Make a quick guess for the following questions. How many companies are listed in Singapore? What percentage of listed companies in our local market is actually based here?
The answer is 766 (as of 30 June 2014) for the former, and 62.4% for the latter. If you’re an investor in our local markets, these are not the only interesting – and important – things you should know about what goes on behind scenes at the stock exchanges run by Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68).
Countries of origin
Of the 766 companies listed in Singapore, 478 of them are based here. Interestingly, the second largest group are companies which originate from China. They are collectively known as the S-Chips and there are currently 131 of them. A few of the larger S-Chips include Yanlord Land Group Limited (SGX: Z25) and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6). In fact, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding is large enough to be on the reserve list of the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI). In other words, it’s one of the few candidates which are next-in-line to join Singapore’s market benchmark should any of the current 30 constituents be removed for whatever reason.
In Singapore’s market, there are also unique companies such as Sarine Technologies Ltd (SGX: U77), a diamond technology outfit from Israel, and Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd (SGX: Z59), an investment holding company from Myanmar. These two are the sole representatives from their respective countries of origin among all the other listed entities in the SGX.
For investors who are only comfortable investing in large cap companies because there’s a perception that they are more stable, you might not have many choices: There are only 21 companies listed in Singapore that have a market capitalisation above S$10 billion. All of them are current constituents of the Straits Times Index. The list includes companies such as DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05), the largest bank in Southeast Asia, and Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74), one of the largest telecommunication outfits in the region.
If we stretch our criteria of “large cap” companies to be those which have a market value of more than S$1 billion, that will widen our choices considerably to 116 companies. That’s some 15% of all the listed companies in Singapore.
Although the statistics above would change as more and more companies get listed in Singapore (not to mention the changes that can be brought about due to daily market fluctuations), having an idea of the basic composition of Singapore’s share market can help better align your expectations with reality as a Singapore-based investor.
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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.