SGX Market Updates

Keppel & Sembcorp Industries Led the STI in 2023, with 60% Total Returns


03 January 2024

  • In 2023, the STI generated a 4.7% total return, in-line with the FTSE ASEAN Extended 60 Index’s 3.7% total return in SGD terms. This brought the STI total return since the end of 2019 to 18.5%, which has doubled the total return of the FTSE Asia Pacific Ex-Japan Index at 9.1%.

  • Seatrium joined the STI in 2023, with the Keppel O&M merger significantly boosting the market value, which stood at S$8 billion at the end of 2023. Seatrium’s net order book of S$17.7 billion comprises ~40% renewables and cleaner/green solutions.

  • Keppel and Sembcorp Industries led the STI in 2023, with both stocks generating just over 60% total returns for the year. Both stocks have continued to pursue renewable energy solutions.

  • The two least performing STI stocks in 2023 included Hongkong Land and Thai Beverage which generated 21% declines in total return.

In 2023, the STI generated a 4.7% total return, in-line with the 3.7% total return for the FTSE ASEAN Extended 60 Index in SGD terms. Performances across the ASEAN market were mixed last year, with Indonesia and Vietnam benchmarks generating 7.0% total returns in SGD terms, while also on track to lodge GDP growth rates in the vicinity of 5.0%. Meanwhile, the FTSE Thailand Index declined 11% in SGD terms, with PTTEP bucking the trend and generating a 12.5% gain.

Since the end of 2019, the STI has booked an 18.5%, which has doubled the total return of the FTSE Asia Pacific Ex-Japan Index to 9.1%. Driving the STI gains, the trio of DBS, OCBC, UOB averaged 43.6% total returns over the four years. The combined quarterly Net Interest Income of the trio gradually increased from S$5.7 billion in 4Q19 to S$8.4 billion in 3Q23.

The Straits Times Index STI vs regional benchmark indices returns between 2020 and 2023

Source: Bloomberg, Refinitiv (Data as of 31 Dec 2023), 2019-2023 covers between 31 Dec 2019 and 31 Dec 2023.

In 2023 the STI was the second most traded stock index among Singapore ETF investors after the Hang Seng Tech Index tracked by the Lion Global - OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF.

The two STI tracking ETFs recording a combined trading turnover of S$636 million in 2023 and finished the year with combined Asset Under Management at S$2.2 billion. Primary market unit creations and redemptions for the two STI ETFs, crossed S$260 million over the period, with a tepid economic growth outlook and tighter financial conditions coinciding with a close to 370-point range for the STI. This was down from a 500-point range for the STI in 2022, and ~440-point in 2021.

Net flows of the two STI ETFs also turned positive in 4Q23, recording net creations of S$41 million in 4Q23 against net redemption of S$71 million over the first nine months of the 2023.

The 30 STI constituents booked S$3.6 billion of net institutional outflow in 2023 and S$2.0 billion of net retail inflow in 2023.

Seatrium joined the STI in 2023, with the Keppel O&M merger significantly boosting the market value of the stock, which stood at S$8 billion at the end of 2023.

  • Seatrium’s net order book of S$17.7 billion comprises ~40% renewables and cleaner/green solutions. While the merger reduced Keppel’s market capitalisation, in 2023 the stock averaged the same daily trading turnover as the 2022.
  • At the same time Seatrium’s trading turnover more than doubled in 2023 from Sembcorp Marine’s trading turnover in 2022.

Keppel and Sembcorp saw the biggest deviations from the comparatively flat STI price performance in 2023 with both stocks lodging 61% total returns. Both stocks are also pursing significant pivots to sustainable energy solutions, and building capacity measured in gigawatts (GWs):

  • Keppel’s infrastructure division makes up two-thirds of its revenue, and consists of an integrated power business, as well as a decarbonisation and a sustainability solutions business. In 9MFY23, Keppel’s renewable energy portfolio grew to 3.0GW, making up over 60% of its total energy portfolio of 4.9GW, with projects across the spectrum of solar (1.95GW), wind (0.96GW) and hydro power (0.09GW). The 4.9GW portfolio is on a gross basis and includes projects under development with 64% of capacity operational while 36% is under development. Keppel, together with Mitsubishi Power and Jurong Engineering consortium, is developing Singapore's first hydrogen ready cogeneration plant, for more information click here.
  • As of Dec 14, Sembcorp’s global gross renewables capacity is 13GW, including 473MW of acquisitions pending completion. In November, Sembcorp announced its 2023-2028 strategic plan. Its major markets are China, India, Southeast Asia, and the UK. By 2028, the company is targeting to triple its gross installed renewables capacity to 25GWs. Sembcorp’s recent developments include the 285 MWh Sembcorp Energy Storage System and the upcoming 600MW hydrogen-ready power plant expected to be operational in 2026.

The performances and net institutional flows of the current 30 STI stocks in 2023 and 2022 are tabled below.
STI Constituent Stocks SGX
Market Cap
Average Daily
Total Return
Net Institutional
Total Return
Net Institutional
DBS D05 86,172 122.3 6 -1,544 8 -297 Banks
UOB U11 47,581 78.4 -2 -945 19 -72 Banks
OCBC O39 58,427 60.5 14 -6 12 474 Banks
SingTel Z74 40,763 50.3 1 -322 16 842 Telecommunications
SIA C6L 19,512 42.9 25 -61 13 123 Industrials
Seatrium S51 8,050 39.6 -14 80 68 219 Industrials
CapitaLand Ascendas REIT A17U 13,313 33.8 17 7 -2 -139 REITs
CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust C38U 13,715 33.8 6 -135 3 87 REITs
Yangzijiang BS6 5,886 33.0 14 3 107 39 Industrials
Genting Singapore G13 12,072 29.5 8 127 26 258 Consumer Cyclicals
Keppel BN4 12,459 26.4 61 -165 49 357 Industrials
Sembcorp U96 9,448 24.9 61 194 73 219 Utilities
CapitaLand Investment 9CI 16,117 24.0 -10 -164 13 106 Financial Services
Mapletree Logistics Trust M44U 8,668 22.4 16 -43 -12 -104 REITs
Wilmar F34 22,287 21.7 -11 -49 5 85 Consumer Non-Cyclicals
Venture Corp V03 3,953 18.0 -16 -230 -3 -70 Technology
Jardine Matheson J36 15,739 16.7 -16 -41 -4 -12 Industrials
SGX S68 10,520 16.4 14 126 0 -13 Financial Services
ST Engineering S63 12,116 14.9 21 110 -6 -142 Industrials
Thai Beverage Y92 13,190 14.6 -21 -132 7 -26 Consumer Non-Cyclicals
Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust N2IU 8,242 14.3 0 -88 -12 -170# REITs
SATS S58 4,099 13.0 2 -42 -27 -140 Industrials
City Developments C09 6,031 12.7 -17 -186 27 310 Real Estate (excl. REITs)
Jardine Cycle & Carriage C07 11,762 11.4 9 -29 45 203 Consumer Cyclicals
Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust BUOU 4,306 11.3 5 -63 -19 -49 REITs
Mapletree Industrial Trust ME8U 7,112 10.5 20 7 -13 -198 REITs
Hongkong Land H78 10,144 9.6 -21 -29 -8 24 Real Estate (excl. REITs)
UOL Group U14 5,305 8.4 -4 17 -3 -9 Real Estate (excl. REITs)
DFI Retail D01 4,290 1.7 -18 7 5 -3 Consumer Non-Cyclicals
Emperador EMI 8,340 0.7 5 3 13* -5* Consumer Non-Cyclicals

Source: Bloomberg, Refinitiv (Data as of 31 Dec 2023).
* Note: Performance and flow from Emperador's listing date.
# Note: Does not take not account Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust fund flow in 2022.

This article is provided by SGX My Gateway.

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