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STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank ups target price on Keppel Corp

Maybank Kim Eng raised its target price on rigbuilder KeppelCorp Ltd to S$13.30 from S$12.90, and kept its 'buy'rating to reflect the higher share prices of some of its unitssuch as Dyna-Mac Holdings Ltd .

At 0221 GMT, Keppel shares were down 0.97 percent atS$11.23. They have risen 20.8 percent this year, compared withthe Straits Times Index's 14.9 percent rise. Dyna-Mac,which is about 27 percent-owned by Keppel, has gained 16.5percent this year.

Maybank expects Keppel to report a 22 percent year-on-yearfall in its third quarter net profit to S$317 million, due tolower offshore and marine margins. But the brokerage is notconcerned about weaker earnings as it expects orders forrigbuilders to continue.

"We may even see some margin expansion for new contracts aspricing power shifts to the yards due to tightness in yard slotavailability," Maybank said in a report.

The brokerage expects Keppel's offshore and marine operatingmargins to have reached a bottom of 13.2 percent in the secondquarter and sees an improvement in the next two quarters.

1033 (0233 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore;charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com) ************************************************************

9:37 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-OCBC upgrades Raffles Medical to'buy'

OCBC Investment Research upgraded healthcare serviceprovider Raffles Medical Group to 'buy' from 'hold'and raised its target price to S$2.82 from S$2.63, onexpectations of stronger earnings in the second half of theyear.

By 0125 GMT, shares of Raffles Medical were flat at S$2.47,and have gained 16.5 percent since the start of the year,compared to the FTSE ST Mid Cap Index's 26.2 percentrise.

Although staff costs are rising, OCBC said the company willsee better patient loads, giving it room to raise charges.

The brokerage expects Raffles Medical's revenue and coreearnings to grow 8.2 percent and 24 percent in the second halfof the year compared to the previous six months.

The opening of a new specialist centre in the first half of2013 will help to boost Raffles Medical's net margin to 17.7percent from 17.3 percent, OCBC said.

0928 (0128 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore;charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)(Editing by Eric Meijer)

Keywords: MARKETS SINGAPORE STOCKSNEWS/KEPPEL