Investing Overseas through the Straits Times Index

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When we talk about investing in the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), we might think of it as a proxy with which we can invest in the Singapore economy. But, there are actually quite a number of the index’s 30 constituents that are mainly operating outside of Singapore. Let’s look at some of them.

1) Noble Group (SGX: N21)

Noble Group is a SGD 6.5 billion global supply chain company. It has operations spanning the globe and assets that deal with agriculture and energy products, metals, minerals, and ores.  It is a diversified global company, with an asset base that spreads over six continents.

2) Golden Agri-Resources (SGX: E5H)

Golden Agri-Resources is one of the largest oil palm plantation operators in the world. With more than 450,000 hectares of planted area, it is able to supply crude palm oil (CPO) to customers all over the world. Most of its plantations are located in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producing nation.

In addition, Golden Agri has processing plants in both Indonesia and China to serve the respective local markets.

3) Jardine Cycle and Carriage (SGX: C07), Jardine Matheson Holdings (SGX: J36), and Jardine Strategic Holdings (SGX: J37)

All three companies are part of the Jardine Matheson Group, which has a history that dates back to 1832 in Canton, China.

Today, the group’s businesses include engineering and construction, transport services, restaurants, and IT services. In addition, the Jardine Matheson Group is also involved in insurance, automotive manufacturing and distribution, retailing, hotels, and property development.

The group’s various companies operate from Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Indonesia and many other places and they can be considered as a truly multinational conglomerate.

4) Thai Beverage Public Company (SGX: Y92)

Thai Beverage Public Company is the largest alcoholic beverage company in Thailand, with distilleries in both Asia and Europe. In addition, it also manufactures and distributes non-alcoholic beverages and frozen foods.

In August 2012, Thai Bev became the largest shareholder of Fraser and Neave (SGX: F99), a leading Singapore beverage, property and printing company. Although Thai Bev’s business activities reside mainly in Thailand, it exports its products throughout the world.

Foolish Bottom Line

Most of the companies in The Straits Times Index have businesses outside of Singapore. So, by investing in The Straits Time Index, we are actually getting a more global portfolio than its status as ‘Singapore’s stock market barometer’ might suggest.

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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 Stanley Lim doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.