SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Shares of Sembcorp Marine outperformed the market on Thursday after winning $1.08 billion worth of contracts to build drillships for offshore drilling company Transocean, while the wider Singapore index also edged up despite Asia's sluggish start.
Shares of Sembcorp Marine Ltd rose as much as 2 percent to an intra-day high of S$4.11, putting it on track for its biggest daily gain in three weeks.
Brokerage Maybank Kim Eng maintained its "buy" rating on the stock with a target price of S$5.04.
"We see the order wins as a very positive development for Sembcorp Marine," the brokerage said in a research note.
"Although there are execution risks as it ventures into building of drillships in Brazil, they also present opportunities for Sembcorp Marine to enter the drillship market."
Shares of Sembcorp Industries jumped 1.1 percent to an intra-day high of S$5.50, their highest in more than seven weeks. Sembcorp Industries on Wednesday posted a 9.3 percent increase in its fourth-quarter net profit.
The benchmark Straits Times index rose nearly 0.3 percent to 3096.7 as of 0326 GMT on Thursday, despite other Asian stock markets putting in a sluggish performance amid escalating tensions in Ukraine. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were almost flat.
Golden Agri-Resources Ltd also outperformed the market, rising as much as 3.7 percent to an intra-day high of S$0.56. About 34.6 million shares changed hands as of 0335 GMT, more than 1.1 times its average full-day 30-day trading volume.
Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday on concerns over dry weather hurting production in Southeast Asia.