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Regional bourses rise on Japan's fresh stimulus

Publication Date : 20-09-2012


Japan's announcement of a new round of monetary easing gave shares here and across the region a boost.

It was barely noticeable here, with the Straits Times Index (STI) rising just 7.65 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 3,075.63 points, but gains were more pronounced elsewhere. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1.16 per cent, while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.19 per cent.

"Despite a relatively flat lead from offshore markets, Asia began dancing to its own tune as speculation mounted that Japan would take action to stimulate the economy and arrest the rising yen," said a note by CMC Markets.

"The Bank of Japan indeed came to the party, pushing risk assets higher as midway through the session, they eased monetary policy further and announced the addition of another 10 trillion yen (US$127 billion) to their stimulus programme."

The latest round of central bank easing came less than a week after the United States announced a third round of its money-printing programme.

Singapore's STI was lifted by Jardine Matheson Holdings, up 99 US cents, or 1.8 per cent, to US$55.71, while SingTel rose two cents, or 0.6 per cent, to S$3.34.

Decliners included CapitaLand, down two cents to S$3.19, and DBS Group Holdings, which fell three cents to S$14.42.

The market was focused on news that Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi had agreed to back the sale of Fraser & Neave's stake in Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) to Heineken.

Thai Beverage, a Charoen vehicle holding a stake in F&N, was the most active stock, with 263.1 million shares changing hands.

The shares jumped 4.5 cents, or 13 per cent, to 39 cents as traders bet that ThaiBev would get some of the proceeds from F&N's sale of the APB stake.

F&N fell nine cents to $8.88 - the amount Charoen has offered for all F&N shares he does not own. APB was down 10 cents to S$52.99, below the S$53 that Heineken will put on the table in a general offer after it acquires F&N's APB stake.

Soft commodities supplier Olam International was down one cent to S$2.07. It has won a bid for the Northern Coffee Corporation for US$6.15 million. The bidding process had been organised by the Zambia Development Authority.

Tat Hong Holdings fell two cents, or 1.5 per cent, to S$1.28. The crane company has placed out 70 million new shares at S$1.20 each to raise about S$82.1 million. The proceeds will be used to expand its crane fleet and buy land and buildings in Singapore and Malaysia to support the new machinery.


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