Singapore shares closed 0.22 percent lower on Tuesday, as investors took profit amid high expectation that the European Central Bank (ECB) to expand liquidity as soon as next week to boost the Euro-zone economy.
The comments from ECB chief Mario Draghi late last week that the central bank was prepared to respond with all its "available" tools should inflation drop further have fueled rallies across global markets, but Singapore investors preferred to take some money off the market after more than a week of consecutive gains.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 7.26 points to close at 3,323.02 points. Trading volume was 1.48 billion shares worth 853 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 235 to 177, while 532 stocks closed unchanged.
Among top actives, Otto Marine Limited rose 2.7 percent to 7.5 Singapore cents. It has secured charter contracts worth 57 million Australian dollars from with two oil companies for two of its vessels. The two vessels will be deployed in North West Coast of Australia and Darwin respectively. One of the vessels has already been working in Australia for two years. The two vessels were deployed in July and August 2014 respectively on long term contracts.
United Engineers Limited closed flat at 2.76 Singapore dollars. The construction and property firm said its subsidiary WBL Corporation was selling its automotive business to luxury car distributor StarChase Motorsports (Singapore) Private Limited for 455 million Singapore dollars. The sale was part of its plan to exit from non-core business operations.
Cordlife Group Limited rose 3.3 percent to 1.27 Singapore dollars. It reported full-year core net profit grew 13 percent to 7.6 million Singapore dollars. Revenue surged 41.5 percent as increased client deliveries from India, Indonesia and the Philippines offset lower Hong Kong contributions due to ban on China mainland mothers' deliveries.
Separately, Cordlife announced that it is acquiring China Cord Blood Corporation's 7 percent senior convertible note due October 3, 2017 for 44 million U.S. dollars. This will raise its interest in China's largest cord blood banking operator to 17.79 percent from 10.02 percent.
Among the top gainers, Singapore Airlines rose 1.2 percent to 10.08 Singapore dollars, whereas Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 0.8 percent to 59.76 U.S. dollars. (1 U. S. dollar equals to 1.075 Australian dollars and 1.25 Singapore dollars)