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Year in Review: The Straits Times Index’s Biggest Winners for 2017

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), which tracks the performance of the 30 largest and most liquid companies listed in Singapore, ended the year at 3402.9 points, rising 18.1% for 2017. This marked the biggest annual gain since 2012.

Of the 30 Straits Times Index components, 23 ended 2017 with gains while seven clocked losses.

The top three winners in the Straits Times Index in 2017 were Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6), Global Logistic Properties Ltd (SGX: MC0), and City Developments Limited (SGX: C09). You can find the top three losers here.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Yangzijiang, which went public in April 2007, is the largest China-based company in Singapore’s stock market. It is a leading shipbuilder in China in terms of manufacturing capability and capacity.

For the nine months ended 30 September 2017, the shipbuilder’s revenue grew 34% year-on-year to RMB12.85 billion while its net profit almost doubled to RMB2.25 billion. The recovery in the shipbuilding market, especially in the dry carrier segment, helped to buoy Yangzijiang’s profitability. As of 30 September 2017, the company had an outstanding order book of US$4.3 billion for 103 vessels.

Ren Yuanlin, the executive chairman of Yangzijiang, said in the earnings release:

“While uncertainties remain in the shipbuilding market, there are certain factors that would support the long-term demand for shipbuilding, including that seaborne trade will remain a dominant part in international trade, the growth of e-commerce, China’s Belt and Road initiative, and International Maritime Organization rules and regulations on vessel emission standards.”

Global Logistic Properties’s shares will be suspended from trading from 5 January 2018 (9:00 am) onward after the proposed acquisition of the company by Nesta Investment Holdings was sanctioned by the Singapore High Court in December 2017. The final day of trading of the shares will be on 4 January. Nesta Investment, a Chinese consortium, will be acquiring the company for a price of S$3.38 per share in cash. This values Global Logistic Properties, a provider of modern logistics facilities, at around S$16 billion.

One of the biggest news that emerged in 2017 for City Developments was the buyout of its London-listed subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C).

City Developments announced in December 2017 that it has put forward a final offer to acquire the remaining shares of M&C that it does not own. As of 7 December 2017, City Developments held a stake of 65.2% in M&C. The offer is a revision from the possible offer that was first announced in October 2017.

Shareholders of M&C will receive an increased cash amount of 600 pence (previously 545 pence) per share, and an improved special dividend of 20 pence (previously 7.5 pence) per share. The improved offer came after the previous offer was met with heavy criticism by minority investors in M&C, who argued that the offer did not reflect the value of the hotelier’s property portfolio.

As for City Development’s financial performance in 2017, for the first nine months of the year, it saw its revenue tumble 8.7%. Its net profit fell even more – by 14.2% to S$351.5 million. Looking ahead, the property giant said that it is positive about the real estate market in Singapore, which continues to show improved fundamentals. City Developments also added that it would be focusing on new acquisitions and investments, both in Singapore and overseas.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which can be taken as a proxy for the Straits Times Index, was valued at 11.1 times trailing earnings and had a dividend yield of 2.9%, as at 29 December 2017.

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Editor's Note: The table has been corrected due to errors in the price change in percentage. We apologise for the errors.

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns units in SPDR STI ETF.