The market could soften on the back of lowered China 2017 GDP growth target of 6.5% (2016: +6.7%), alongside profit taking ahead of an impending Fed rate hike next week.
Regional bourses mostly slipped in early trading in Tokyo (-0.3%), Seoul (-0.4%) and Sydney (+0.1%).Technically, the STI remains within its uptrend channel between 3,105 and 3,165.
Stocks to watch:
*UOL: Acquiring Hilton Melbourne South Wharf for A$230m. The 396-room hotel has gfa of 30,688m, and a tenure of 99-years ending Jul 2108. MKE last had a Buy with TP of $7.68.
*Mapletree Industrial Trust: Secured development for its third built-to-suit data centre for $60m. Following expected completion in 2H18, the 242,000 sf gfa data centre will be fully leased out for an initial term of more than 10 years, with staggered rental escalations. REIT is trading at 6.8% indicative yield and 1.2x P/B.
*SPH/ mm2 Asia: SPH and mm2 will acquire 7.5% and 15%, respectively, in broadcasting platform Rings.TV for $1.1m and $2.3m. Both parties will have a one-year call option to increase their stakes, with SPH up to 10%, and mm2 up to 20%.*mm2 Asia: The proposed spin-off of UnUsUaL has been approved in-principle by SGX.
*Spackman Entertainment: Two-month MOU with photography veteran Kim Jun-young, to purchase movie/ drama equipment lessor, Frame Pictures.*Soilbuild Construction: Awarded contract to redevelop three warehouses for rice storage in Singapore. This raises its order book to $412.8m. Management acknowledges a tough construction industry, but will strive to secure more projects.
*Kingboard Copper: Parent Kingboard Laminates is proposing to privatize the company at $0.40/share, 17.5% above the last traded price. To recap, the parent failed previously to take the company private in 2009, priced either at $0.21/cash or 0.374 new shares in HK-listed Kingboard Laminates for each Kingboard Copper share.
*Sunpower: Completed a convertible bonds issue of US$110m to China's alternative asset management fund CDH Investments.
*Ezra: 75.3% owned EMAS Offshore will be suspended from trading on the Oslo Bors after it failed to release its FY16 financials before the deadline. In conjunction, EMAS will seek voluntary suspension from SGX until publication of the results.
*Cosco Corp: 51% owned subsidiary Cosco Shipyard delivered a FPSO vessel of 55,942 dwt to its European buyer.
*Asiaphos: Received approval from Sichuan Land Department to renew mining right for Mine 1, now effective to 28 Feb '18.
*Asian Micro Holdings: Acquired a 14,475 sqm plot of land at Pulau Pinang, Malaysia for RM2.75m ($0.9m), for potential redevelopment works.
*Oceanus: Due to urban planning purposes, the Gulei Zhen People’s Government will compulsorily acquire 13 abalone farms owned by Oceanus for Rmb182.5m ($38m). Net proceeds will be for debt repayment and working capital.