The Week In Numbers: Al-Desko or Alfresco?

Just 3-1/2 hours. That was how long the opening of the Singapore stock market was delayed by on Wednesday morning. But that was enough to tip some people over the edge. Lest we forget, it was only three years’ ago that the Singapore market used to close for 1-1/2 hours every day for lunch. Yes it did. But these days it is more about al-desko rather than alfresco dining.

Magnus Bocker, the head of Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68) explained that a software update two days earlier had resulted in wrong data being reported to brokers. Let this be a timely reminder to all us computer users. When it comes to electronics, the only truism is: “If it can go wrong, it probably will go wrong, one day”. So don’t forget to back up your data regularly. Save little and often, which should also be the maxim for investing in the stock market.

It seems that new shares listed this year have averaged total returns of 3.3%. For the comparable period last year it was 3.5%. So, there is barely the thickness of a cigarette paper between the returns for the two separate years. Of the 24 flotations, 10 generated a positive return and 12 were in the red.

Total returns, it should be said, can be a better way of measuring a stock’s performance because it includes both the change in the price of a share and any re-invested dividends. Of the 24 companies that floated this year, OUE Commercial REIT (SGX: TS0U) and TalkMed (SGX: 5G3) are some of those that have rewarded shareholders with payouts.

Things are looking a little rosier for Singapore’s manufacturers. The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was a respectable 51.8. Anything above 50 should be considered good. But some economists are not convinced that Singapore’s economy is safely out of the woods yet. They point to the dismal PMI numbers elsewhere in Asia. These include the numbers from Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia, and China.

There are some who have money, some who have lots of money and some who just have far too money. Apparently two units at Seven Palms Sentosa Cove were sold for a record price of more than S$4,100 per square foot. The combined cost of the two upmarket properties works out at S$28.5m. The price per square foot paid for the beach apartments beats the previous record paid by Australian miner Gina Rinehart by about S$100 a square foot.

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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.