2015 Review For The Singapore Stock Market: Property Companies

We are nearing the end of 2015. For many investors in Singapore, it has been a year of pain and hardship.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which tracks the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), has seen its net asset value per unit fall 14% from S$3.408 at end-2014 to S$2.93 yesterday.

How have companies in different industries fared this year? Let’s have a look at major property companies listed in Singapore to find out the biggest winners and losers for 2015.

The business of real estate

The property market in Singapore was unexciting for the most of 2015.

In the third-quarter of the year, private property prices recorded an eighth straight quarter of declines. In June, private property sales volumes were reported to have fallen by half. Some investors also predicted in the same month that real estate prices would fall further. Additionally, the government still believes that it’s too early to lift property cooling measures here.

In all, there seems to be very little for investors to be optimistic about in the real estate market.

Yet, not all property companies in Singapore have experienced a bad year. We can see this in the performance of five major real estate companies in Singapore’s stock market, namely CapitaLand Limited (SGX: C31)City Developments Limited  (SGX: C09)Hongkong Land Holdings Limited (SGX: H78)Frasers Centrepoint Ltd (SGX: TQ5) and UOL Group Limited (SGX: U14).

Of the five, three have actually generated positive total returns for their investors from 1 January 2015 to 28 December 2015. You can see this in the graph below.

property SGX
Source: S&P Capital IQ (YTD = year to date)

Frasers Centrepoint tops the list with a 4.5% total return. Operationally, the company seems to be doing well and has recorded growing revenue and profits when compared to 2014.

City Developments is the worst loser. It has suffered a terrible year, with a 24.3% decline.  The company saw its revenue fall 38.8% year-on-year in third-quarter of 2015.

Foolish Summary

Although the stock market performance of companies over a single year is often too short to fully reflect their fundamentals, it is still interesting to note the wide difference in performance between companies that are operating in the same industry.

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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 writer Stanley Lim owns shares in Frasers Centrepoint Limited.