Shares of Keppel Corp. experienced a significant boost on Friday as investors celebrated the company’s higher-than-expected dividend and its exposure to Keppel REIT units. The shares were recently trading at SGD 7.14, up 2.6%, reaching their highest intraday level since June 16.
Keppel Corp., known for its rig-building business, reported a remarkable surge in net profit for the first half of the year. Compared to the previous year’s SG$497.5 million, the company’s net profit skyrocketed to SG$3.63 billion, largely due to a gain of SG$3.3 billion from the sale of its offshore and marine business.
Brandon Lee, an analyst at Citigroup, expressed his positive view on Keppel Corp.’s proposal to distribute a special dividend in specie. Under this proposal, Keppel shareholders will receive one Keppel REIT unit for every five Keppel shares held. Lee described this move as a “pleasant surprise” and highlighted that it further demonstrates Keppel’s intention to become an asset manager and expand its monetization efforts beyond physical assets.
Lee also noted that Keppel Corp. believes the second half of 2023 will offer more attractive investment opportunities, leading to a potential acceleration in divestments and acquisitions. Furthermore, during an analyst briefing, Keppel’s Chief Executive Loh Chin Hua announced the company’s goal to monetize SG$10 billion to SG$12 billion by 2026.
Overall, investors are optimistic about Keppel Corp.’s future prospects, buoyed by its robust financial performance and strategic initiatives.