Last month, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) added 187 points, or 5.8%, to end at 3,400.2. There were 22 index components that were in the green; seven were in the doghouse while CapitaLand Commercial Trust (SGX: C61U) finished unchanged.
Singapore Press Holdings released its own set of results a few days later on 9 April. The media giant’s second-quarter operating revenue fell 4.4% year-on-year to S$223.3 million while net profit plunged 25.7% to S$29.7 million. You can jump in here for the earnings coverage. For the whole of April, Singapore Press Holdings shares rose 4.1% to S$2.51.
The stock that gained many times more than that of Singapore Press Holdings was Singapore’s biggest bank, DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05), emerging as the biggest winner of the index. Shares in DBS surged 12% over the month, to S$28.25, with a robust set of first-quarter results driving gains. The bank’s net profit for the first quarter of 2019 grew 9% to a record S$1.65 billion, on the back of total income rising 6% to a new high of S$3.55 billion.
To provide “shareholders with more regular income streams”, from the 2019 first-quarter, DBS has changed its dividend payment frequency to four times per year, instead of the previous two times. The S$1.20 per share dividend will now be broken up into four equal parts of S$0.30 each. The bank added that its “policy of paying sustainable dividends that rise progressively with earnings remains unchanged”.
Rival banks, United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39), also rallied in April. UOB shares swelled 10.5% to S$27.83 while OCBC shares added 9.5% to S$12.10.
On the other hand, Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd (SGX: D01) tumbled 6.7% to finish the month at S$7.83. The pan-Asian retailer was the biggest loser among the Straits Times Index components. To learn more about Dairy Farm’s business, you can click here.
Casino operator, Genting Singapore Ltd (SGX: G13), was another loser in April with its shares falling 5.3% to S$0.985. The company announced during the month that it would invest S$4.5 billion to expand Resorts World Sentosa over a period of five years. The Singapore government also made public a 50% increase in casino entry levies for Singaporeans and permanent residents (with effect from 4 April 2019) and higher casino tax rates from February 2022.
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 a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.2 and had a distribution yield of 3.4% as of 30 April 2019.
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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 recommendations on CapitaLand Commercial Trust, DBS Group, United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and Dairy Farm International. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns units in CapitaLand Commercial Trust.