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Singapore shares gain 0.8% on Monday following Temasek's Keppel move

THE Straits Times Index (STI) outperformed regional indices with a 0.8 per cent gain on Monday, with activity spurred largely by a partial offer from Temasek Holdings for an additional 35 per cent stake in STI constituent Keppel Corporation.

Temasek's offer price of S$7.35 is a 25.8 per cent premium over Keppel's last traded price of S$5.84, and CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang noted that "it suggests Singapore blue chips are generally undervalued with their current market price, and there is long-term value within them".

The Singapore bourse gained 24.99 points to close at 3,139.15, with a turnover of 903.65 million securities worth S$923.36 million. Gainers outnumbered losers 200 to 152.

This performance was in contrast with other Asian bourses, where gains were capped by uncertainties surrounding Brexit. Key indices in South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong registered no more than half a percentage point in gains, with Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia closing flat. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.5 per cent, while the Shenzhen Composite Index closed down 0.11 per cent.

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In the local market, Rex International led active counters with 104.7 million shares traded. The oilfield services firm gained 0.3 Singapore cent or 3.23 per cent to S$0.096.

The second-most active counter, Golden Agri-Resources, trailed some way behind with 35.6 million shares traded. It closed flat at S$0.205.

A dramatic jump in Sembcorp Marine's share price during Monday's trading prompted a Singapore Exchange query, to which Sembcorp Marine had not responded as at market close. Its share price hit a high of S$1.36 following the query, up 16 Singapore cents or 13 per cent, before pulling back slightly to close at S$1.34.

KGI Securities analyst Joel Ng said in a Monday afternoon note that a consolidation between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine would be able to proceed if Temasek holds a controlling stake in Keppel.

Meanwhile, Singtel announced that it will expand its VIA mobile payment alliance to include OCBC Bank as its first Singapore bank in the network. Starting in Q1 2020, OCBC customers will be able to use the OCBC Pay Anyone app to make cashless payments to more than 1.7 million merchant partners on the VIA network.

Singtel shares gained seven Singapore cents or 2.22 per cent to close at S$3.22, while OCBC Bank retreated seven Singapore cents or 0.65 per cent to S$10.67.