SGX share value surges on post-US election rally

The stronger turnover last month included investors buying into listed financial companies, reflecting a similar trend on Wall Street where financials have gained over 10 per cent in recent weeks.
The stronger turnover last month included investors buying into listed financial companies, reflecting a similar trend on Wall Street where financials have gained over 10 per cent in recent weeks.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Combined market capitalisation of firms lifted to $874.78 billion

The total value of shares on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) grew last month on the back of a global rally sparked by the surprise win by Mr Donald Trump in the United States presidential election.

The Trump surge lifted the combined market capitalisation of companies here from $860.69 billion in October to $874.78 billion as at yesterday's close, a rise of 1.6 per cent.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 3.2 per cent last month.

CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang told The Straits Times yesterday: "As sentiment warms up, market activity has also increased. Since the US election, the local daily turnover has almost doubled.

"Take (yesterday) for instance - by 3pm, it was already around $1.1 billion, but it would usually struggle to hit $700 million by 3pm before the election."

The stronger turnover last month included investors buying into listed financial companies, reflecting a similar trend on Wall Street where financials have gained over 10 per cent in recent weeks.

The shares of insurance giant Prudential - which has a secondary listing here - gained 13.9 per cent last month to close at US$19.25 yesterday. This pushed its market cap to $69.9 billion, making it the biggest counter on the bourse.

The financial sector has stayed hot due to expectations that the Trump presidency may loosen regulatory controls on the industry, Ms Yang said.

DBS, OCBC and United Overseas Bank (UOB) also benefited. DBS rose 17 per cent last month to close at $17.55 yesterday, while OCBC added 7.1 per cent to $9.08, and UOB rose 8.7 per cent to $20.41.

DBS was the fifth biggest in terms of market cap at $44.73 billion as at yesterday's close, OCBC was sixth at $38.08 billion and UOB seventh at $33.61 billion. Their rankings were unchanged from October.

Singtel, the biggest listed company as at Oct 31, slipped to second spot with a value of $61.69 billion after its stock pared 2.6 per cent over the month to close at $3.78 yesterday.

Other telcos also dipped. StarHub dropped 14.8 per cent over last month to $2.88 yesterday, giving it a market cap of $5.62 billion while M1 eased 3.9 per cent to $1.96 and a market cap of $1.84 billion. That sent StarHub's market cap ranking from 25 in October to 28 last month, while M1 dropped from 68 to 70.

Money was pulled out of the telco sector despite the Trump rally as investors became wary of the possibility that the incoming fourth operator may disrupt earnings.

But the palm oil industry was favoured. Wilmar's market cap rose to $22.54 billion as at the end of last month - the eighth biggest in the market - after its shares gained 6.3 per cent to $3.52 over last month.

Golden Agri-Resources closed up 11.7 per cent to 43 cents, with a market cap of $5.52 billion, lifting it from 33 to 30 in the rankings.

Another winner was Genting Singapore. The gaming stock gained 30.2 per cent over the month to close at 97 cents yesterday, pushing its market cap to $11.92 billion, up three spots to 16 in the rankings.

In the offshore marine sector, Keppel Corp's market cap was $9.92 billion or 19 in the rankings - one place down from October - although its shares rose 3.2 per cent over last month to $5.45.

Sembcorp Marine shares added 7.7 per cent last month to close at $1.395 yesterday while its market cap of $2.91 billion lifted it three spots to 51 in the rankings.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2016, with the headline 'SGX share value surges on post-US election rally'. Print Edition | Subscribe