SINGAPORE: Singapore share prices closed at a new record high ON 15 February, boosted by a corporate tax cut and other pro-market measures in the government’s budget, dealers said.
The Straits Times Index closed up 70.28 points or 2.2 % at a new record high of 3,252.49, beating the previous record of 3,236.60 set on February 7.Volume traded was 2.05 billion shares valued at 2.02 billion dollars (1.32 billion US). Gainers edged losers 382 to 368, with 607 shares unchanged.
The budget announced a corporate tax cut of two percent to 18%, effective from the 2008 tax year in a bid to boost competitiveness.“The corporate tax cut will definitely help businesses with their margins ... it does help with regard to Singapore’s competitiveness,” CIMB-GK regional economist Song Seng Wun said.
Leading the gainers, Singapore Telecommunications rose 0.14 to 3.48, Singapore Airlines gained 0.40 to 17.20 and Singapore Press Holdings added 0.10 to 4.62.Banks were also higher, with DBS Group Holdings up 0.40 at 22.90 after reporting its 2006 net profit climbed 32 percent to a record 2.18 billion dollars.United Overseas Bank rose 0.70 to 20.70 and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp gained 0.20 to 8.75.
Among property stocks, Keppel Land rose 0.65 at 8.70 and City Developments climbed 0.40 at 14.50. CapitaLand was 0.05 lower at 7.40 a day after reporting that net profit in 2006 rose an annual 35.6 percent to a record 1.02 billion Singapore dollars.Among technology counters, Chartered Semiconductor put on 0.03 to 1.47, STATS ChipPAC climbed 0.02 to 1.30 and Venture Corp advanced 0.20 to 13.00.
Genting International slipped 0.015 to 0.875 after its sister company Star Cruises said it was reviewing the structure of a deal with Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho.Thai Beverage dropped 0.005 to 0.265.