Stock Call: OCBC Keeps Buy Rating on Neptune Orient Lines

[LEFT]0659 GMT 4 July [Dow Jones] STOCK CALL: Lower fuel prices and higher freight rates should spell a turnaround for NOL (N03.SG), OCBC says. It notes 2Q12 bunker fuel prices are down 11% on-quarter, providing the beleaguered container-shipping sector much-needed relief, while the Shanghai (Export) Containerized Freight Index in 2Q12 averaged 31% higher on-quarter. It says NOL’s plan to sell its Singapore headquarters building would better allocate capital in its core business, while reports the company plans to lay off up to 400 employees world-wide indicate efforts to achieve cost savings. It keeps a Buy call with S$1.35 fair value. But OCBC notes, “while eastbound transpacific shipping demand remains strong, the outlook for Asia-Europe routes is still bleak and is unlikely to see a strong peak shipping season this year.” The stock is up 1.7% at S$1.17.

  • Leslie Shaffer, Dow Jones Newswires[/LEFT]