Thursday, October 9, 2008

Daily news - 8 Oct

Telco stocks still seen as defensive plays
Telco Sector – Despite warning bells from Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), market analysts still see the local telco sector as a safe harbour for weathering the surging economic storm. SingTel on Monday said it has instituted cost-cutting measures such as a headcount freeze as some parts of its local business are starting to feel the heat from the global financial meltdown. The news sent SingTel shares down by as much as 1.6% at the start of trading yesterday before eventually recovering to close 2.6% higher at $3.12. While SingTel is one of the first local companies to claim casualty in the face of the economic crisis, market analysts believe that telcos are generally in good shape to tackle the mounting economic challenge.

Letter questions ability of Thakral chairman
Thakral Corporation Ltd (TCL) – The fight for control at TCL has intensified, with the key players laying out their cases to drum up shareholder support. TCL hit the headlines last month when its major shareholder, Hong Leong Group, called for the removal of chairman Kartar Singh Thakral as a director. In the latest development, Hong Leong issued a letter last Friday through its units Venture Delta and Grace Star Services, expressing concern at Mr Singh's age and his ability to remain as executive director and chairman. Based on TCL's 2007 annual report, Mr Singh is 74. Mr Singh's participation and contribution to TCL is diminished, according to them. TCL said in May that it could divest its consumer electronics distribution business to reposition itself in real estate. The letter from Venture Delta and Grace Star Services surfaced yesterday. They are indirect subsidiaries of Hong Leong Asia (HLA) and hold a 34.42% stake in TCL through HLA unit China Yuchai International (CYI). Countering Hong Leong's concerns in a letter of his own, Mr Singh said that his age and experience are, in fact, plus points. Mr Singh said that a chairman also has to be available at all times to handle day-to-day problems and guide senior management.

CapitaLand director increases stake
CapitaLand – Director Hsuan Owyang has bought a further 100,000 shares in the company, lifting his interest to 0.008%, from 0.004% previously.

Chartered Semicon unaffected by spinoff
Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing – The company, which counted Advanced Micro Devices as its second-largest customer in 2007, said it sees 'minimal impact' from the US chipmaker's plans to spin off its manufacturing plants.

NOL shares rise on delayed bid
Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) – NOL shares rose as investors hoped its bid to buy Germany's Hapag-Lloyd from TUI could be delayed, following opposition from a TUI shareholder. NOL shares closed up 10 cents at $1.90 yesterday.

Source: Kim Eng

No comments: