STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank Kim Eng cuts Lian Beng target


Maybank Kim Eng lowered its target price on Lian Beng GroupLtd to S$0.54 from S$0.63, citing higher cash flowneeded by the construction and property firm, which may affectdividend timing, but maintained its 'buy' rating.

Lian Beng shares were flat at S$0.395 on Friday. The stockhas risen 14.5 percent so far this year versus the nearly 24percent gain on the FT ST Small Cap Index .

From a net cash position, Lian Beng's total borrowing roseby S$96.6 million quarter-on-quarter to S$197.2 million on theback of higher financing costs for the development of twoproperties in Singapore, as well as increased working capital,Maybank said.

The group's net gearing now stands at 0.05 times, Maybanksaid. It added that Lian Beng's margins had shrunk on lowerproperty sales recognition.

But the broker said Lian Beng's construction business andrecurring income from pre-cast concrete products are expected tohelp shore up a dividend payout of 2 Singapore cents, whichtranslates to a yield of 5.1 percent.

1007(0207 GMT) (Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore;eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com); Editing by Jijo Jacob