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3 Things You Should Know About Jardine Strategic Holdings

200px-Jardine_Matheson_Holdings_logo.svgAccording to a friend of mine, Singapore’s favourite topics of conversation are, in no particular order: food, property prices, food, shopping, food, and car prices/current COE level. Oh, and did I mention food?

But one blue chip that (perhaps coincidentally) supports my friend’s theory is Jardine Strategic Holdings (JSH) (SGX: J37).

Another giant in the complicated conglomerate known as the Jardine Matheson Group, this stock holding company has substantial interests in its other group members, including a 78% holding in Dairy Farm International Holdings Pte (SGX: D01) the giant grocery retailer that runs supermarkets Cold Storage, Giant, Jason’s Market Place, and Shop’n’Save.

What’s more, JSH also has a 78% stake in the auto group Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07) and a 50% holding in property investment group, Hongkong Land (SGX: H78).

So that’s food, cars and property covered, at least.

Incidentally, it also owns 74% of the hotel group Mandarin Oriental, a share of Jardine Matheson (SGX: J36) and retailers Guardian and 7-Eleven. Plus it operates numerous supermarkets throughout the rest of Asia, giving great geographic diversity.

But did you know…

  1. Dairy Farm began life as a cold storage warehouse in 19th century Hong Kong. Sir Patrick Manson, a Scottish surgeon, and five other businessmen decided to breed imported cows locally, in order to provide the community with affordable, disease-free milk.
  2. Cold Storage was the first company to bring ice cream to Singapore – and by the late 1960s had set up the popular Magnolia Milk Bar at its store on Orchard Road (now the Centrepoint Shopping Centre).
  3. Jardine Strategic has one of the highest share prices in the Straits Times Index at around S$50.38 (US$40.02) each. Although, it doesn’t come close to Jardine Matheson, at around S$83.86 (US$66.63) per share!

While you may balk at Jardine Strategic’s high share price, it’s worth noting that in 10 years this price has increased by more than 1490% from US$2.55. Not bad when you consider the Straits Times Index has only risen by 170%.

It can also, like Jardine Matheson Holdings (SGX: J36) boast about consistency – its shareholders have enjoyed almost 10 year’s of unbroken dividend growth.

Whether or not Jardine Strategic Holdings agrees with my friend’s theory regarding hot topics of conversation in Singapore, it will no doubt be keen for us to keep buying the goods.

The thing to remember is that whilst City scribblers in the West in the 90s were clamouring for conglomerates to be dismantled, and many of them did, the Hongs of the East stuck to their guns. In the case of Jardine, its Noonday gun! Thank goodness it did because it is a good example of how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.

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