Singapore shares set to end Feb on a high, ThaiBev soars
SINGAPORE Feb 28 (Reuters) - Singapore's stockmarket eased slightly on Friday, in line with the broader Asian market, but still looked set to snap three consecutive months of declines, with Thai Beverage shares soaring to a 5-month high.
The benchmark Straits Times index slipped 0.2 percent to 3,090.3 points as of 0508 GMT. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent.
But the index still appeared on track to rise 2.1 percent in February, its biggest monthly gain since September.
Thai Beverage Pcl soared as much as 10.8 percent to a 5-month high of S$0.57 following upbeat quarterly results. It was the top traded stock on the index, with 51.8 million shares changing hands, more than four times its average full-day 30-day trading volume.
ThaiBev posted a 33 percent decrease in 2013 full year net profit. But its spirits business posted a 3.2 percent increase in net profit and net loss on beer sales narrowed by 64.4 percent, despite the tax hike on alcohol introduced in September.
"Quarter on quarter, it was a very good performance," CIMB analyst Kenneth Ng said. "There was no negative effect on volumes because the channel had not stocked up prior to the price hike."
The worst performer on the index, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd fell 3.54 percent to an intra-day low of S$0.545. Malaysian palm oil futures ended lower on Thursday as investors booked profits after the previous day's gains.
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