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Here are the top 3 Singapore blue chip stocks in 2023

26 Dec 2023

We find out which Singapore blue chip stocks saw the best share price performance this year.

top singapore blue chip stocks 2023

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What happened?

With 2023 coming to a close, investors in the Singapore market may be disappointed with dismal returns of the Straits Times Index (STI) this year.

As of 22 December, the STI has declined by 3% this year. 

However, this was largely driven by the weakness in the share price of Singapore banks - DBS, UOB and OCBC. 

In fact, the top 3 blue-chip stocks in Singapore saw their share prices gain by 13% to 49% over the same period. 

Blue-chip stocks are well-known for their resilience and are so named because they have a large market capitalisation and a long track record.

These are also the stocks that investors will flock to when there is economic uncertainty or if a downturn strikes.

Let us find out which 3 blue chip stocks performed the best in 2023. 

#1 – Sembcorp Industries Ltd (SGX: U96)

Sembcorp Industries Ltd, or SCI, is an energy and urban solutions provider.

The group maintains a balanced energy portfolio of 19.4 GW with a sustainable urban development portfolio spanning more than 13,000 hectares across Asia.

Shares of Sembcorp Industries have rallied 49% year to date to close at S$5.11, making it the top-performing blue-chip for this year.

sembcorp industries share price 2023
Source: Beansprout

 

Sembcorp Industries’ share price gain of 49% would also significantly exceed the 3% decline in the STI this year. 

sembcorp industries share price history 2023
Source: Beansprout

 

Sembcorp Industries reported a decent set of earnings for its first half of 2023 (1H 2023) as its net profit surged by 56% year on year to S$608 million.

Excluding the effects of discontinued operations, SCI still saw its net profit rise 8% year on year to S$530 million.

The urban development specialist also generated a free cash flow of S$376 million for 1H 2023, although this was 4.6% lower than the prior year’s S$394 million.

An interim dividend of S$0.05 was paid, 25% higher than the S$0.04 paid out last year.

sembcorp industries profit 2023
Source: Sembcorp Industries 

 

Earlier, we shared our key takeaways from Sembcorp Industries’ Investor Day 2023

During the Investor Day, Sembcorp Industries outlined major initiatives to fuel its growth over the next five years.

Sembcorp Industries has an ambitious plan to grow its renewables gross installed capacity to 25 GW from the current 12 GW (installed plus under construction).

It also plans to reduce its emissions intensity to eventually reach net zero emissions by 2050.

sembcorp industries investor day target 2023
Source: Sembcorp Industries 

 

Sembcorp Industries will also leverage its long-term power purchase agreements to generate recurring income to fund capital expenditures for its renewables and decarbonisation solutions segments.

Last month, the utility giant made two acquisitions to advance its goal towards reaching 25 GW of renewable capacity.

The first is the purchase of 245 MW of renewable assets in Vietnam for approximately S$218 million.

The second involved the acquisition of 428 MW of wind assets in both China and India for a total consideration of around S$200 million.

The addition of these assets will bring Sembcorp Industries’ gross renewables capacity to 12.6 GW globally once completed.

#2 – Singapore Airlines Limited (SGX: C6L)

In second place is Singapore Airlines, or SIA with a 17% year-to-date gain.

sia share price 2023
Source: Beansprout 

Singapore’s flagship carrier enjoyed a strong rebound in fortunes this year as air travel returned with a vengeance.

SIA reported a robust set of earnings for the first half of its fiscal 2024 (1H FY2024).

Total revenue hit S$9.2 billion while net profit scaled a new all-time high of $S1.4 billion.

The carrier also generated a positive free cash flow of S$1.9 billion and declared an interim dividend of S$0.10 per share.

sia profit 2023
Source: SIA

 

SIA boasts one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry with an average age of seven years and one month.

The airline has 96 aircraft on order and plans to increase its network to include destinations such as Frankfurt, Cairns, Male, and Barcelona.

The airline did warn, however, that capacity restoration could introduce stiffer competition that will pressure passenger yields.

Air freight volumes are projected to remain soft as excess inventories have yet to clear and geopolitical tensions weigh on supply chains.

sia cargo 2023
Source: SIA

 

#3 – Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6)

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding comes in third place with its shares rising 13% year-to-date to close at S$1.45.

yangzijiang share price 2023
Source: Beansprout

Billed as one of China’s largest private shipbuilding companies, the group has four shipyards in Jiangsu Province that can manufacture a wide range of vessels such as bulk carriers and containerships.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding had reported a sparkling set of earnings for 1H 2023 with revenue rising 16% year on year to RMB 11.3 billion.

Gross profit margin improved by 4 percentage points to 19% and net profit surged 47% year on year to RMB 1.7 billion.

yangzijiang profit 2023

Investors are excited over Yangzijiang Shipbuilding’s prospects as its order book hit a record high of US$14.7 billion as of 30 June 2023.

yangzijiang orderbook 2023
Source: Yangzijiang

For its business update for the third quarter, the shipbuilder also announced that it had secured US$6.4 billion of new orders for the first nine months of 2023, more than doubling its original target.

Regulatory factors such as fleet decarbonisation will continue to drive demand for new-build vessels, thereby acting as a tailwind for Yangzijiang Shipbuilding’s business.

What would Beansprout do?

The performance of the Singapore market in 2023 may appear lacklustre compared to the US market. 

However, there are still several reasons why we would consider investing in the Singapore stock market. 

Earlier, we shared that the Singapore stock market offers an attractive and consistent dividend yield for investors looking to build an income portfolio

In addition, selected blue-chip stocks also have the potential to perform better than the broader market.

Sembcorp Industries, SIA and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding have generated a good return for investors in 2023, supported by their solid fundamentals. 

To discover more blue chip stocks in Singapore, check out our guide to 3 Singapore blue-chip stocks paying out consistent dividends.

If you do not have the time to look at single stocks, you can also consider the STI ETF to gain diversfified exposure to the Singapore market.

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