SGX Market Updates

SGX Telco Plays Grab Spotlight as Singapore Unveils 5G Rollout Plans


PUBLISHED ON |

04 November 2019

  • Telecommunications was the top net buy sector on SGX in Oct 2019, attracting net institutional inflows of S$55.9 million, and reversing Sept’s outflow of S$41.4 million. Singtel was also the top net buy stock last month, garnering the highest inflow of S$71.5 million.

  • The 3 largest telecom players on SGX – Singtel, NetLink NBN Trust and StarHub – have a combined market cap of about S$60 billion. In the month of October, the trio averaged a total return of 3.7%. In the YTD, Singtel and NetLink were the strongest performers, averaging total returns of 16.3% and 25.2% respectively.

  • Last month, Singapore unveiled plans to issue licences to operate two full-fledged 5G networks and two smaller ones with limited coverage. The government intends to turn 5G into the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy, securing the city-state’s competitive edge, and enhancing its appeal as a key trading and connectivity hub in the region and beyond.




Telecommunications was the top net buy sector on SGX in October 2019, attracting net institutional inflows of S$55.9 million, and reversing September’s outflow of S$41.4 million. Singtel was also the top net buy stock last month, garnering the highest inflow of S$71.5 million.

The 3 largest telecommunications service providers on SGX – Singtel, NetLink NBN Trust and StarHub – have a combined market capitalisation of about S$60 billion. Singapore’s smallest telco – M1 – delisted in March 2019, after local conglomerate Keppel Corporation and media company Singapore Press Holdings jointly bought out Malaysian telecoms provider Axiata Group’s 28.7% stake in M1.

In the month of October 2019, the 3 telco players have averaged a total return of 3.7%, bringing their year-to-date and one-year total returns to 6.7% and 3.9% respectively. In the YTD, Singtel and NetLink were the strongest performers, averaging total returns of 16.3% and 25.2% respectively.



The table below details the three largest telco plays on SGX, sorted by market cap.

Name SGX
Code
Market
Cap
S$m
Total
Return
1 Mth
%
Total
Return
YTD
%
Total
Return
1 Yr
%
SINGTEL Z74 53,886 6.5 16.3 10.3
NETLINK NBN TRUST CJLU 3,624 4.5 25.2 26.6
STARHUB CC3 2,251 0.0 -21.4 -25.3
Average 3.7 6.7 3.9

Source: Bloomberg & StockFacts (data as of 31 Oct 2019)



Singapore’s 5G Rollout Plans

Last month, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran announced plans to issue licences to operate 2 full-fledged 5G networks and 2 smaller ones with limited coverage. All 4 networks can be rolled out by next year, although nationwide coverage will take much longer, and be limited to only 2 networks due to the scarcity of 5G airwaves for islandwide reach. 5G airwaves for nationwide coverage (the 3.5Ghz band) are expected to be available only in 2021.

The minister noted that 5G will be the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy, securing the city-state’s competitive edge, and enhancing its appeal as a key trading and connectivity hub in the region and beyond. “With a trusted, secure and resilient 5G standalone infrastructure in place, we can invest in, and support the growth of, a thriving 5G innovation ecosystem that fuels innovation, creates more opportunities and maximises benefits for businesses and consumers,” he added.

The smaller 5G networks will meet Singapore’s immediate industrial needs, such as in smart ports and factories, for the remote operation of cranes or vehicles to move shipping containers or goods round the clock. They will also be useful for consumer applications like virtual reality and augmented reality gaming.

Singapore will likely be the first country in Southeast Asia to launch 5G services. Other countries in the region are also in the process of testing and building 5G infrastructure – Viettel, the biggest telco and IT services provider in Vietnam, has been awarded the country's first 5G trial license, while Malaysia’s Maxis recently signed an agreement with China's Huawei to build its 5G network. South Korea, China and the US have already launched 5G services, using a combination of the far-reaching 3.5Ghz airwaves as well as another type of airwaves that are more abundant, known as millimetre airwaves.







This article is provided by SGX My Gateway.



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