Singapore's Straits Times Index (FSSTI) fell 24.54, or 0.81 percent, to close at 3,007.36, ending two days of gains. The gauge is down 13 percent this year to date, its biggest quarterly decline since Sept. 30, 2002.
ComfortDelGro Corp. (CD) rose 4 cents, or 2.25 percent, to S$1.82, its highest in three months. The operator of the world's second-largest bus and taxi fleet aims to get 70 percent of sales from overseas operations within the next five to seven years, Group Chairman Lim Jit Poh said. That's up from the company's earlier target of 50 percent.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (DBS) , Southeast Asia's biggest bank by assets, fell 42 cents, or 2.3 percent, to S$18, its steepest drop in more than two weeks. The stock fell the most in terms of index points among lagging stocks of the key index. United Overseas Bank (UOB) dropped 22 cents, or 1.1 percent, to S$19.14, the lowest in a week. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC), the smallest of Singapore's three banks, lost 7 cents, or 0.9 percent, to S$8.10.
U.S. stocks extended their worst quarterly decline since 2002, falling for the fourth time in five weeks, on the prospect of dividend cuts and deeper earnings declines for financial companies. The slowing U.S. economy ``will probably impact Asian banks indirectly through slower loan growth,'' said James Chua, investment analyst at Phillip Capital Management in Singapore.
Keppel Corp. (KEP) , the world's largest oil-rig maker, fell 10 cents, or 1 percent, to S$9.90. SembCorp Industries Ltd. (SCI), owner of the world's No. 2 oil-rig maker, lost 13 cents, or 3.1 percent, to S$4.07, falling the most in more than two weeks.
Crude oil fell for a second day in New York on speculation slowing economic growth in the U.S., the world's biggest energy user, will curb demand. Crude oil for May delivery fell as much as $1.28, or 1.2 percent, to $104.34 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Olam International Ltd. (OLAM) , the Singapore-based supplier of food ingredients, added 8 cents, or 3.9 percent, to S$2.15, its third day of gains, after saying it plans to raise about S$307 million ($222 million) by selling stock to existing shareholders.
Olam sells ingredients to companies such as Nestle SA, the world's largest food company. The fund-raising exercise is positive for the company allowing it to have a total debt capacity of about S$1.7 billion at end-2008 for its expansion plans, DBS Vickers Securities analyst Paul Yong said in a note today, maintaining his ``buy'' rating and target price of S$3.80.
Parkway Holdings Ltd. (PWAY SP), the city-state's biggest private hospital operator, dropped 39 cents, or 11 percent, to S$3.20, falling the most in percentage terms since Sept. 4, 1998, when the stock slumped 14 percent. The company said it plans to raise S$785.7 million in a rights offer. The 360 million new ordinary shares are priced at S$2.18 apiece and will be issued on the basis of seven rights shares for every existing 15 shares, it said.
Pokka Corp. (Singapore) Ltd. (POK SP), a food and beverage company, advanced 4.5 cents, or 10 percent, to 49.5 cents, the highest in more than four months, after saying its profit surged sevenfold to S$7 million for the year ended Jan. 31. Revenue rose more than 15 percent, the first double-digit revenue growth in six years, it said.
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd. (YZJSGD) dropped 4.5 cents, or 4.6 percent, to 94 cents, ending two days of gains, after the shipbuilder offered to buy the remaining 25 percent that it doesn't own in Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co. of China for 2.63 billion yuan ($375 million) in cash and shares.
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