SINGAPORE (Nikkei Markets) -- Singapore shares rose Tuesday, helped by gains in Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. ahead of earnings and after its insurance arm reported second-quarter profit more than doubled. Malaysia stocks were little changed.
OCBC advanced 1.3% after insurance unit Great Eastern Holdings said second-quarter net profit more-than-doubled to S$279.5 million ($205 million), helped by strong contributions from agencies and bancassurance business. The lender reports June quarter earnings before the market opens Thursday.
Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index advanced 0.5% to 3,327.83. Most interest rate sensitive developers rose ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting that starts later Tuesday. City Developments added 2.5% and CapitaLand rose 0.8%.
Sia Engineering was the day's top loser, slipping 4.5% ahead of its earnings announcement. After market hours, the company reported a more than 80% slump in first-quarter profit.
SATS declined 2.8%. Late Friday, the ground handling and in-flight catering service provider reported a 10.6% decline in first-quarter net profit.
Frasers Centrepoint Trust ended unchanged at $2.14 after third-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) fell 1.3% to three Singapore cents and total unit holders' distribution declined 1% at S$27.7 million. Gross revenues declined by 3.3%.
Frasers Commercial Trust added 1%. Its DPU fell 0.4% in the third quarter and gross revenues declined 0.6%.
AsiaPhos, a phosphate rock mining company, advanced 1.7% after saying it expects higher revenue and net profit for the second quarter and first half of this fiscal year, mainly due to higher sales volume and higher average selling prices of white phosphorus.
Mapletree Logistics Trust rose 1.2% after reporting a 7% increase in first-quarter gross revenues and a 2% rise in DPU.
Construction engineering company MMP Resources plunged 25% after saying it expects a net loss in the second quarter due to outstanding fund raising fees, litigation expenses, and cost of construction and development of assets in Japan.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI ended higher by less than 0.1% at 1,763.34.
"We expect trading tone to be cautious over the next two days ahead of the Fed meeting," said Loui Low Ley Yee, an analyst at Hong Leong Investment Bank.
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of the two-day meeting on Wednesday. The tone for global markets following the outcome will hinge on the Fed's cues about when it intends to start the tapering of its balance sheet.
Public Bank, Malaysia's third-largest lender by assets, rose 0.2% after its net profit in the second quarter rose 6% on account of higher net interest income, lower loan impairment allowance and higher net fee and commission income. Quarterly net interest income rose 8.4% while the net fee and commission income increased by 14%.
Among Tuesday's notable movers on the KLCI, Genting Malaysia advanced 1.3% while Astro Malaysia Holdings lost 1.6%.
Bursa Malaysia Technology index rose 1%, tracking an overnight Nasdaq rally and Broadcom's plan to transfer its Global Distribution Hub from Singapore to Malaysia by 2017. The new hub will manage the group's global inventory of 64 billion ringgit ($14.9 billion) a year, Malaysia's Prime Minister reportedly said at conference today.
--Nimesh Vora and Kevin Lim