Singapore shares rise to almost 3-wk high as US default averted

PHOTO: Singapore shares rise to almost 3-wk high as US default averted

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares rose to their highest in nearly three weeks after US legislators reached a last-minute deal to avoid a debt default by the government.

The benchmark Straits Times Index climbed as much as 0.9 per cent to 3,203.91, the biggest per centage gain in almost a month. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.5 per cent higher.

Global Logistic Properties Ltd was one of the biggest gainers with a rise of 2.7 per cent. The warehouse operator signed five new lease agreements totalling 55,000 square metres across China, it said in a stock market filing after market hours on Wednesday.

Shares of property developer Keppel Land Ltd jumped as much as 1.9 per cent to S$3.69, the highest in nearly three weeks.

Keppel Land said on Wednesday its third-quarter net profit rose 70 per cent to S$126.4 million (US$101.6 million) from a year earlier, lifted by property trading, more project completions in China and progressive recognition from Singapore projects.

Maybank Kim Eng said Keppel Land managed to sustain its China residential sales momentum in the third quarter. It added that the company's sale of its 51 per cent stake in Jakarta Garden City is expected to lead to a gain of S$152 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The divestment of Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 in Singapore also remains a possibility in the 2014 fiscal year, which should result in "more generous" dividends next year, Maybank said. The broker kept its 'buy' rating and S$4.80 target price.