SGX Market Updates

STI Clocks 9.4% Total Return in 2019


03 January 2020

  • The STI ended 2019 at 3,222.8, generating a 9.4% total return consisting of price appreciation and dividend returns. This was in-line with the STI’s 10 year average annualised total returns of 9.2% going into 2019.

  • Two inclusions to the STI in 2019 were Mapletree Commercial Trust and Mapletree Logistics Trust. Had these two REITs been a part of the STI for the full 2019, the STI’s total return would have been closer to 11%.

  • The current 30 STI constituents saw a total of S$1.2 billion in institutional inflow over the 2019 year. The STI also outpaced regional benchmarks FTSE ASEAN 40 Index and the FTSE ASEAN All Share Index, with respective total returns of 7.3% and 7.6%.  

Global growth and trade outlooks continued to provide challenges in 2019, with the US Dollar spending more than 90% of the year trading above its end of 2018 level. However less appreciation of the US Dollar in 2019, coincided with the regional FTSE ASEAN 40 Index and broader FTSE ASEAN All Share Index generate respective similar total returns of 7.3% and 7.6%.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) 2019 total return of 9.4% was in-line with its resilient 9.2% average annualised total return over the preceding 10 years that also spanned its fair share of global challenges. 

2019 Total Returns

Significant Impact of Dividends

On a price alone basis, the STI gained 5.0%, from 3,068.8 at the end of 2018 to 3,222.8 at the end of 2019. Accumulated and reinvested dividends over the year boost the STI return to 9.4%.

Singapore maintains the highest dividend yield across the FTSE Country Indices of Asia Pacific as maintained in the latest FTSE Asia Monthly Report (click here). While 11 of the 12 months in 2019 saw at least one STI stock pay a dividend, the months that had the most impact on the STI’s dividend returns were May and August.

The impact on the dividend return can be exemplified through Venture Corporation which joined the STI two years ago. During 2019, the share price of Venture Corporation rallied S$2.25 or 16.1% from S$13.95 to S$16.20. Venture Corporation saw two dividend distributions made in the course of the 2019 calendar year which amounted to S$0.70. Assuming the two dividend distributions were re-invested into shares of Venture Corporation as of their respective dividend ex-dates, the compounding impact brought the overall total return of Venture Corporation in 2019 to 21.3%.

More Than S$1 billion of Net Institutional Inflow into Current STI Constituents in 2019

The current 30 STI constituents saw a total of S$1.2 billion in institutional inflow over the 2019 year, with net institutional inflows led by SingTel, Singapore Exchange, Wilmar International, CapitaLand, Thai Beverage. Together the 5 stocks more than tripled the STI’s total return with a 31.9% average total return. 

Proportionate to end of year 2019 market capitalisation, Singapore Exchange, UOL Group, ComfortDelGro, City Developments and ST Engineering, saw the most net institutional inflows. Together, these five stocks almost tripled the STI’s total return, with an average 27.3% total return.  

The full 2019 performances of the current 30 STI constituents are tabled below. 2 inclusions to the STI were Mapletree Commercial Trust and Mapletree Logistics Trust. Had these 2 REITs been a part of the STI for the full 2019, the STI’s total return would have been closer to 11%, based on their Index weighting an average total returns of 49%.

Name SGX
Mkt Cap
Average Daily
DBS GROUP HOLDINGS D05 66,101 15% 9% 16% 100 -194
SINGTEL Z74 55,029 16% 15% 21% 67 616
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK U11 44,061 16% 7% 13% 61 -121
OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORP O39 48,323 14% -2% 2% 55 -224
ASCENDAS REIT A17U 10,730 15% 18% 24% 35 -28
YANGZIJIANG SHIPBUILDING BS6 4,389 46% -10% -7% 34 14
CAPITALAND C31 18,909 16% 21% 25% 26 224
CAPITALAND MALL TRUST C38U 9,074 17% 9% 13% 25 -46
GENTING SINGAPORE G13 11,093 19% -6% -2% 25 -157
CAPITALAND COMMERCIAL TRUST C61U 7,677 16% 14% 19% 24 34
MAPLETREE COMMERCIAL TRUST N2IU 7,903 20% 45% 53% 23 -3
SINGAPORE EXCHANGE S68 9,489 17% 24% 29% 23 453
KEPPEL CORPORATION BN4 12,297 21% 15% 19% 22 -51
JARDINE MATHESON J36 55,203 25% -21% -19% 20 -13
WILMAR INTERNATIONAL F34 26,124 19% 32% 36% 20 241
VENTURE CORP V03 4,673 31% 16% 21% 20 -5
HONGKONG LAND HOLDINGS H78 18,200 23% -10% -7% 20 -97
MAPLETREE LOGISTICS TRUST M44U 6,607 18% 38% 46% 19 37
COMFORTDELGRO C52 5,155 21% 11% 15% 18 71
ST ENGINEERING S63 12,276 17% 13% 17% 17 146
CITY DEVELOPMENTS C09 9,931 20% 35% 38% 16 124
THAI BEVERAGE PCL Y92 22,351 29% 46% 49% 15 187
JARDINE STRATEGIC J37 45,692 23% -18% -17% 12 1
SINGAPORE AIRLINES C6L 10,714 13% -4% -1% 11 -62
JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE C07 11,897 22% -15% -12% 11 -25
SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS T39 3,476 21% -7% -2% 10 15
UOL GROUP U14 7,018 18% 34% 38% 9 117
SATS S58 5,658 16% 9% 13% 9 33
SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES U96 4,089 23% -10% -8% 8 -90
DAIRY FARM INTERNATIONAL D01 10,391 26% -38% -36% 7 -40

Source: SGX StockFacts, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg (Data as of 31 December 2019)

While Dairy Farm International was the least performing STI stock in 2019, it was the best performing STI stock of 2018.

This article is provided by SGX My Gateway.

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