STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index slightly up, CapitaMall Trust jumps


Singapore shares rose slightly, with shopping mall ownerCapitaMall Trust and palm oil firm WilmarInternational Ltd among the biggest gainers.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.4 percent at3,043.52 points on Friday. On Thursday, the Singapore boursefell to as low as 3,021.92 points, the weakest since Sept. 13.

Units of CapitaMall Trust gained as much as 2.9 percent toS$2.12, the highest in nearly two years.

"I think interest in REITs is starting to come back againprobably on the back of more risk aversion," said Wilson Liew,an analyst at Maybank Kim Eng, noting that real estateinvestment trusts offer relatively attractive yield.

"Retail is one of our favourite sub-segments given thatretail properties continue to exhibit defensiveness, and forCapitaMall Trust, most of its asset enhancements will be comingonstream this year and next year," Liew added.

Wilmar shares advanced as much as 3.3 percent to S$3.16 andwere the second-highest traded stock by value. Earlier thisweek, Wilmar said in a stock filing that its chief operatingofficer, Martua Sitorus, had bought 2 million shares at S$3.18each.

1232 (0432 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing byG.Ram Mohan; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com)


11:18 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Nomura bullish on aircraft MROsector

Nomura said Singapore aviation maintenance, repair andoverhaul (MRO) service providers such as Singapore TechnologiesEngineering Ltd and SIA Engineering Co Ltdare set to benefit from air traffic growth in Asia Pacific.

ST Engineering shares were flat at S$3.45 while SIAEngineering was unchanged at S$4.19 on Friday.

Commercial MRO business in 2012 is expected to increase 5.7percent to $49.5 billion from a year earlier and then grow at acompounded annual growth rate of 3.7 percent between 2012 and2017, Nomura said, citing a consultancy's forecast.

Large, well-capitalised MROs with presence across regions aswell as capabilities and competence to develop new product linesare better placed to take advantage of the aviation upturn,Nomura added.

Nomura has a 'buy' rating and S$4.05 target price on STEngineering, and a 'neutral' call with a S$4.60 target price onSIA Engineering.

1114 (0314 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing bySunil Nair; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com)


10:15 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank Kim Eng cuts Lian Bengtarget

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