Singapore shares rose for a fourth straight session and were headed for their first weekly gains after five weeks of decline, as easing fears of an early exit of US monetary stimulus soothed investors' nerves and sent global equity market higher.
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose nearly 1 per cent to 3,148.32 points, but was headed for its biggest monthly loss in more than a year with a nearly 5 per cent decline in June. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1 per cent.
Global Logistic Properties Ltd and HongKong Land Holdings Ltd were among the top index performers. Olam International Ltd lagged behind the index
with a 1.2 per cent decline to S$1.635. Shares of the commodity firm were headed for a 6.6 per cent fall in June, the sharpest monthly decline since November.
Citi analysts said the stock was trading at comparable valuations to the lows observed during the global financial crisis, and remained positive on the its performance outlook.
"We reiterate our buy rating on Olam as we expect eventual ROE (return on equity) expansion as its gestating assets go into maturity," they wrote in a research note.
"Near-term catalysts would come from positive reaffirmation of Olam's assets via sale/lease-back and JV deals."
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd's failure to win a licence in Myanmar could turn out to be a boon as it will not have to commit huge investment in an opaque regulatory environment, said Maybank Kim Eng.
"We believe this is a better outcome for SingTel as it will not have to spend billions for a long-dated result, but now have the opportunity to work with the winners to help them build out the necessary infrastructure, thus ensuring positive returns almost immediately," Maybank said in a research note.
Myanmar awarded two telecommunications services licences to Norway's Telenor and Qatar's Ooredoo, and picked the partnership of France's Orange and Japan's Marubeni Corp as a back-up.
SingTel, the worst performer among Straits Times Index components on Friday, dropped as much as 1.6 per cent to S$3.66, before paring some losses to S$3.70.
Maybank upgraded SingTel to "hold" from "sell" with the target price pegged at S$3.50.
Yoma Strategic Holdings, which was a part of Digicel-led consortium to bid for one of the two Myanmar licences, lost as much as 6.8 per cent to a two-week low of S$0.895.