SGX Market Updates

Key Takeaway from 2021 as the STI Outpaced the Region


20 December 2021

  • The STI and broader FTSE ST All-Share Index have generated 13% total returns in the 2021 year to 17 Dec.

  • For much of 2021, banks, energy and semiconductors sectors and trade-orientated industries led the global stock market.

The STI and broader FTSE ST All-Share Index have generated 13% total returns in the 2021 year to 17 Dec, outpacing the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index and FTSE Asia Pacific Index which returned 10% and 2% respectively. While the Bank-led FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index lagged the technology-led FTSE All-World Index in 1H21, the ASEAN benchmark has kept pace with the global benchmark in 2H21.

Globally, value-style stocks and growth-style stocks have logged similar returns from the onset of the stock market recovery on 2 Nov 2020, as have global large-cap and small-cap Indices. Similarly, in Singapore, from 30 Oct 2020, through to 17 Dec 2021, Singapore’s three stocks that ranked highest for value factors and the three stocks that ranked highest for growth factors (in a screening that took place around 30 Jun 2020) also logged similar average total returns.

The 3 most actively traded Singapore-listed stocks that 17 months ago ranked highest for value factors, which have averaged 45% total returns since 30 Oct 2020 included

  • Yanlord Land (SGX:Z25),
  • Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (SGX:NS8U) and
  • China Everbright Water (SGX:U9E).

Likewise, the 3 stocks that ranked highest for growth factors, which also averaged total returns of 45% since 30 Oct 2020 included

  • AEM Holdings (SGX:AWX),
  • COSCO Shipping International Singapore (SGX:F83) and
  • BRC Asia (SGX:BEC).

From the onset of a stock market rally in Nov 2020, through to 17 Dec 2021, performances in the local and global stock market have been most differentiated by Sectors and Industries. The uneven impact of the overarching COVID-19 constrained growth was highly evident in the different sector performances throughout the year. For much of 2021, banks, energy and semiconductors sectors and trade-orientated industries led the global stock market, while the cyclical consumer-orientated, hospitality, travel, real estate and construction sectors faced more COVID-19 led obstacles. Thus, rotations have been prevalent in 2021, enabled by resilient investment activity across the globe, and triggered by the week-to week impacts of the COVID-19 on sector and industry performances.

Sectors continue to be on the move. For instance, uneven sector outlooks saw global semiconductor stocks outpace global utility stocks by more than 30% for the first 11 months of 2021, before global utility stocks outpaced global semiconductor stocks by 7% since 30 Nov. Likewise, China Everbright Water has outpaced UMS Holdings by 9% from 30 Nov to 17 Dec, while the latter outpaced the former by 37% for the first 11 months of 2021.

While 2022 brings economic hopes of a more even economic keel, this will be dependent on further global progress in containing COVID-19, and the globe backing up the remarkable feat of administering 9 billion global vaccine doses in 2021. For the moment, in Singapore, growth is expected to remain above trend in 2022, while “the recovery of the various sectors of the economy in 2022 is expected to remain uneven” (click here for more).

Aside from the uneven growth, global policymakers are not just focused on growth and aggregate demand, but also on higher consumer and producer prices, which has been exacerbated by constraints in supplies across key strategic sectors.

Meanwhile beyond the macro, multiple SGX-listed companies, have engaged strategic initiatives to restructure, pivot or adjust their businesses to improve operational efficiency and boost shareholder value. This provides for a dynamic range of market drivers for 2022, making for an opportune time for investors to re-acquaint themselves with industry leaders, laggards, and on the back of the spate of restructures, new industry entrants.

This article is provided by SGX My Gateway.

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