In 1H23, Singapore stocks booking net retail inflow of S$1.49 billion, compared to S$951 million in 1H22, the STI generated a marginal 1.2% total return. The biggest driver of the higher net retail inflow in 1H23 vs 1H22 was less market conviction in 1H23.
A similar number of Singapore stocks booked net retail inflow in 1H23 and 1H22, however the 1H23 combined net retail inflow of these ~300 stocks was down 10% from 1H22. At the same time, less stocks booked net retail outflow in 1H23 than 1H22, with the combined net retail outflow of these stocks down a more significant 36% from 1H22.
DBS and UOB booked the most net retail inflow in both 1H23 and 1H22, while Venture Corp, ComfortDelGro, Mapletree Industrial Trust and Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust also ranked among the 20 stocks that booked the highest net retail inflow in both 1H22 and 1H23. Overall, the S-REIT Sector booked S$389 million of net retail inflow in 1H23 vs S$443 million of net retail inflow in 1H22.
The 20 stocks that booked the most net retail outflow in 1H23, included multiple stocks that observed flow reversals from 1H22. This included SingTel, City Developments, Keppel Corp, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Suntec REIT and Keppel REIT. Potentially indicating rotational trading, SingTel, City Developments, Keppel Corp, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and Suntec REIT averaged 7% declines in total return in 1H23 while booking net retail inflow, vs 13% total returns in 1H22 while booking net retail outflow.
In 1H23, the STI generated a 1.2% total return following a 6.9% total return in 2H22 and 1.4% total return in 1H22. The similar STI returns in 1H22 and 1H23 saw retail investors net buyers over both 6-month periods with DBS and UOB drawing the most net retail inflow over both timeframes. Net buying by retail investors saw the Singapore stock market book total net retail inflow of S$1.492 billion in 1H23. This followed on from net retail outflow in the vicinity of S$650 million in 2H22, and net retail inflow of S$951 million in 1H22.
The S$1.492 billion of net retail inflow in 1H23 was the result of 307 stocks booking net retail inflow totaling S$3.106 billion and 272 stocks booking a total of S$1.613 billion net retail outflow. This compared to 306 stocks booking net retail inflow totalling S$3.459 billion, and 296 stocks booking a total of S$2.508 billion net retail outflow in 1H22.
illustrated in the chart below, there was evidence of less market conviction, or broader market uncertainty in 1H23 as compared to 1H22, given the reduction in the magnitude of the net retail fund flow for those stocks that booked outflow and inflow.
Financial Services (which includes banks) booked S$1.343 billion of net retail inflow in 1H23 compared to S$1.391 billion of net retail inflows in 1H22. Similarly REITs booked less net retail inflow in 1H23 at S$389 million, following S$443 million of net retail inflow in 1H22. Retail investors generally associate high yield with both the Banks and REITs. The trio of STI banks (DBS, OCBC, UOB) also rank among the 10 largest weights of the FTSE APAC Ex-Japan Sustainable Yield Index, which examines the financial and operating strength of prospective constituents with specific emphasis on companies with strong balance sheets and the ability to generate cash flow. Paralleling the demand for higher yielding stocks, 1H23 saw significant demand by retail investors for Singapore Treasury bills.
While also booking net retail inflow in both periods, the Technology Sector net retail inflow declined to S$62 million in 1H23 from S$448 million in 1H22, with the outlook for global electronics demand weakening through 1H23.
Sembcorp Industries saw the most selling by retail investors in 1H23 with S$214 million of net retail outflow while generating a 73.3% total return. The year before, SingTel saw the most selling by retail investors in 1H22 with S$435 million of net retail outflow while generating a 9.1% total return.
In 1H23, SingTel, City Developments, Keppel Corp, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Suntec REIT and Keppel REIT ranked among the 20 stocks that booked the most net retail inflow, after these 6 stocks ranked among the 20 stocks that booked the most retail outflow in 1H22, excluding stocks that delisted.
Corporate actions can have a significant impact on both net retail and institutional flow as exemplified with Keppel Corp booking S$202 million in net retail inflow in the month of February which coincided with the completion of the Keppel Offshore & Marine pre-combination restructuring and proposed combination.
The 20 stocks that booked the most net retail inflow and their respective total returns are tabled below.
|20 SGX Stocks with
Most Retail Inflow in 1H23
|City Developments||C09||6,140||14||152||-16||Real Estate (excl. REITs)|
|Thai Beverage||Y92||14,572||17||66||-12||Consumer Non-Cyclicals|
|CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust||C38U||12,904||38||40||-4||REITs|
|Keppel Infra Trust||A7RU||2,897||4||37||0||Utilities|
|Prime US REIT||OXMU||361||1||31||-44||REITs|
|Mapletree Industrial Trust||ME8U||6,344||11||28||4||REITs|
|Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust||N2IU||8,652||16||23||0||REITs|
|Hongkong Land||H78||11,701||10||22||-11||Real Estate (excl. REITs)|
|Manulife US REIT||BTOU||410||2||18||-37||REITs|
Late July through to August will be a key time for 2H23 corporate outlooks with close to 400 stocks expected to report their 1HFY23 results. See earnings calendar.
In the recent MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, 67% of the respondents who provide inputs expected corporate profits to decline y-o-y in 2Q23 while 22% of the respondents expect profits to remain stable.