Singapore’s 20 biggest Consumer Staples stocks have averaged 9% price gains in the 2017 YTD. Last year, the Sector was the strongest segment of the Singapore market, with the same 20 stocks averaging a 35% price return.

In the 2017 YTD the three strongest of the 20 Consumer Staples stocks were Best World International, Food Empire Holdings and Hanwell Holdings. Best World generated a 120% price gain, whilst Hanwell and Food Empire generated similar respective gains of 48% and 42%.

All three of these stocks reported diluted EPS growth in 1QFY17. Best World reported EPS of 3.53 cents (+62.7% YoY) for 1QFY17, Hanwell reported EPS of 0.15 cents (+36.4% YoY) in 1QFY17, and Food Empire reported EPS of 1.17 US cents (+56.0% YoY) in 1QFY17.

This year the biggest 20 stocks of the Consumer Staples Sector have been relatively muted compared to their strong performance last year. These 20 stocks have averaged a 9% price return in the 2017 year-to-date, which is reduced to 2% if applying a market capitalisation weighted average. In contrast the Consumer Staples segment was the best performer in 2016 year, with the same 20 stocks generating an average 35% price return in 2016, or a 23% return if applying a market capitalisation weighted average.

Stocks within the Consumer Staples Sector are mostly focused on food, beverage and other non-durable products and services. This can include plantations to manufacturers and packagers to food retailers.

The Sector is traditionally known as a more defensive than cyclical sector, which may provide a part explanation for its better performance in 2016 when most broad benchmarks were lower. It may also partially explain the relatively  muted performance of the Consumer Staples Sector in the year thus far, when most benchmarks were stronger. However, a caveat to the defensive and cyclical lens, is that the businesses and reach of the Consumer Stocks are anything but uniform and generic.

Sector Outperformers in 2017 YTD

So far in the 2017 YTD the three strongest performers of the 20 Consumer Staples stocks were Best World International (“Best World”), Hanwell Holdings (“Hanwell”) and Food Empire Holdings (“Food Empire”). All three stocks operate international consumer-orientated businesses.

In the year–to-date, Best World generated a 120% price gain, whilst Hanwell and Food Empire generated similar gains of 48% and 42% respectively.  One factor that distinguished the three that they were amongst a broader group of the stocks that reported diluted EPS growth in 1QFY17. As noted in their respective financial statements:

  • Best World reported diluted EPS of 3.53 cents for 1QFY17, up from 2.17 cents in 1QFY16 (+62.7% YoY);
  • Hanwell reported EPS of 0.15 cents in 1QFY17, up from 0.11 cents in 1QFY16 (+36.4% YoY); and
  • Food Empire reported EPS of 1.17 US cents in 1QFY17, up from 0.75 US cents in 1QFY16 (+56.0% YoY).
Name SGX Code Market Cap S$M Price S$ Price Change MTD % Price Change YTD % P/E Dvd Ind Yld %
Thai Beverage Y92 22,097 0.875 0.0 2.9 22.0 2.8
Wilmar Intl F34 22,069 3.510 -0.8 -2.2 14.5 1.9
Dairy Farm Intl Hldgs D01 14,990 11.039 -0.1 6.1 23.0 2.6
Olam Intl O32 5,396 1.970 -3.9 0.0 16.0 3.0
Golden Agri-Resources E5H 4,712 0.375 2.7 -12.8 9.9 1.7
Fraser and Neave F99 3,429 2.390 2.6 14.4 33.6 1.9
First Resources EB5 3,041 1.895 -3.6 -0.3 13.0 1.6
Sheng Siong Grp OV8 1,481 0.985 1.5 4.2 23.4 3.8
Bumitama Agri P8Z 1,313 0.755 0.7 -9.6 12.0 2.0
Delfi P34 1,228 2.020 -10.6 -9.0 37.8 1.6
Japfa UD2 1,117 0.635 16.5 -29.8 8.6 1.6
Best World Intl CGN 807 1.475 -0.3 120.1 23.2 2.0
Yeo Hiap Seng Y03 753 1.310 -1.5 -1.5 4.6 1.5
QAF Q01 746 1.325 -2.2 -4.7 6.3 3.8
Indofood Agri Resources 5JS 663 0.470 -4.1 -10.5 10.9 1.4
Del Monte Pacific D03 632 0.330 1.5 -2.9 11.6 5.5
Mewah Intl Inc MV4 450 0.300 -1.6 9.1 14.9 3.7
Food Empire Hldgs F03 357 0.665 -7.6 47.8 15.2 0.9
Sino Grandness Food Industry Grp T4B 260 0.255 13.3 16.8 3.5 N/A
Hanwell Hldgs DM0 199 0.340 21.4 41.7 18.6 1.4
Average 1.2 9.0 16.1 2.3

Source: SGX, Bloomberg & SGX StockFacts (data as of 22 June 2017)

Comparative Performances and Volatility

Relative to the Straits Times Index (STI) the Consumer Staples Sector leaders were less volatile than the more cyclical Consumer Discretionary Sector leaders in both the last six months, and 2016. On a market capitalisation weighted basis, the 20 Consumer Staples stocks tabled above averaged a beta coefficient of 0.68 over the past six months, and a coefficient of 0.73 in 2016.

This compared to the same measure for the 20 biggest Consumer Discretionary stocks which was higher at 0.77 over the past six months and higher at 0.84 in 2016. This coefficient is a simple volatility measure of the average percentage price change of the stocks given a 1% change in the STI.

The 20 biggest active stocks of the Consumer Discretionary Sector have averaged a 15% price gain in the 2017 year to date.  Within the Consumer Discretionary Sector, the stocks of the Hotels, Restaurant and Leisure industry have performed comparatively strongly in Singapore and across the world in the 2017 YTD. Singapore’s largest capitalised stocks within this industry is STI constituent Genting Singapore which has rallied 25% in the 2017 YTD, and doubled its dividend distribution in FY16 from FY15. As discussed here, within the Consumer Discretionary Sector the 20 largest Hotels, Restaurant and Leisure had rallied 18% in the 2017 year through to 16 June.

SGX My Gateway

SGX’s investor education portal with market, product and investment information and events. Sign up now at to receive our investment updates and economic calendar.

This document is not intended for distribution to, or for use by or to be acted on by any person or entity located in any jurisdiction where such distribution, use or action would be contrary to applicable laws or regulations or would subject SGX to any registration or licensing requirement. This document is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell, nor financial advice or recommendation for any investment product. This document has been published for general circulation only. It does not address the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any person. Advice should be sought from a financial adviser regarding the suitability of any investment product before investing or adopting any investment strategies. Investment products are subject to significant investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. Past performance of investment products is not indicative of their future performance. While SGX and its affiliates have taken reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, they will not be liable for any loss or damage of any kind (whether direct, indirect or consequential losses or other economic loss of any kind) suffered due to any omission, error, inaccuracy, incompleteness, or otherwise, any reliance on such information. Neither SGX nor any of its affiliates shall be liable for the content of information provided by third parties. SGX and its affiliates may deal in investment products in the usual course of their business, and may be on the opposite side of any trades. SGX is an exempt financial adviser under the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) of Singapore.  The information in this document is subject to change without notice.