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The Most Influential Family in Singapore’s Stock Market

There are close to 750 companies in the Singapore stock market. But only a select few are important enough to be part of Singapore’s Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI).

The STI is made up from 30 of the largest listed companies on the Singapore stock market. These companies come from a variety of industries and sectors. However, there is a group of companies, helmed by the Keswick family, that hold a significant influence over the the direction of the STI. Let’s take a look at the companies that fall under this select group (data as of the end of August 2018):

1) Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited (SGX: J36) is a British conglomerate with a dual listing in Singapore and London. The conglomerate is a diversified Asian-based group which was founded in China in 1832. Its business spans industries such as property, retailing, and luxury hotels to motor vehicles, engineering and construction, transport, and insurance broking. Jardine Matheson has a 6.3% weightage on the STI, and stands out as the largest among the Singapore-listed companies under the Keswick family. The conglomerate has a market capitalisation of US$44.5 billion, and a dividend yield of 2.6% at current prices. Over the past three years, shares delivered a total return 29.1% to investors. Jardine Matheson also owns 84% of Jardine Strategic Holdings Limited (SGX: J37), the next company that we will discuss.

2) Jardine Strategic is a holding company which owns stakes in most of the Jardine group of companies and its subsidiaries. It also owns a 58% stake in Jardine Matheson. Jardine Strategic weighs in with a 3.2% contribution to the STI. The last three years have seen Jardine Strategic deliver returns of 22.6% for shareholders, slightly behind Jardine Matheson. At current prices, Jardine Strategic has a market capitalisation of US$19.8 billion, and offers a dividend yield of 0.9%.

3) The third company from the Jardine family is Hongkong Land Holdings Limited (SGX: H78). Hongkong Land is a real estate developer and owner. It owns a staggering 856,000 sq.m. of prime office and luxury retail properties in key Asian City, and has 8.5 million square-meters of developable area in seven countries. Hongkong Land’s weightage on the index stands at 3.9%, and shares has returned just 5% to investors over the past three years. At current prices, the property developer has a market capitalisation of US$15.8 billion and a yield of around 3%.

4) The last company which is part of the Jardine family is Jardine Cycle&Carriage Ltd (SGX: C07). Jardine C&C has a majority interest in Indonesia’s Astra International, and a strong automotive presence through its direct motor business as well as other business in refrigeration, and cement. In Singapore, Jardine C&C is the retailer for Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Kia, Citroen, DS and Maxus motor vehicles. The company has a market capitalisation of S$12.3 billion, and pays a dividend of 3.8% at current prices. Jardine C&C weighs in at 1.1% of the index, and has returned 25.7% to investors over the last three years.

The four companies under the Keswick family collectively make up 14.5% of the STI. And, there could be more to come. Another company which is part of the Jardine Group will soon be added to the index; Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd (SGX: D01) is going to replace Starhub Ltd (SGX: CC3) from 21 September onwards.

With the addition of Dairy Farm, the contribution of Jardine group of companies is expected to increase to between 15.5% and 17%.

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The Motley Fool Singapore contributor Esjay contributed to this article. Esjay does not own any of the companies mentioned. 

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Hongkong Land, and Dairy Farm International. Motley Fool Singapore writer Chin Hui Leong owns shares of Hongkong Land and Dairy Farm International.