Singapore’s Last-16 World Cup Stunners

FootballIt is hard to believe that it has been almost four years since the last World Cup in South Africa. But as this year’s football competition enters its next phase – the last 16 – there is all to play for, as a defeat now would mean the team catching the next flight home.

The 2014 World Cup has produced some quite surprising results. Who would have thought that the USA would progress to the knock-out stages at the expense of Portugal? And who would have imagined that Spain – the current holders – would be taking an early bath?

It just goes to show that nothing about the World Cup can ever be taken for granted. The same, it could be said, goes for the Singapore stock market too.

Since the last World Cup, the Singapore market, as measured by the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) has risen by an unspectacular 3% a year. But when dividends are included, the total annual return is a not-too-disappointing 6%.

Over the same period, the market has produced a crop of quite outstanding performers. Here are 16 of the best.

Amongst the blue chips, no fewer than 10 companies have delivered double-digit total annual returns. They include four from the Jardine family of companies, namely, Jardine Matheson Holdings, Jardine Strategic Holdings, Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Hongkong Land.

But the stars of the blue chips are Thai Beverage (SGX: Y92), SingTel, StarHub and ComfortDelGro (SGX: C52). Over the last 48 months, the four large caps have delivered total returns of between 17% and 26%. Put another way, S$1,000 invest in ComfortDelGro in July 2010 would have turned into S$1,900 today. And a similar investment in Thai Beverage would be worth over S$2,500 after four years.

The performance amongst the mid-caps has been better. No fewer than two dozen of those companies have produced annual total returns of more than 10%. They include a host of property-related companies such as Keppel REIT, CapitaCommercial Trust (SGX: C61U), Suntec REIT and ARA Asset Management.

Away from the real estate sector, Raffles Medical Group  has seen the valued of its shares increase 2.3 times on a divided-adjusted basis, while comfy-hair maker Osim International (SGX: O23)shares have trebled on a similar measure. Meanwhile, Fragrance Group and Ezion Holdings have delivered total returns of 48% and 41% respectively.

Over the last four years, the Singapore market has been a hotbed of activity. However, the same can’t be said of the market right now. Currently, Singapore shares appear to be suffering from a bad case of ennui. But one thing I have learnt over the years is that it is never a good idea to underestimate the ability of a sleepy stock market to deliver pleasant surprises over the long term.

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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.