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Reports Singapore

Singapore stock market and companies daily report (Keppel Corp, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Rickmers Maritime) (April 23, 2013)

April 23, 2013, Tuesday, 04:49 GMT | 00:49 EST | 09:19 IST | 11:49 SGT
Contributed by Shares Investment

Keppel Corp In JV To Harvest Mineral-Rich Seabed Rocks
Keppel Corporation’s (Keppel Corp) wholly-owned subsidiary Ocean Mineral Singapore Holding (OMS Holding) has entered into a joint venture agreement with UK Seabed Resouces and Lion City Capital Partners to explore for polymetallic nodules several kilometres beneath the ocean’s surface. Polymetallic nodules contain copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese, as well as rare earth minerals, and have the potential of supplying these key metals to meet growing global demand in applications as diverse as construction, aerospace and alternative energy. The joint venture company will be called Ocean Mineral Singapore (OMS). OMS Holding will own 78.1 percent interest in the shares of OMS.
Significance: While harvesting polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor at depths of several kilometres has previously been considered uneconomic, KepCorp stated that the development of new technologies for the offshore oil industry and aerospace industry over the past decade has changed this dynamic.

MCT’s FY13 DPU Exceeds Forecast By 19.7%
Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) posted distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.737 cents for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2013, beating its forecast of 1.449 cents by 19.9 percent. The improvement was mas contributed by a 21.6 percent jump in gross revenue to $60.7 million and a 23.4 percent jump in net property income to $44.2 million. For the full year, DPU rose 23.1 percent to 6.487 cents. MCT had in FY13 raised close to $900 million of equity, notes and bank facilities to fund acquisitions and refinance existing debt. With the issuance of the $70m 8-year notes on 12 April 2013, the average term to maturity of MCT’s debt has been extended to 3.5 years, up from 2.4 years at the end of the previous financial year. As at 31 March 2013, MCT’s market capitalisation grew about 70 percent from IPO to $2.8 billion.
Significance: According to the valuation conducted by DTZ Debenham, MCT’s portfolio as at 31 March 2013 was valued at $3,831.2 million. This includes Mapletree Anson, valued at $687 million, which was acquired on 4 February 2013. MCT’s net asset value per unit increased to $1.06 from $0.95 as at 31 March 2012.

Rickmers Maritime’s 1Q13 Earnings Jump 30.3% To US$10.7m
Rickmers Maritime posted a 30.3 percent jump in earnings to US$10.7 million for the first quarter ended 31 March 2013. On the other hand, the firm reported revenue of US$35.5 million, relatively unchanged from US$35.7 million reported in the same quarter of 2012. This improvement was mainly contributed by lower finance expenses, of which US$1.9 million was due to reduced outstanding loan balances and interest rate swap contracts, and US$0.7 million was attributable to a decrease in fair value losses on interest rate swaps. For the three months ended 31 March 2013, Rickmers Maritime achieved a utilisation rate of 99.7 percent. An interim dividend of 0.60 US cents per share has been proposed by the firm for the aforesaid quarter.
Significance: A significant amount of new ships, primarily very large container ships in excess of 10,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent), will be delivered during the next twelve months. Moving forward, the firm expects the trade growth in 2013 to reach 6.1 percent. Downside risks are high oil prices and continued uncertainty in the global economy, especially in the Eurozone.