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Singapore Daily Bulletin – 20/12/12

BBR Adds Two More HDB Contracts To Order Book
BBR Holdings has bagged two more contracts from the Housing and Development Board (HDB). The deals are worth $182.9 million and involve the construction of 1,282 HDB units. Secured via the group’s subsidiaries, the first contract was won by Singapore Piling & Civil Engineering to build 808 units at Kallang Whampoa and the second contract was won by Singa Development to build 474 units at Sengkang. These contracts are its third and fourth from the HDB – the group’s public housing involvement started in 2009 when it constructed 864 flats in Yishun; it is now working on its second HDB contract to construct 17 blocks of 1,386 units in Pasir Ris Neighbourhood 5.

Significance: The latest wins bring BBR’s order book to $953 million. With the government addressing strong demand for public housing and HDB announcing to roll out 20,000 Build-to-Order flats in 2013, this would be a healthy pipeline of projects for BBR.

Aspial Proposes 1-for-25 Rights Issuance
Aspial Corporation has proposed a renounceable non-underwritten rights issue – its fourth fund-raising exercise over the past two year – to raise net proceeds of approximately $23.3 million. Up to 61.56 million new ordinary shares will be issued on the basis of one rights share for every 25 existing ordinary shares held, at an issue price of $0.38 each rights share. According to the group, the non-underwriting nature is to save costs and that there will not be any irrevocable commitment from existing shareholders to subscribe for the rights shares. The net proceeds will be utilised to finance the group’s business expansion as well as for general working capital requirements.

Significance: Over the past two years, Aspial has raised net proceeds of around $176.5 million with the most recent being a share placement last month. Notably, the group has been active on the property scene and has on last month won the tender for a site at Jalan Jurong Kechil with a top bid of $73.8 million.

Olam Gains Following Temasek’s Stake Raise
Olam international saw its shares clawing back more ground yesterday, closing up $0.065 or 4.41 percent at $1.54, following news that Temasek Holdings had raised its stake. According to a regulatory filing on the Singapore Exchange, Temasek’s unit Aranda Investments paid $293,000 for 200,000 shares (or $1.465 apiece) and thus turn increased Temasek’s deemed holding to 17 percent from 16.99 percent. Notably, on the day when the purchase was made, Olam’s shares spiked $0.08 or 5.7 percent to close at $1.475. In total, over the past two days, the counter has gained $0.145 – its biggest rise in the past month since US short-seller Muddy Waters fired salvo on its accounting practices. Commenting on the purchase, Temasek said “Olam represents a reasonably attractive investment over the long term, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to add to our stake.”

Significance: Though market reacted positively to Temasek’s stake raise, not all are convinced by the move. Michael Dee, a former Temasek senior managing director, noted that “a minuscule $293,000 investment by someone of Temasek’s size and stature raises more questions than it answers”.