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In Singapore, it's not margin calls brokerages worry about

Brokerage heads do not foresee a significant jump in forced selling or contra losses even if the market takes a turn for the worst, as high rollers are dwindling in number and simply more cautious than they used to be.
In fact, margin calls are the furthest concern for stockbroking firms here today, as retail participation in the Singapore market stays muted, whether share prices are falling, rising, or going nowhere at all.
Kenny Lo, Maybank Kim Eng's head of retail brokerage Singapore and regional head of products and services, told The Business Times: "Retail interest in the Singapore market has been declining and has hit multi-year lows this year. As a result, there has been a gradual decline in contra trading."
Besides, the house has risk management and credit policies in place to manage market volatility, he said.
Esmond Choo, senior executive director at UOB Kay Hian, agreed: "Contra trading generally thrives in bull market conditions. Under bear market cond…

SGX, investors should get ready now for next upturn in shipping cycle

Some market watchers were surprised when South Korea's dry bulk play Polaris Shipping indicated in September it is looking to pursue a public listing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). One trade journal deemed Singapore as "an unconventional choice", considering Polaris Shipping may enjoy greater liquidity if it floats on its home exchange.
Yet, while shipping stocks aren't actively traded in Singapore, they aren't hot elsewhere either. Stock valuations in the broader maritime sector have generally languished amid a protracted sector-wide downturn, afflicting both the conventional shipping and offshore and marine (O&M) segments.
In Singapore, the market capitalisations of shipping and offshore counters are mostly well below S$1 billion. SGX data shows that the combined market cap of a dozen listed shipping counters worked out to just US$3.9 billion and that of 35 offshore services counters stood at only US$2.4 billion as at Oct 5.
The soft shipping equity mark…

Control of Innopac changes hand after S$8.4m placement

INNOPAC Holdings on Tuesday announced an S$8.4 million stock placement that will result in a change of control, as well as a related disposal of five subsidiaries and a S$2.5 million secured loan facility.
The investment holding company said it will place 8.4 billion new shares at 0.1 Singapore cent apiece to 11 individual investors. The new shares will represent about 65 per cent of Innopac's enlarged share capital.
The largest investors in the placement are Choo Beng Kai, managing director of Malaysian investment holding company Masmeyer Holdings, and Lim Soon Huat, executive chairman of Malaysia-listed Asia File Corp.
Mr Choo will hold a 19.4 per cent stake in Innopac after the placement, and Mr Lim will control a 15.6 per cent interes. They will together be considered the new controlling shareholders of the company.
Of the S$7.95 milion in net proceeds, Innopac will use about S$3.95 million to develop existing investments, new business investments and acquisitions; S$1.5 mill…

MAS slaps 5-year prohibition order on former CIMB banker for insider trading

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a five-year prohibition order against a former vice-president of CIMB Bank Bhd, Alan Tay Yeow Kee, for insider trading, it said on Tuesday.
In 2011, Mr Tay arranged for another person to purchase on his behalf the shares of two listed companies, Qualitas Medical Group Ltd and Leeden Ltd. Mr Tay did this while in possession of "non-public and price sensitive" information that both companies had received takeover offers. He had obtained the inside information by virtue of his position in CIMB.
Mr Tay made a profit of around S$30,000 from the shares purchased with the privileged information.
In May 2017, Mr Tay was convicted on three charges under the Securities and Futures Act for insider trading. Three other charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing. He was fined S$180,000.
Under the prohibition order, Mr Tay will be prohibited from carrying out any regulated activities and from taking part in the…

MAS joining the dots on illicit fund flows with data analytics

Regulator also flags risks of financial exclusion as some ex-offenders being denied banking services
ONLY connect.
This perhaps sums up the potential behind the use of data analytics and information-sharing within the financial industry in combating financial crime, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) looking to ramp up efforts in this area.
Speaking at a financial crime seminar held by the Association of Banks in Singapore, Ho Hern Shin, MAS' assistant managing director of the banking and insurance group, said the regulator has applied data analytics to the suspicious transaction reports (STRs), of which there are more than 25,000 annually. These STRs are flagged by the financial institutions due to suspicions over illicit fund flows.
"Applying data analytics to this data set has enabled us to identify suspicious fund-flow networks, and focus our supervisory attention on networks of higher-risk accounts, entities or activities," she said.
MAS will also glean…

Abterra suspends trading after SGX turns down request to delay AGM

Mineral and resources company Abterra was suspended from trading on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Monday morning, after its request for an extension on time to hold its annual general meeting was rejected by the bourse operator in a letter received on July 13.
Abterra had asked in April to push back the meeting deadline by four months, to Aug 31 at the latest, after Mazars LLP sought to resign as the company's statutory auditors while citing outstanding audit matters at a 51 per cent-owned Abterra subsidiary.
But the SGX "noted that sufficient time had passed since the announcement was made and there continues to be no certainty on the timeline" for the appointment of new auditors, the finalisation of audited statements for the year to end-Dec 2017, and the convening of the annual general meeting, Abterra's board of directors has now said.
The counter will remain suspended until the SGX is satisfied that the company is complying with the requirement to hold an ann…

Magnus Energy to place 2.53b new shares to raise S$2.28m

Magnus Energy is placing out 2.53 billion new shares at 0.09 Singapore cent apiece to four parties to raise S$2.28 million in cash.
The four individuals are Lee Thiam Seng, Ong Boon Tiong Daniel, Low Chin Yen and Liu Bin. According to the company's filing to the Singapore Exchange, they are "private investors who have expressed their interest in taking up new shares in the company for investment purposes".
The issue price represents a discount of approximately 10 per cent to the volume-weighted average price of S$0.001 for trades done on June 28, the last full market day with trade preceding the date on which the subscription agreement was signed.
Magnus Energy's rationale is to strengthen its financial and working capital position. The company intends to use the net proceeds for general working capital for corporate expenditures, and as funds for a microalgae oil cultivation project.
The shares represent approximately 20.05 per cent of the total number of issued sh…