Six Exceptional STI Dividend Payers

Ser Jing - One Interesting Bank Chart (pic)The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) comprises 30 of the largest companies in Singapore. Within the group are seven companies that have either maintained or raised their dividend payout since 2000. Of the seven blue chips, six have increased their payout by 10% or more over the 12 years.

Industrial conglomerate Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) is a standout. It has lifted its payout to shareholders from 5.9 Singapore cents in 2000 to 45 Singapore cents last year, which equates to an annual increase of 18%. Keppel Corp, whose history dates back to 1859, also boasts one of the highest Returns on Equity (RoE) in the market.

SIA Engineering (SGX: S59) is another exceptional dividend hiker. Its payout has jumped from 3.1 Singapore cents 13 years ago to 21 Singapore cents in 2012. That’s an increase of 17% a year compounded. The award-winning airline-maintenance company was one of five stocks identified by SGX as the best-performing constituents of the Singapore benchmark index over the last 12 months.

Hong Kong’s most famous “hong”, Jardine Matheson Holdings (SGX: J36), has interests that extend into supermarkets, hotels, insurance, coal mining, palm oil, car showrooms and property development. Jardine Matheson’s dividends have grown from 26.5 US cents at the turn of the Millennium to US$1.35 last year. The 15% annual increase in payout makes it the third-fastest dividend grower amongst in the Straits Times Index since 2000.

The other three companies that have grown their dividends at a double-digit rates since 2000 are Singapore Technologies Engineering (SGX: S63), SingTel and Fraser & Neave.

The ability of a business to raise its dividend consistently and above the rate of inflation is a remarkable feat. It can be a sign of a company with pricing power; a company that can generate cash and a company that knows how to make good use of its assets.

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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 Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.