STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-OCBC ups Frasers Centrepoint target price

OCBC Investment Research raised its target price on Frasers Centrepoint Trust to S$1.97 from S$1.89 and kept its 'buy' rating, on expectations of better portfolio occupancy and higher rents.

At 0253 GMT, Frasers Centrepoint units were up 0.28 percent at S$1.82. They have gained 26.4 percent so far this year, compared with the FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trust's

30.6 percent rise.

Frasers Centrepoint said on Friday it had raised its stake in Hektar REIT to 31.17 percent from 31.06 percent, which OCBC said will give it greater opportunity to participate in the growing retail market in Malaysia. Hektar is planning acquisitions of two retail mall properties for 181 million ringgit.

"While the acquisitions are not expected to have any immediate material effect on FCT's distributable income, we expect Frasers Centrepoint to benefit from Hektar REIT's repositioning and upgrading plans," OCBC said in a report.

The brokerage also said it likes Fraser Centrepoint for its pure suburban exposure and strong financial position.

1056 (0256 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore;; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)