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The Best-Performing Blue Chip Shares In 2018 (Part 1)

2018 was a challenging year for Singapore investors. The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), Singapore’s stock market barometer, was down by 9.8% in 2018.

Despite the market decline for the year, there are a number of stocks that delivered positive returns in 2018.

In this series of articles, I will look back into the year and identify six of the index’s biggest winners, as well as six of the largest losers. In this article, I will be covering the winners from the fourth to sixth position.

The sixth best performer

In sixth place is Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34). For those who are new to the company, Wilmar is an agricultural company that operates through four main segments: Tropical Oils, Oilseeds and Grains, Sugar, and Others.

In 2018, Wilmar’s shares improved marginally by 1.0%.

Wilmar’s share price performance, however, lagged that of its financial performance. For the first nine months ended 30 September 2018, Wilmar reported that revenue increased by 4% while net profit grew by 24%, respectively, over 2017. Strong performance was across the board, both in its owned businesses as well as its investments in associates and joint ventures. What’s more, the company expects its business to continue performing well in the coming quarters.

The fifth best performer

The next best performer here is CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U), or CMT.

As a brief introduction, CMT currently has 15 properties, which are located in the suburban areas and downtown core of Singapore. Examples of its properties include Tampines Mall, Junction 8, Funan, and Bugis Junction.

In 2018, CMT’s unit price climbed 6.1%. The positive performance in share price correlates with CMT’s financial performance. For the first nine months of 2018, CMT reported that net property income (NPI) and distribution per unit (DPU) edged up by 2.8% and 3.0%, respectively, on a year-on-year basis. As at 30 September 2018, CMT’s average cost of debt and aggregate leverage were 3.1% and 31.7% respectively.

The fourth best performer

The fourth place belongs to Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (SGX: S63), or STE. As a quick introduction, STE is a conglomerate with business interest in various sectors, namely, Aerospace, Electronics, Land Systems, Marine and others.

In 2018, STE’s shares climbed by 7.1% in price. Similarly, its financial performance for the first nine months of 2018 was positive, with revenue growing by 2% year-on-year and profit attributable to investors up by 11%. Another key highlight during the year is the company’s proposed acquisition of MRA System from General Electric. Here’s what the company’s management commented of the acquisition:

“This business will help scale up our aerospace capabilities by moving us upstream into the OEM business of high-value components.  We are excited by the role it will play in the growth of our Aerospace sector, and look forward to closing the transaction in the first quarter of 2019”

Stay tuned for more from this series in the next few days.

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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 Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. Motley Fool has recommendations for CapitaLand Mall Trust.