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Singapore Stocks: Keppel, Noble Group, UOB-Kay Hian, Wilmar

Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.8 percent to 3,279.70, its highest close since Nov. 11. Two stocks advanced for each that fell in the benchmark equity index of 30 companies.

Shares on the measure trade at an average 15 times estimated earnings, compared with about 15.6 times at the end of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The following shares were among the most active in the market. Stock symbols are in parentheses after the company name.

Brokerages: Singapore brokerages rallied after Malayan Banking Bhd. (MAY MK), Malaysia’s biggest lender by assets, offered to buy Kim Eng Holdings Ltd. at S$3.10 per share in a deal valued at S$1.79 billion ($1.4 billion). Kim Eng, which gained 2.7 percent to S$2.70 yesterday, was suspended from trading today.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings Ltd. (UOBK SP), a securities company partly owned by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd., climbed 8.2 percent to S$1.99. G.K. Goh Holdings Ltd. (GKG SP), a futures and foreign exchange brokerage that sold its securities business to Malaysia’s CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. in 2005, surged 17 percent to 76 Singapore cents.

Commodity suppliers: The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, which tracks prices of 19 commodities from copper to corn, gained 0.5 percent in New York yesterday.

Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL SP), a Hong Kong-based commodities supplier, rose 1.8 percent to S$2.31. Olam International Ltd. (OLAM SP), a Singapore-based supplier of agricultural commodities, advanced 2.2 percent to S$3.29.

Keppel Corp. (KEP SP), the world’s biggest builder of oil rigs, climbed 1.4 percent to S$11.50. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its recommendation on the stock to “buy” from “neutral.”

Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA SP), the world’s second-biggest carrier by market value, gained 0.8 percent to S$15.24. The company said it will reorganize to take on new challenges. Executive Vice President Mak Swee Wah will take on additional responsibilities for marketing and sales, and Ng Chin Hwee, executive vice president of human resources and planning, will be in charge of operational activities.

Stats Chippac Ltd. (STAT SP), a Singapore-based provider of semiconductor testing and assembly services, increased 1.1 percent to 91 Singapore cents. The company said it has priced its issue of $200 million senior notes due 2016 at a coupon rate of 5.375 percent. Proceeds from the debt issue will be used to repay existing borrowings.

Wilmar International Ltd. (WIL SP), the world’s biggest palm-oil trader, gained 1.4 percent to S$5.64. The company said it and its partners Kerry Properties Ltd. and Shangri-La Asia Ltd. won the bid to acquire six sites in China’s Liaoning province for 1.36 billion yuan ($205 million).

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