STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Shares edge up at midday; US data caps gains

Singapore shares edged higher at midday, in line with other Asian bourses as the European Central Bank gave confidence it was prepared to buy bonds of troubled euro zone countries.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,100.01 points. However, gains are likely to be limited ahead of the release of the closely-watched monthly U.S. payrolls data due later in the day. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.5 percent.

Smaller offshore and marine services companies such as Kreuz Holdings Ltd and Ezion Holdings Ltd outperformed the broader market on continued optimism for the industry.

Shares of Ezion and Kreuz were both up 3.5 percent at S$1.345 and S$0.445 respectively.

Although Ezion's shares have more than doubled so far this year, CIMB Research believes they still offer value as it sees catalysts from more liftboat and service rigs.

Ezion is also undervalued, trading at 1.8 times its book value, below its three-year price-to-book value mean of two times.

1416 (0416 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Anand Basu; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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9:19 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-OCBC raises CapitaCommercial target price

OCBC Investment Research raised its target price on CapitaCommercial Trust to S$1.62 from S$1.53, and kept its 'buy' rating, citing better-than-expected outlook for office rentals.

At 0108 GMT, units of CapitaCommercial were up 0.3 percent at S$1.515. They have surged 43.6 percent since the start of the year, compared with the FTSE ST Real Estate Industrial Trust's

31.3 percent gain.

OCBC said grade A office rentals in Singapore are likely to show a smaller decline in the third quarter, and vacancies in the central business district reversed their rising trend, falling 0.9 percentage point in the second quarter to 8.4 percent.

"We expect a similar trend for vacancies in the third quarter, which would likely contribute to a muted rate of rental decline," said OCBC.

The brokerage noted that CapitaCommercial also said it had refinanced an outstanding balance of its convertible bonds due in 2013, with a new S$175 million convertible bond issue due in 2017.

0910 (0110 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

Keywords: MARKETS SINGAPORE STOCKSNEWS/MIDDAY