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Singapore Stocks: Neptune Orient Lines, Hiap Seng, Olam, Portek

Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,160.60 at the close, the first decline in eight days. Four stocks fell for each that rose in the benchmark index of 30 companies.

Shares on the measure trade at an average 14.5 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.

Exporters: Amtek Engineering Ltd. (AMTK SP), a supplier of precision components to companies such as Sony Corp., lost 1.5 percent to 98 Singapore cents. Hi-P International Ltd. (HIP SP), the electronics manufacturing services provider whose clients include BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd., sank 2.7 percent to S$1.08. Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (NOL SP), a shipping company that gets more than half of its revenue from the Americas, declined 1.1 percent to S$1.80.

Manufacturing in the U.S. grew at the slowest pace in a more than a year and employers added fewer jobs than forecast, fueling concern the global economic recovery will slow, reports released yesterday showed.

Hiap Seng Engineering Ltd. (HSE SP), a provider of engineering services in the oil and gas industry, increased 1.1 percent to 44.5 Singapore cents. The company said it won a contract, valued at S$31.2 million ($25.4 million), for the installation of pipes and storage tanks for a liquefied natural gas terminal project in Singapore.

Olam International Ltd. (OLAM SP), a Singapore-based supplier of agricultural commodities, declined 2 percent to S$2.90. The company said it in discussions with certain financial institutions on various fund raising activities. Details haven’t been finalized and there is no assurance it will proceed with any initiative.

Portek International Ltd. (PORT SP), the operator of container terminals in Indonesia, Algeria, Malta and Gabon, surged 69 percent to a record high of S$1.20. The company said it received an offer from International Container Terminal Services Inc., the largest Philippine port operator, seeking to buy the rest of the Singapore-based company for S$1.20 per share.

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