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Singapore Stocks: DBS, Fraser & Neave, Kim Eng, Straits Asia

Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 54.96, or 3.2 percent, to close at 1,780.57. About three of the measure’s 30 constituents gained for each that retreated.

Today’s advance narrows the measure’s decline to 49 percent in 2008, poised for its largest annual decline on record.

Retail landlords: Macquarie Prime REIT (MMP SP), a trust that owns stakes in two malls along the Orchard Road shopping belt, declined 1 Singapore cent, or 1.9 percent, to 52 cents, its lowest close since Dec. 17. Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (SUN SP), the owner of the Suntec retail and office development in central Singapore, fell one cent, or 1.4 percent, to 72.5 cents.

Retail rents in Singapore’s prime areas may decline by as much as 13 percent in 2009 as the global economic slowdown curbs consumer spending and new shopping space is added, the Business Times reported, citing a poll of property analysts.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (DBS SP), Singapore’s largest bank, which is seeking to raise S$4 billion ($2.8 billion) in a rights offer, traded at S$8.59, compared with the closing price of S$9.25 on Dec. 26. The stock began trading today without the right to purchase one share for every two owned. Nomura Holdings Inc. also cut its share-price estimate for the stock to S$8.70 from S$10.90 to account for the rights offer.

About S$61 million of shares changed hands, making DBS the most actively traded stock by value.

Fraser & Neave Ltd. (FNN SP), Singapore’s biggest beverage maker, gained 1 cent, or 0.4 percent, to S$2.87, advancing for the second time in three days. It will redeem half of the 330,000 Class A preference shares of Frasers Centrepoint Ltd., a subsidiary, that were issued to DBS Bank Ltd., Fraser & Neave said. It will extend the repurchase date for the remaining shares to Dec. 31, 2010.

Kim Eng Holdings Ltd. (KEH SP), Singapore’s second-largest publicly traded brokerage by market value, added 2 cents, or 1.9 percent, to S$1.06, its highest close since Nov. 14. Kim Eng Securities is considering making acquisitions in India and Vietnam, the Business Times reported, citing Executive Director Ong Seng Gee. The company has held “exploratory” talks with brokerages in the two countries, the report said.

Pacific Century Regional Developments Ltd. (PAC SP), part of the group that offered $1.9 billion to buy out PCCW Ltd., advanced half a cent, or 3.6 percent, to 14.5 Singapore cents. Pacific Century shareholders accepted the company’s plan to join the bid for PCCW.

Straits Asia Resources Ltd. (SAR SP), a Singapore-listed coal mining company, advanced 2 Singapore cents, or 2.6 percent, to 79.5 cents, its third-straight advance. About 19.3 million shares changed hands, making the stock the most active by volume.

Operations at the company’s Sebuku island mine in Indonesia weren’t disrupted by a recent police investigation into whether mining was being carried out in so-called “non-permitted forest areas,” Straits Asia said in a statement. The company said it “holds all the relevant permits for its mining activities at Sebuku.”

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Linus Chua in at

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