10 companies that beat the Straits Times Index in the first half of 2020

PHOTO: Unsplash

The first half of 2020 has seen heightened volatility in stock markets across the globe, mainly due to Covid-19 fears and its subsequent impact on businesses.

Nevertheless, many uncertainties including the ongoing US-China trade war, Brexit, oil collapse as well as geopolitical tensions in the middle east continue to impact companies and the global economy.

Straits Times Index’s return in the first half of 2020

In Singapore, our benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) has dipped nearly 20 per cent in that time. As we can see from the chart below, the STI dipped as much as 31 per cent from the beginning of the year to its deepest trough in March 2020.

It then staged a rebound, recovering over 25 per cent by the middle of June. It has subsequently trended downwards by about 8 per cent till today.

PHOTO: SGX

This is not to say there aren’t companies on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) that have performed well despite how the STI’s decline.

Here, we look at 10 companies, with a market capitalisation of over $1 billion, that have bucked the general downward decline.

10. Yanlord

Total Returns In 1H2020: 1.0 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $1.21 Share Price Today: $1.22 Market Capitalisation: $2.4 billion

Yanlord has delivered a return of 1.0 per cent in the year-to-date 2020. While this might seem mediocre, it comes at a time many companies are within negative territory and coping with struggling business.

A high-end real estate developer in China, Yanlord may not seem like a candidate to be one of the best performing companies, with a market capitalisation of over $1 billion, that is listed on the SGX.

Nevertheless, its robust contracted pre-sales has increased 65.0 per cent in the first half of 2020, while its total contracted gross floor area (GFA) has increased 30.7 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

9. Tianjin Zhongxin

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Total Returns In 1H2020: 1.8 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $0.85 Share Price Today: $0.865 Market Capitalisation: $11.3 billion

Tianjin Zhongxin has gained 1.8 per cent, trading at $0.865 today. This compares favourably against the STI which has dipped nearly 20 per cent in the year-to-date.

Tianjin Zhongxin is in the business of producing and selling medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine, as well as healthcare instruments.

In particular, this has been another sector that has not just been defensive in nature, but has seen interest and demand grow during the Covid-19 pandemic.

8. Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust

Total Returns In 1H2020: 1.6 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $1.24 Share Price Today: $1.26 Market Capitalisation: $4.3 billion

In the year-to-date, Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust has delivered a return of 1.6 per cent. While this does not look like much, it is considered a resilient performance in the face of the negative 20 per cent delivered by the STI, as well as the negative 6.1 per cent delivered by the S-REIT Leaders Index .

Frasers Logistics & Commercial trust has generally been a beneficiary of the defensiveness of its properties, compared to retail and commercial REITs.

7. Japfa

Total Returns In 1H2020: 8.6 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $0.58 Share Price Today: $0.63 Market Capitalisation: $1.3 billion

Japfa’s agrifood business spans upstream feed and breeding, milking and fattening, and downstream processing and distribution businesses.

Against the backdrop of Covid-19-related uncertainties in 2020, food businesses has generally benefited from increase in demand for its products and with a higher value placed on its business defensiveness.

6. Sheng Siong

Total Returns In 1H2020: 29.0 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $1.24 Share Price Today: $1.60 Market Capitalisation: $2.4 billion

Achieving a return of 29.0 per cent, Sheng Siong is currently trading at $1.60.

It should be quite clear why Sheng Siong is on this list – benefiting from customers stock-piling food and goods for essential daily use from its supermarkets during the past several months.

5. Keppel DC REIT

Total Returns In 1H2020: 41.3 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $2.08 Share Price Today: $2.94 Market Capitalisation: $4.8 billion

Currently trading at $2.94, Keppel DC REIT has achieved a return of 41.3 per cent in the year-to-date 2020.

With 18 high quality data centres in its property portfolio, Keppel DC REIT has been relatively shielded from the slowing real estate demand worldwide.

In fact, at a time when REITs are generally reporting increasing vacancies or slowing demand, as well as holding back distributions in preparation for tough time, Keppel DC REIT has delivered a 13.6 per cent increase in its distribution per unit to unitholders in its 1H2020 results.

4. Perennial Real Estate Holdings

Total Returns In 1H2020: 70.3 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $0.555 Share Price Today: $0.945 Market Capitalisation: $1.6 billion

Perennial Real Estate Holdings, an integrated real estate firm, has achieved a return of 70.3 per cent in 2020, so far.

This has mainly be due to a privatisation offer of $0.95 for each of its share. The offer is from a consortium that includes its chief executive, chairman and vice-chairman.

3. AEM

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Total Returns In 1H2020: 73.8 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $2.02 Share Price Today: $3.51 Market Capitalisation: $1.0 billion

AEM, a solutions provider for semiconductor and electronics companies, delivered a return of 73.8 per cent in the year-to-date 2020. This raised its market capitalisation to round up at $1 billion.

The company has ridden the increase in demand within the semiconductor industry to bolster its position as a trusted solutions provider for some of the largest names in the chip-making industry.

2. Riverstone

Total Returns In 1H2020: 204.5 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $0.925 Share Price Today: $3.15 Market Capitalisation: $2.3 billion

Rubber glove maker Riverstone has been a beneficiary of the increase in demand for personal protective equipment worldwide, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

To-date, Riverstone has delivered a stellar return of over 204.5 per cent with its share price soaring to $3.15. It’s status as a billion dollar stock is also newly minted, as it started off 2020 at a market capitalisation of $685.5 million.

1. Top Glove

Total Returns In 1H2020: 438.5 per cent Share Price At The Start Of 2020: $1.56 Share Price Today: $8.40 Market Capitalisation: $22.7 billion

Riding on the same wave as Riverstone is Top Glove, the world’s largest rubber glove maker. To-date, Top Glove is the best performing stock on the SGX with a gain of 438.5 per cent.

It should not come as a big surprise as the stock has benefited from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the increase in demand for rubber gloves worldwide.

This article was first published in Dollars and Sense.