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Let’s Take a Look at What Great Investors Do

Here at the Motley Fool Singapore, we’ve been touting that looking at what great investors are doing is akin to a top scoring classmate sharing with you his or her study tips. Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and business partner Charlie Munger also offers similar advice for successful investing: “Carefully look at what other great investors have done.” In past articles, we’ve looked at US investors Ken Fisher, George Soros, and even Warren Buffet himself. Today, we look a little closer to home – Hugh Young in Singapore.

Hugh Young is recognised as one of the best fund managers in Asia. His Aberdeen Asia Pacific Fund has returned a cumulative 71% from 31 Jan 08 to 31 Jan 13, compared to the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan benchmark’s cumulative return of 52% over the same time period.

In Aberdeen Asia Pacific Fund, there are 3 locally listed companies among its top 10 holdings. They are Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39), Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd (SGX: J37) and Singapore Technologies Engineering (SGX: S63). Let’s take a look at these three companies a little more closely.

OCBC, Singapore’s second largest bank by total assets, recently saw its full year net profit jump by 73% to S$3.99 billion, and at current prices of around $10 per share, has a dividend yield of 3.3%. The bank’s wealth management services saw great growth as revenue from that segment grew by 43% to S$1.84 billion, up from S$1.29 billion a year ago.

The private banking business of OCBC also saw strong growth as its assets under management grew by 35% on a yearly basis to US$43 billion. CEO Samuel Tsien commented that OCBC is still ‘well positioned to continue to drive sustainable growth in our key geographies and businesses, and are well-placed to pursue new opportunities’.

Next, we look at ST Engineering, an aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine engineering firm. The company saw a 9% increase in full year earnings per share from 17.28 cents to 18.76 cents. Dividends per share also increased from 15.50 cents to 16.80 cents for a current dividend yield of about 4%. The company’s order book looks strong, at slightly above $12 b at the end of December 2012, and it currently holds a cash and equivalents balance of $2.1 b.

Last in line is Jardine Strategic Holdings. Jardine is the holding company for luxury hotelier Mandarin Oriental (SGX: M04) and leading pan-Asian retailer Dairy Farm (SGX: D01). The company saw its half-yearly revenue grow by 10%, while underlying earnings per share increased by 1%. The company believes that analysing its underlying earnings per share would provide ‘additional insight into underlying business performance’ as compared to just looking at the traditional earnings per share. Jardine Strategic has also paid out interim dividends per share of 7.00 US cents on 10 Oct 2012.

Looking at the holdings of great investors can be a great place to generate good investment ideas. But, as Foolish investors, we should always conduct our own research and determine for ourselves if each investment idea can fit our objectives and goals. Here at The Motley Fool Singapore, we aim to bring you more ‘study methods’ from Singapore and around the world to help you invest better. Click here now for your FREE subscription to Take Stock Singapore, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Written by David Kuo, Take Stock Singapore tells you exactly what’s happening in today’s markets, and shows how you can GROW your wealth in the years ahead. 

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Contributor Chong Ser Jing doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.