A Mini Tour of Singapore’s Largest Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing makes up a good part of the Singapore stock market. But, just what is manufacturing?

It is actually a broad category, covering anything from companies that make solar panels to medicines or oil rigs. A recent report provided some insights on Singapore’s largest manufacturing companies and their three-year stock returns.

Here’re some highlights from the report (figures as of 18 July 2016 at 2:00 pm, unless otherwise stated):

  1. There are at least 200 stocks listed in Singapore with links to manufacturing. This is a sizable number, as the Singapore stock market had 763 companies listed at the end of June 2016.
  2. The report shared the five largest and most actively traded manufacturing-related companies in the Singapore stock market (the stocks mentioned below belong to this list). Four of the five are also components of the local market barometer, the Straits Times Index  (SGX: STI).
  3. Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SGX: Y92) has a market cap of almost $24 billion. At the end of 2015, the beverage manufacturer had 18 distilleries, three breweries, and 10 non-alcohol beverage production facilities. Thai Beverage shares have an impressive annual total return of 23% over the last three years.    
  4. Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34) manufactures consumer products, specialty fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel, fertilizer, and more. It has over 500 manufacturing plants around the world. The integrated agribusiness firm has recorded a total annual return of 5.1% over the last three years.
  5. Sembcorp Marine Ltd (SGX: S51) is up next. The company is a manufacturer of oil rigs and floaters and offshore platforms. The oil and gas operator has a market cap of around $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, Sembcorp Marine’s shares have a negative annual total return of 27% over the last three years.
  6. Then, we have Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6). The company is in the business of manufacturing commercial vessels such as container ships, bulk carriers, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels. Yangzijiang has a market cap of $3.5 billion. Shares of the shipbuilder have recorded an annualised total return of 6% over the past three years.
  7. The first four companies mentioned belong to the Straits Times Index. The last of the quintet is Venture Corporation Ltd (SGX: V03), an electronics services provider. The contract manufacturer is headquartered in Singapore and employs over 12,000 staff. Venture Corporation has provided a total annualised return of 13.9% over the last three years.

As we’ve seen, manufacturing companies can be in very different businesses and have very different types of returns over a multi-year period. This is an indication of how manufacturing companies can have businesses that differ in their level of sustainability and ability to grow.

As Foolish investors, we might want to put our thinking hats on to find the businesses which are sustainable and have the ability to grow 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 contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.