Singapore Stocks: Ascendas, Olam, Singapore Air, Straits Asia

Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed 3.11, or 0.2 percent, to 1,643.68 at the 5:05 p.m. local- time break. A total of 13 stocks gained, 12 fell and five were unchanged among the measure's 30 constituents.

Property trusts: CapitaMall Trust (CT SP), Singapore's largest property trust by market value, dropped 7 cents, or 4.5 percent, to S$1.48, extending a three-day, 8.8 percent slump. Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (AREIT SP), the second- largest, slipped 7 cents, or 5.7 percent, to S$1.16, also retreating for a fourth day.

Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its rating on Ascendas to ``reduce'' from ``neutral,'' saying weaker global economic growth will hurt demand. The brokerage said office rents will fall 47 percent during the slowdown, while retail and industrial rents declined 17 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Olam International Ltd. (OLAM SP), a commodities supplier, jumped 9.5 cents, or 11 percent, to 97.5 cents, its largest gain since Nov. 10. Olam said it plans to repurchase as much as $150 million of convertible bonds. The bonds are part of a $300 million offering issued in July.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA SP), the world's No. 1 carrier by market-value, gained 20 cents, or 2 percent, to S$10.40. The carrier will resume flights to Bangkok from tomorrow after the city's main airport partially reopened.

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (ST SP), Southeast Asia's largest phone company, added 2 cents, or 0.8 percent, to S$2.52, the biggest contributor to gains on the Straits Times Index. Credit Suisse Group reiterated its ``outperform'' rating on the company, saying its Indonesia and India associates will benefit from the weaker outlook for its rivals.

SingTel, which held a meeting with analysts yesterday, is ``well capitalized to weather the weak market conditions and take advantage of opportunities, UOB-Kay Hian Pte also said in a report today.

Straits Asia Resources Ltd. (SAR SP) surged 5.5 cents, or 7.5 percent, to 79 cents, its highest close in almost three weeks. Straits Resources Ltd. said it's received interest from potential buyers for its 47.1 percent stake in coal unit Straits Asia Resources.

To contact the reporter for this story: Chen Shiyin in Singapore at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Linus Chua at; Darren Boey at

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