Singapore shares scaled a 21-month peak on Monday on upbeat corporate earnings, while Philippine shares closed lower as traders booked profits ahead of two major share offerings over the next couple of weeks. Singapore shares hit their highest level since July 2015 and closed 0.27 percent firmer with financials and consumer stocks driving the gains. “Positive corporate earnings and banks drove recent gains,” said Liu Jinshu, director of research, NRA Capital.
“However, the run up has been mainly concentrated among blue chip names. Hence, I am still not convinced that the STI’s run up to 3,265 has legs. I think we may instead be nearing a short-term top.” Casino operator Genting Singapore Plc was the best performer, ending at its highest level in more than two years. Commodity trader Olam International Ltd closed at a two-month high after it reported a 26.6 percent rise in first quarter profit.
The Philippine index closed down 0.6 percent, as real estate companies and telecom stocks lost ground. “There would be two IPOs happening in the next couple of weeks and investors are cashing in on recent gains for raising funds for the IPOs,” said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities Inc “I think it (the fall) is mostly because of profit-taking,” added Mikey Macanaig of Sunsecurities Inc. Philippines’ fourth-biggest cement producer Eagle Cement Corp is set to raise as much as 8.63 billion pesos through an IPO.
Meanwhile, property developer Cebu Landmasters is looking to raise up to 2.9 billion pesos from the market, the company said on Friday. The Philippine government’s efforts to enact tax reform appear to be gaining traction as more Philippines firms are looking to enter the market. Other regional markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia stocks recouped losses to close higher, while Vietnam finished flat. The Thai index hit a two-month low as some disappointing company earnings offset positive GDP data. Nippon Pack Thailand ended 11.7 percent lower, after reporting a bigger loss for the quarter, while hypermarket retail chain Big C Supercenter Pcl hit a one-week closing low.