Singapore’s Biggest Stocks: How Have They Fared?

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) is made up some of the largest companies in Singapore’s stock market and these companies are popularly known as the blue chips. But, do bigger companies make better stocks?

Let’s take a look at the latest market summary from bourse operator Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68) for some clues. Published on Monday, the report summarises the performance of the top ten companies (by market cap) which are part of the Straits Times Index. Here are a few interesting points that I have noted from the report:

  1. The average return for the ten biggest blue chips was a negative 4.8% in 2015. Singapore’s largest bank by assets, DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05), was the one bringing up the rear with a negative 16.6% return. It is notable that the ten biggest companies did better on average than the Straits Times Index, which has a total of 30 component stocks. The Straits Times Index fell by 14.5% in 2015.
  2. The best performing company over the decade ended 2015, measured by share price appreciation, is Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34). The agri-business conglomerate has seen its shares soar by 292% over those past ten years.
  3. The ten-year returns for Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (SGX: C07) isn’t too shabby either. The vehicles distributor has seen its shares rise more than three-fold.
  4. Of course, there were laggards as well. Singapore Airlines Ltd (SGX: C6L), a $13 billion market cap company, saw its share price at end-2015 linger below where it was a decade ago. However, the report by Singapore Exchange did note that Singapore Airlines has paid out gross dividends of $6 per share in the past decade, giving it a return of over 50% in total in that time frame.
  5. Speaking of dividends, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74), the largest telecommunications firm in Singapore, is the company with the best dividend yield. The company offered a 4.8% yield and is the Straits Times Index’s largest company with a $68.5 billion market cap at the end of 2015.

Looking back helps us understand how the companies have fared over the past decade and gives us a clue on which company might be worth following. This may give us a head-start on our investing homework that follows.

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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 Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.