in the positive territory.

The share that tumbled the most among the 30-stock index was Genting Singapore Ltd (SGX: G13). The casino operator’s stock came down 2.8% to S$1.03 each.

Meanwhile, the biggest gainer of the Straits Times Index was Sembcorp Industries Limited (SGX: U96), rising 2.5% to S$2.83.

The conglomerate announced after market close today that it has incorporated an associate firm, PT Batamindo Services Sinindo (PT BSS), in Batam, Indonesia, through a joint venture. Sembcorp’s effective shareholding in the associate company is 25.1%.

PT BSS will carry out warehousing and distribution activities as the Indonesian service provider and agent of Batamindo Shipping & Warehousing (BSW). BSW, in turn another associate company of Sembcorp, provides warehousing and logistics services between Batam and Singapore.

2) Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39) made public this morning that it is acquiring a portfolio of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the United Kingdom (UK) from Unite Group PLC for around £180.5 million (or S$321 million).

The portfolio consists of 14 buildings, 10 freehold properties and four leasehold properties, across six towns and cities in the UK, such as London, Birmingham and Bristol. The buildings have a total capacity of 3,436 beds for student accommodation and are located in established university towns and cities with sizeable full-time student populations.

Ng Yat Chung, chief executive of SPH, commented on the latest venture into the new sector:

“This cash-yielding acquisition will generate recurring cash flow, and is part of our ongoing strategy to diversify our business to new growth areas. It will boost our real estate asset management portfolio, establish us as an overseas owner of PBSA in the U.K, and allow us to pursue other growth opportunities in this sector.”

The transaction is expected to be completed on or around 13 September. Singapore Press Holdings shares ended the day at S$2.79 apiece, up 2.2%.

3) Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68) reported its market statistics for August 2018 this morning. Here are some of the key highlights:

a) Total securities market turnover value was S$23.5 billion, down 9% year-on-year, over 21 trading days. There were 22 trading days in August last year.

b) Securities daily average value was S$1.12 billion, falling 5% year-on-year.

c) Market turnover value of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) was S$379 million, surging 72% year-on-year. Last month saw the listing of Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (SGX: MBH), the first ETF to offer  access to a basket of Singapore dollar-denominated corporate bonds.

d) Market turnover value of structured warrants and daily leveraged certificates came in at S$1.82 billion, higher by 9% compared to a year ago.

e) Total derivatives volume was 18.79 million, up 18% year-on-year.

f) Equity index futures volume stood at 14.66 million, rising 19% year-on-year.

g) Total FX futures volume was 1.65 million, representing a massive 107% year-on-year increase.

h) SGX commodities derivatives volume was 1.44 million, down 24% compared to August 2017.

Singapore Exchange shares ended Monday at S$7.30 each, down 0.4% for the day.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Singapore Exchange Limited. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in Sembcorp Industries Limited and Singapore Exchange Limited.