August 22, 2012 / 2:36 AM / 7 years ago

STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-DBS starts IHH Healthcare at 'buy'

DBS Vickers initiated coverage of IHH Healthcare with a ‘buy’ rating and target price of S$1.38, citing positive industry trends in the region.

At 0223 GMT, IHH Healthcare shares were up 0.4 percent at S$1.245, 11.9 percent above its initial public offer price of S$1.113. IHH made its Singapore market debut on July 25, after raising $2.1 billion in its IPO.

IHH, one of the largest healthcare providers in the world, is expected to add more than 3,300 beds in 17 hospitals, bringing the total number of beds it owns to 8,350, DBS said.

The company is also likely to benefit from Asia’s ageing population, developing healthcare markets, rising affluence and the growth of medical tourism in the region, DBS said.

The brokerage values IHH’s shares at 36 times its price-to earnings for 2013, and expects the company to see annual revenue grow at an average rate of 16.4 percent for 2011-2014, driven by expanding network and higher patient load.

1027 (0227 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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9:53 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank downgrades F J Benjamin

Maybank Kim Eng downgraded fashion retailer F J Benjamin Holdings to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ and cut its target price to S$0.36 from S$0.43, citing lower-than-expected margins and expensive valuations.

By 0137 GMT, F J Benjamin shares were down 4.3 percent at S$0.335, and have gained 15.5 percent so far this year, compared to the FT ST Small Cap Index’s 16.6 percent rise.

F J Benjamin posted a 7 percent rise in its full-year net profit to S$13.9 million, which was weaker than expected, Maybank said, and it paid a final dividend of S$0.01, lower than S$0.02 last year.

However, the brokerage noted that sales growth was still healthy, boosted by markets in Malaysia, Hong Kong, the United States and Europe.

F J Benjamin is planning to open net 15 stores in the next fiscal year, adding to its 191 stores currently, said Maybank.

0941 (0141 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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9:21 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank upgrades Wing Tai to buy

Maybank Kim Eng upgraded Wing Tai Holdings to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and raised its target price to S$1.75 from S$1.40, citing a surprise dividend payout from the property developer.

By 0110 GMT, shares of Wing Tai were up 1.1 percent at S$1.43, and have surged 50.8 percent so far this year, compared to the FT ST Mid Cap Index’s 20 percent rise.

Wing Tai said its fourth-quarter net profit fell 16 percent to S$140.5 million from a year ago, hurt partly by a fall in fair value gains on its properties. It announced an ordinary dividend of S$0.03 and special dividend of S$0.04 a share.

Wing Tai’s management remained cautious about the residential market and expects downside risks, especially in the mass market segment, Maybank said.

“Even as the market remains challenging, we like Wing Tai’s proactiveness in trying to unlock shareholders’ value,” said Maybank in a report.

The brokerage expects Wing Tai to maintain total dividends of 7 Singapore cents a share for the next few years, implying an attractive yield of 4.9 percent.

CIMB Research also raised its target price for Wing Tai to S$1.68 from S$1.60 and kept its outperform rating, citing a better outlook supported by more mid-market projects.

Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com

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