STI dips below 3,500 as banks, Singtel pull back – The Business Times, 6 January 2018

By Cai Haoxiang

YOU know it’s a party when beer shares in the region are rallying hard with almost every other neighbouring market, but Singapore is still the serious, sober guy ready to drive his friends home. Pulled down by DBS, UOB and Singtel, the benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 11.71 points, or 0.33 per cent, to close at 3,489.45. About 1.97 billion shares worth S$1.13 billion in total changed hands. Midas Holdings, an aluminium extruder, continued to be actively traded after announcing an associate’s first contract wins of the year this week. It rose 5.7 per cent to S$0.166. Memories Group, the Myanmar tourism firm run by Burmese tycoon Serge Pun, began life on the Catalist board after a reverse takeover. It opened at S$0.285 and closed up significantly higher at S$0.37. The firm, previously known as SHC Capital Group, has about 351 million shares issued, which means it now has a market capitalisation of S$130 million. Expectations are on the high side. Based on a corporate factsheet, Memories made a net profit of US$1.1 million a year in the year ended Mar 31, 2017.

Memories’ two main revenue-generating businesses so far are its “Balloons over Bagan” business (US$6 million of annual revenue, net profit margin of 20-plus per cent) and a tourism services business (US$5 million of annual revenue, net profit margin in the single digits). Together, they make net profits of US$1.5 million to US$2 million. Memories also operates a 19-room boutique hotel in Karen State, and is also developing a 46-room resort in Yangon. Another proposed business is a commercial and tourism-related development in Bagan. Elsewhere, concrete supplier Pan-United Holdings ended trading at S$0.44 after going ex-entitlement on Friday. Shares had previously gone for S$0.58. The firm is spinning off its profitable China river ports business, Xinghua Port Holdings, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In Singapore, the concrete and cement business remains subdued. Cement and ready mixed concrete prices were stable from September to November, even as demand was down slightly, based on latest statistics from the Building and Construction Authority. Elsewhere in the region, the party continued. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 went up another 0.9 per cent. Investors can’t get enough of robotics and automation firm Fanuc Corp, which was up another 3 per cent after its 6 per cent rise the day before.

Beer shares soared. Asahi Group rose 4.8 per cent to a record high. Tsingtao Brewery was up 10.8 per cent in Hong Kong, as it said it has raised prices on some products by up to 5 per cent. Rival China Resources Beer was up 10.4 per cent. Can we ever get such fizz in Singapore? Oh well, back to the banks.