SINGAPORE, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.9 percent lower on Monday, as unusual bailout proposal for Cyprus, and Friday's halt to Wall Street's long winning streak dampened market sentiment.
Euro-zone finance ministers want Cypriots to pay up to 9.9 percent of their deposits in return for a 10 billion euro aid package. If approved by the island's parliament on Monday, it will be the first time savers have had to foot part of the bill for a European bailout, raising fears that the model could become a precedent for future bailouts in the euro-zone.
The government of Cyprus was working on a last-minute proposal to soften the impact on smaller savers of a bank deposit levy after a parliamentary vote on the measure central to a bailout was postponed until Monday. The originally proposed levies on deposits are 9.9 percent for those exceeding 100,000 euro and 6.7 percent on anything below that.
Meanwhile, U.S. stocks fell on Friday as a drop in shares of JPMorgan Chase led to the end of Dow Jones industrial average's 10- day rally.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index fell 29.58 points to 3,256.47 points. Trading volume was 2.80 billion shares worth 1.41 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 370 to 119, while 462 stocks did not move.
Sembcorp Marine dropped 1.1 percent to 4.49 Singapore dollars. The world's second largest builder of offshore oil rigs said its subsidiary PPL Shipyard has secured orders for two jack-up rigs worth 417 million U.S. dollars.
Singapore Airlines gained 2.2 percent to 10.88 Singapore dollars. It filled 69.2 percent of the available space on its planes in February, higher than the 66.6 percent a year earlier.
Singapore Telecommunications shed 0.3 percent to 3.57 Singapore dollars. It said it will conduct a strategic review of its Optus Satellite business in Australia to optimize value for shareholders. In a separate announcement, SingTel Pakistan Investments Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications, has completed the sale of its entire 30 percent stake in Warid Telecom to Warid Telecom Pakistan LLC.
Among top gainers, Goodpack jumped 6.6 percent to 1.70 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Strategic became one of the top losers by falling 3.1 percent to 39.60 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 0.772 euro and 1.25 Singapore dollars)