Singapore Index rises; Olam falls over 5 pct

PHOTO: Singapore Index rises; Olam falls over 5 pct

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares rose on Wednesday, but Olam International Ltd fell more than 5 per cent on persistent concerns about the commodities firm's financial position despite a rights issue backed by state investor Temasek Holdings.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.4 per cent at 3,075.59, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.7 per cent.

Olam has been battling Muddy Waters for two weeks after the short-seller attacked the company's accounting, debt and investment projects.

Olam was among the top traded stocks by value and volume in the Singapore market on Wednesday. The shares declined to as low as S$1.515, after closing 1.6 per cent higher on Tuesday.

"The initial response was quite positive because of Temasek's support, but the whole saga is not over yet and there are still questions that are unanswered. The key thing is whether Olam can refinance and at what rates," said a trader.

Shares of offshore services firm Swiber Holdings Ltd rose as much as 5 per cent to S$0.625, the highest since Oct 22. Some 6.4 million shares changed hands, 3.9 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

Maybank Kim Eng initiated its coverage of Swiber with a'buy' rating and S$0.82 target price, citing the stock's low valuations and limited downside.