SGX Market Updates

STI Books 9% Year-To-Date Gain, STI ETFs Turnover up 88% y-o-y


16 March 2021

  • At 3,106, the STI has returned to within 20% of the 3,640 May 2018 highs, while the Index would have to decline more than 20% to return to the late October 2020 levels. The past 5 sessions have seen the STI oscillate around 3,100, with much of the STI’s year-to-date gains attributed to moves over the past 3 weeks.

  • Retail investors have been net sellers of STI stocks in the year-to-date, with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, SATS, DBS Group, OCBC Bank and Singapore Airlines recipient to the highest net retail outflows proportionate to current market capitalisation, while averaging a 20% price gain.

  • The 2 STI ETFs have seen S$5 million of net inflows in the year-to-date, with investors selling into the rally in recent weeks, which has been offset by inflows from dollar cost averaging Regular Shares Saving (RSS) plans. Combined turnover of the two ETFs is also up 88% y-o-y.

At 3,106, the Straits Times Index (STI) has gained 9.2% in the 2021 year to 15 March, with dividend distributions boosting the total return to 9.4%. This has seen the STI return to within 20% of the May 2018 highs, while the Index would have to decline more than 20% to return to the late October 2020 levels.

The 120 day rolling correlation of the STI and the broader, regional FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index has gradually eased from a high of 94% on 23 March 2020 to 73% as of yesterday. During 2020 the STI generated an 8.1% decline in total return compared to the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index declining 3.6%. Conversely, the STI’s 9.4% total return in the 2021 year to 15 March compared to a 5.3% gain for the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index.

The 3 mega sectors of Banks, Real estate and Industrials make up more than 50% of the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index and more than 70% of the STI. Singapore stocks make up 25% of the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index and the recent moves in global equities have been driven by expansionary monetary policies, vaccine deployment and expectations of sequential economic and earning recoveries in 2021. The Federal Reserve Balance Sheet has now grown to US$7.6 trillion, while the European Central Bank Balance Sheet now stands at €7.1 trillion. As noted in the SGX My Gateway Report (click here) as of 13 March, 355 million COVID-19 vaccination doses had been administered across the globe, while total recorded COVID-19 cases stood at 120 million.


The SPDR STI ETF which accounts for 76% of the trading turnover of both STI ETFs in the 2021 year to 15 March has recorded a net outflow of S$25 million over the past 10 weeks, which include total creation of S$67 million and total redemption of S$92 million, with investors selling into the rally in recent weeks. However, the Nikko AM STI ETF, recorded a net inflow of S$30 million over the same period with total creation of S$33 million and total redemption of S$3 million.

STI ETF outflows were likely offset by investors adopting dollar cost averaging (DCA) approaches by investing regularly through Regular Shares Saving (RSS) plan which offer investors a convenient way of investing by committing a fixed amount of money every month and remove the need of market timing. Note that in the 2021 year to 15 March, the combined trading turnover of the two STI tracking ETFs is up 88% year-on-year at S$553 million.

Retail investors have also been net sellers of STI stocks in the 2021 year to 15 March, with S$1.008 billion of net retail outflows, following the same 30 stocks seeing S$7.5 billion of net retail inflows in 2020. Institutions have been net buyers of the 30 STI stocks in the 2021 year to 15 March with S$399 million of net inflows, following net outflows of S$5.2 billion in 2020. So far this year, market makers and liquidity providers have net bought S$609 million in STI stocks, accounting for the difference in flows between retail and institutional flows.

The STI stocks in the 2021 year to 15 March recipient to the highest net retail inflows were

  • Mapletree Industrial Trust,
  • City Developments,
  • Keppel DC REIT,
  • Venture Corporation and
  • ComfortDelGro.

The STI stocks in the 2021 year to 15 March recipient to the highest net retail outflows, proportionate to current market capitalisation were

  • Yangzijiang Shipbuilding,
  • SATS,
  • DBS Group,
  • OCBC Bank, and
  • Singapore Airlines.

Together these 5 stocks have averaged a 20.4% price gain in the 2021 year to 15 March, and 3 of the 5, namely Singapore Airlines, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and SATS were among the STI stocks that saw the highest net retail inflows, proportionate to current market capitalisation during 2020.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding pushed through its January 2020 highs last week, seeing net institutional inflows help propel the stock to an 83-week high. The stock has now been trading more than S$40 million of average daily turnover this year, which is up 50% from 2020 levels. Since the end of November, the share price of Yangzijiang Shipbuilding has gained 43%, coinciding with a 43% increase in the price of Brent Crude Oil.

On the shipping and trade front, tomorrow at 0830 SGT, Singapore’s Non-Oil Domestic Exports (“NODX”) report for February will be released (click here for full calendar). Consensus estimates are for a third consecutive month for year-on-year growth at a lesser place than January. The preceding NODX reports revealed 12.8% y-o-y growth in January and 6.8% y-o-y growth in December. Electronic NODX grew 13.5% y-o-y in January and 13.7% in January, attributed to the low base for Integrated Circuits in December 2019 and January 2020, amid the then global electronics down-cycle.

The 30 STI stocks are tabled below and sort by highest market capitalisation. The five strongest stocks of the STI in the 2021 year to 15 March were

  • Jardine Strategic,
  • Singapore Airlines,
  • Yangzijiang Shipbuilding,
  • HongkongLand and
  • Jardine Matheson.

On 8 March, Jardine Matheson announced a plan to simplify the Group’s parent company structure, including the acquisition for cash of the 15% of the Jardine Strategic issued share capital that Jardine Matheson Holdings, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries do not already own (click here for more details).

STI Stocks SGX
Net Insti
Net Retail
DBS D05 71,471 0.4% 5.0% 11.7% 524 -558 52% Financial Services
Jardine Matheson J36 64,300 0.4% 25.4% 18.2% -17 -5 21% Industrials
OCBC Bank O39 52,320 0.2% 6.4% 16.2% 352 -397 36% Financial Services
Jardine Strategic J37 49,297 0.8% 29.0% 35.3% -42 -11 28% Industrials
UOB U11 42,640 0.5% 3.3% 12.8% 239 -267 34% Financial Services
Singtel Z74 39,303 0.0% 1.3% 3.0% -237 121 -6% Telecommunications
Wilmar International F34 33,581 0.4% 0.8% 14.4% 67 -95 62% Consumer Non-Cyclicals
Thai Beverage Y92 18,337 -0.7% -0.7% -0.7% -171 63 15% Consumer Non-Cyclicals
CapitaLand C31 16,910 0.6% 2.2% -0.9% 9 -39 7% Real Estate (excl. REITs)
SIA C6L 16,693 7.9% 13.1% 31.5% 90 -126 11% Industrials
Hongkong Land H78 16,170 -2.0% 7.9% 27.0% 13 -28 18% Real Estate (excl. REITs)
CapitaLand Intergrated Commercial Trust C38U 13,789 1.9% 1.4% -1.4% -32 12 2% REITs
Ascendas REIT A17U 12,257 3.1% 0.3% -1.0% -97 111 3% REITs
ST Engineering S63 12,116 0.8% 3.5% 1.8% -58 47 9% Industrials
Genting Singapore G13 11,100 5.1% 7.6% 8.2% 8 -24 40% Consumer Cyclicals
SGX S68 10,786 0.9% 0.9% 8.6% 56 -30 23% Financial Services
Keppel Corporation BN4 9,446 -0.2% 2.2% -3.5% -38 15 1% Industrials
Jardine C&C C07 8,940 -1.5% 7.5% 15.7% 58 -35 4% Consumer Cyclicals
DairyFarm International D01 8,099 -4.8% 3.8% 8.7% 9 -2 11% Consumer Non-Cyclicals
Mapletree Logistics Trust M44U 7,924 3.9% 0.0% -8.0% -88 66 12% REITs
Mapletree Commercial Trust N2IU 6,831 3.5% 1.0% -3.3% -18 10 2% REITs
City Developments C09 6,802 -0.1% 1.9% -5.9% -98 81 -8% Real Estate (excl. REITs)
UOL U14 6,254 -0.5% 0.3% -3.9% -23 6 12% Real Estate (excl. REITs)
Mapletree Industrial Trust ME8U 6,207 4.8% -0.8% -8.7% -121 116 2% REITs
Venture Corporation V03 5,571 0.6% 0.0% -1.1% -82 64 31% Technology (Hardware/ Software)
SATS S58 5,062 4.1% 2.7% 13.6% 62 -59 26% Industrials
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding BS6 4,734 7.0% 15.0% 28.8% 144 -117 62% Industrials
Keppel DC REIT AJBU 4,263 2.4% -4.4% -7.1% -60 50 26% REITs
ComfortDelGro C52 3,662 0.0% 5.0% 1.2% -70 38 2% Industrials
Sembcorp Industries U96 3,242 0.0% 5.2% 6.4% 19 -16 125% Utilities

Source: SGX, Refinitiv and Bloomberg (Data as 15 March 2021)

This article is provided by SGX My Gateway.

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