Attractive dividends from billion-dollar club

This story was first published in The Straits Times on Aug 3, 2013.

INVESTORS on the lookout for large companies offering attractive dividend yields have plenty to choose from on the Singapore bourse.

There are currently 42 counters with a market capitalisation of above $1 billion and offer indicative dividend yields of at least 3 per cent, according to SGX My Gateway, Singapore Exchange's investor education portal.

Topping the large-cap yield rankings are two real estate investment trusts (Reits): Mapletree Industrial Trust and Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust. Both have indicative dividend yields of above 7 per cent.

Another 13 Reits are on the list, as are stapled trusts such as CDL Hospitality Trusts and Far East Hospitality Trust and business trust Hutchison Port Holdings.

The remaining names paying out yields of more than 3 per cent are listed companies such as Venture Corp and SingPost, with indicative dividend yields of 6.75 per cent and 4.73 per cent respectively.

All three local telcos are also on the list, as are DBS Bank and OCBC Bank.

Indicative dividend yields are calculated by taking the most recent dividend distribution and annualising it based on payment frequency.

For instance, a quarterly dividend would be multiplied by four to get an annualised dividend, which is then divided by the share price to arrive at the indicative dividend yield.

This is different from a historical dividend yield, which adds up the dividend distributions over the past 12 months, including special dividends.

The highest historical 12-month dividend yield as of yesterday was achieved by Singapore Press Holdings. The media group paid out two special cash dividends over the past year, bringing its yield to 10.07 per cent.

The high-yielding counters identified by SGX My Gateway yesterday exclude new listings, such as Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust and SPH Reit. "Though some of these have market capitalisation above $1 billion, they have yet to declare their first dividend," the portal said.

In terms of prices, the best-performing security among the 42 on the list is software provider Silverlake Axis, which has gained 51 per cent so far this year. CapitaCommercial Reit is at the other end, having lost 15.7 per cent since Jan 1.

The average year-to-date gain of the 42 companies is 4.5 per cent.

This story was first published in The Straits Times on Aug 3, 2013.To subscribe to The Straits Times, please go to