Market cap hits new high of $957b in April

Market cap hits new high of $957b in April

The total market value of companies listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX) hit a fresh peak of $957 billion as at end-April, surpassing the record reached the previous month.

Compared with end-March's $949.4 billion, total market capitalisation was up 0.8 per cent, or $7.6 billion, figures compiled by The Business Times showed.

Of the 30 stocks making up the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI), 14 increased in market cap.

CapitaMall Trust stood out with the best gain in percentage terms, with its value increasing 11 per cent to $8 billion. It moved up four positions in value ranking to 29th.

Golden Agri on the other hand had 8.6 per cent shaved off its market value. It moved down three positions in value ranking to 35th. The firm's market cap stood at $6.8 billion as at end-April.

Other counters such as Wilmar International and Olam International retreated 3.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.

Wilmar has been facing a host of worries, with one big concern being the impact China's bird flu scare may have on soya bean feedstock, as Chinese consumers cut back on their consumption of poultry.

A squeeze on palm oil refining margins may also have been dampening investor sentiment, said DBS Vickers analyst Ben Santoso in a recent report.

That being said, Wilmar has charged ahead, buying a stake in Cosumar SA, the third-largest sugar producer in Africa. The company also announced it is planning to work with Tereos Group, its partner since 2011, to expand its starch and derivatives production to include not just wheat as a base ingredient, but also corn and potatoes.

Tereos is a cooperative sugar group with industrial sites across Europe, South America and Africa.

Wilmar's market value stands at $21.3 billion, and it retained its eighth spot.

Competitor Olam's market value stands at $4.1 billion, and it moved down two spots to 46th.

This is despite the company's announcement of a strategy review in April, which was welcomed by analysts, who hailed it as a step in the right direction.

Many however were concerned about the implications for its earnings in the short term, and cautioned that how the strategy will be carried out will be critical.

The agri-commodities trading house intends to use sale and leaseback transactions and asset securitisation measures to release $500 million in cash from its balance sheet. In addition, it will pursue joint ventures, sell minority stakes in some of its businesses, and divest non-core assets. This, said Olam, will release an additional $1 billion.

The three bank counters on the STI all posted gains.

DBS Group posted a 4.8 per cent gain to $41 billion; OCBC Bank rose 1.9 per cent gain to $37.3 billion; and UOB advanced 4.8 per cent to $34 billion. They retained their respective fifth, sixth and seventh positions.

Elsewhere, Thai Beverage reversed its gain from the previous month, posting a 0.8 per cent drop in market cap to $15.2 billion. The firm, which was added to the STI only on March 18, was the top gainer in percentage terms in March.

Separately, property counters ended mixed, after seeing their market value fall since the beginning of the year, following the introduction of wide-ranging property cooling measures in January.

CapitaLand gained 6 per cent on its market value to $16 billion, moving up one rung to 14th place.

City Developments shed 0.6 per cent to $10.2 billion, sliding down one place to 22nd ranking.

Keppel Land gained 3.1 per cent to $6.3 billion to retain its 36th position.

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