ThaiBev now largest consumer staples company

SGX My Gateway report says the beer brewer, which has seen its stock soar, overtook Wilmar from end-2015

Beer brewer Thai Beverage has dethroned agri-business group Wilmar International as Singa- pore's largest consumer staples stock since the end of 2015, said the latest report by SGX My Gateway.

This has come about as Thai Beverage stock soared not just in the past year, but also in the last five years. Consumer staples companies produce food and other products that people use every day.

The report looked at 102 stocks - across various sectors and industries, with local and international businesses - that have primary listings here, and have a market capitalisation of over $1 billion each. The combined market capitalisation is $668.4 billion. My Gateway is the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) investor education portal.

For the year so far, these stocks have averaged a dividend-inclusive total return of 7.8 per cent, and an average indicative dividend yield of 3.8 per cent. The five best performers so far were: jet-fuel trader China Aviation Oil Singapore with a return of 125.2 per cent, agri-food company Japfa with 73.6 per cent, Thai Beverage with 53.7 per cent, chocolate confectionery firm Delfi with 35.1 per cent, and developer Yoma Strategic Holdings with 33.9 per cent. The weakest performer was commodity trader Noble Group, with a return of -52.7 per cent so far.

ThaiBev, which produces Chang beer (above), is one of 19 consumer stocks listed on the SGX with a market capitalisation of over $1 billion each. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

The highest-yielding stock was Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail with a 9.1 per cent yield. Next came container business port trust Hutchison Port Holdings Trust with 8.1 per cent, Frasers Hospitality Trust with 7.8 per cent, and Ascott Residence Trust and Keppel Infrastructure Trust with a yield of 7.4 per cent each.

The median three-year total return of the 102 stocks is 8 per cent, and for five years, it is 48.4 per cent.

The report said: "Median performance and valuation measures are often used in place of the average, when one or two stocks with outlier performances or valuations significantly impact the average."

For instance, the average return of the 102 stocks over the three- year period was skewed about 25.8 per cent higher than the median measure, and 40.7 per cent more for the five-year period.

The three most well-represented sectors are the financial, industrials and consumer sectors. Of the 102 stocks, 51 are in the financial sector, 20 are in the industrials sector and 19 in the consumer sector - which is made up of consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks.

Homing in on the consumer sector, the report noted the 19 consumer stocks listed on SGX have generated diversified returns in the year so far - total returns range from 73.6 per cent for Japfa to -21.5 per cent for Genting Hong Kong. Out of the five best performers among the 19 consumer stocks, which averaged a total return of 42.7 per cent - four were from the consumer staples sector.

China Aviation Oil has also replaced CEFC international as Singapore's largest energy stock since the end of last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'ThaiBev now largest consumer staples company'. Print Edition | Subscribe