In poker, the “blue chip” is considered the chip that has the highest value. In stock market terms, this refers to nationally recognised, well-established, and financially sound companies.
They are typically the largest listed companies in Singapore by market capitalisation, and a synonym for STI ETF.
Blue chips are known to be relatively stable due to their strong balance sheet and dominant market position; making them difficult to fail and capable of riding out financial crisis during bad market cycles.
There is a reason why so many Singaporean prefer to invest blue chip stocks, mainly because of its perceived certainty, which means less risk, and they are often common household names which most Singaporean investors can relate to.
Blue chips are also often backed up by large institutional investors which makes their prices less susceptible to speculation.
Below are the top 10 largest blue chip stocks we think all Singaporean should know.
#1 DBS, OCBC and UOB
These 3 banks are iconic to Singapore and we believe every Singaporean would have an account in any of these banks. Their presence is a commonplace and we see them in the form of branch outlets and ATM machines.
The 3 banks are also the largest component in the blue chip Straits Times Index (STI), comprising a combined weightage of almost 40% in the 30-stock index!
Singapore consumers use a myriad of bank services - savings, credit cards, payments and transfers, mortgage, loans, insurance and investments. The banks also serve businesses and merchants too with services such as factoring and business loans.
The 3 banks have also grown their presence in global markets such as China, India and Thailand.
Our banks have numerous achievements and accolades:
- DBS was named "World's Best Bank 2019" by Euromoney
- OCBC was named "Best Bank in Asia-Pacific: 2019" by Global Finance
- UOB was named "Retail Bank of the Year" under the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2019 by The Digital Banker
#2 Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)
Another high-ranking blue chip stocks you should know about is the Singapore Telecommunications Limited—also known as SingTel.
Unlike the three above, SingTel is a global communications technology company in Asia based in Singapore that provides a diverse range of services within the communications business to cater the needs of their consumers.
These services are:
- Mobile and fixed-line voice and data,
- Narrow band and broadband Internet services
- Integrated Information Technology and communications solutions
SingTel has been operating for an experience amount of time with more than 125 years in the industry and the company has gained a regional presence through acquisition of overseas telecommunication companies
- Advanced Info Service in Thailand
- Bharti Airtel in India
- Globe Telecom in Philippines
- Optus in Australia
- Telkomsel in Indonesia
What's more amazing is that SingTel owns an international submarine cable network that provides connections from Singapore to more than 100 countries. It is also a major investor in many of the world's submarine cable systems, such as South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3 Cable Network, South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4 Cable Network, APCN 2, China-US, Japan-US, Southern Cross Cable and Unity (cable system).
CapitaLand is one of the largest real estate companies in the world. CapitaLand’s portfolio spans across diversified real estate classes which includes commercial, retail; business park, industrial and logistics; integrated development, urban development; as well as lodging and residential. With a presence across more than 200 cities in over 30 countries, the Group focuses on Singapore and China as its core markets, while it continues to expand in markets such as India, Vietnam, Australia, Europe and the USA.
CapitaLand has one of the largest real estate investment management businesses globally. It manages seven listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business trusts as well as over 20 private funds. Since it pioneered REITs in Singapore with the listing of CapitaLand Mall Trust in 2002, CapitaLand’s REITs and business trusts have expanded to include Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust, Ascendas India Trust and CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust.
We believe you have been to many of these malls, if not, all of them!
- Bedok Mall
- Bugis Junction
- Bukit Panjang Plaza
- Clarke Quay
- ION Orchard
- Jewel Changi Airport
- Junction 8
- Lot One Shoppers' Mall
- Plaza Singapura
- Raffles City
- SingPost Centre
- Tampines Mall
- The Atrium @Orchard
- The Star Vista
#4 Hongkong Land Holdings
Following its stake holder, Hongkong Land Holdings Limited works as a property investment, management, and development company. It now owns and manages prime office and luxury retail property that covers an approximate of 800,000 square meters of property in Asian cities.
This is especially true in Hong Kong and Singapore with 450,000 square meters and 165,000 square meters, respectively. The company’s segments are Commercial, Residential, and Corporate Property.
Hongkong Land Holdings Limited mainly holds its income in investment properties from Hong Kong and Singapore; making up 97% of the total.
You may not be familiar with the name of the company but you sure have been to or seen some of its commercial properties in Singapore.
CityLink Mall. You would know that the mall links the City Hall MRT Station to nearby malls such as Marina Square, Suntec City and Raffles City. Shoppers can conveniently walk in an air-conditioned subterranean mall and patronise over 60 outlets offering a wide variety of products, services and eateries.
One Raffles Link. One Raffles Link is Hongkong Land's first commercial development in Singapore. It is a seven-storey office building and houses financial institutions. It is connected to CityLink Mall via one of the entrances/exits.
Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC). This is an iconic property in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District, or even a key hub in the global financial system. MBFC was a joint-project by Cheung Kong, Hongkong Land and Keppel Land. It offers three office towers of prime Grade-A office space, two residential towers (Marina Bay Suites and Marina Bay Residences) and retail space (Marina Bay Link Mall).
One Raffles Quay. Jointly developed by Hongkong Land, Cheung Kong and Keppel Land, One Raffles Quay is a commercial property with two office towers with large floor plates specifically designed to meet the requirements of leading financial institutions and multinational corporations.
#5 Thai Beverage Public Company Limited
Thai Beverage Public Company Limited is a beverage company that works, together with its subsidiaries, to produce and distribute both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in Thailand and other international countries. It operates through the following four segments:
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages
We're sure you have seen some of the products.
Chang beer. The golden can that is hard to miss. And the names are proudly shown on some football jerseys too.
Whisky. For whisky lovers, you might have known Pulteney or Balbair. And yes, you cannot imagine they are owned by a Thai company. Besides these two brands, they also have anCnoc and Speyburn in their lineup.
Non-alcoholic Beverages. Even if you are not an alcoholic, you must have patronised the good ol' F&N drinks. ThaiBev acquired the beverage business in 2012-13 and the line-up of products including 100-plus isotonic drinks, Seasons tea, Ice Mountain water, Magnolia milk, F&N sodas, NutriSoy, NutriWell, F&N Fruit Tree and Farmhouse milk are commonly found on supermarket shelves.
Thai Beverage Public Company Limited is regarded as the highest ranked consumer staples companies to join within the Straits Times Index.
#6 Genting Singapore
Genting Singapore is a leading gaming and integrated resort development in Australia, the Bahamas, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The Resorts World™ Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore is a well-known integrated resort and a favourite destination for tourists and locals alike.
There are numerous attractions within RWS:
- Universal Studios Singapore
- S.E.A. Aquarium™
- Adventure Cove Waterpark™
- Dolphin Island™
- Attractions Pass
- HeadRock VR
- Kids Club
- Sunset Sail – Royal Albatross
- Trick Eye Museum
- Lake of Dream
Buses. SBS Transit (a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro) operates 222 bus services that and is the largest public bus operator with a market share of 61.2% (based on 2018 annual report).
Rail. SBS Transit (a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro) operates 2 lines on the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system, namely, the North-East line and Downtown line, and 1 Light Rail Transit on the Punggol line. The three rail lines spanning a combined total of 82km, SBS Transit’s market share of the rail network is 36.3% (excluding Thomson-East Coast Line). In all, it operates a total of 78 stations and a fleet of more than 190 trains.
Taxis. The blue and yellow taxis running on the roads of Singapore are a familiar sight. According to the ComfortDelGro annual report in 2018, ComfortDelGro has a combined fleet of about 12,390 Comfort and CityCab taxis, translating into a market share of 60%.
Vehicle Inspection. Drivers would be familiar with VICOM (a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro) because it is one of the two vehicle inspection service providers to get your vehicle checked.
Driving Centre. ComfortDelGro Driving Centre or CDC, was the place where I learned my driving! The nostalgic building at Ubi. But this is not the only place to pick up driving. There are competitors such as Bukit Batok Driving Centre in the west and Singapore Safety Driving Centre in the north.
#8 Singapore Airlines
Our national airline is our national pride as it is probably the most familiar Singapore brand, for high safety standards and great service, among foreigners.
Singapore Airlines. The main flagship airline carries passengers to 63 destinations. The routes are served by 121 aircrafts with an average age of 6 years and 7 months.
SilkAir. Besides the flagship carrier, the company have other subsidiaries and fleets. SilkAir flies the regional medium-haul flights to secondary cities. SilkAir currently serves 49 destinations with a fleet of 27 aircraft. The average age of the aircraft was 5 years and 7 months.
Scoot. This is the budget airline under Singapore Airlines. It merged with Tigerair in 2016. Currently serving 66 destinations with 47 aircrafts. The average age of the fleet was 5 years and 1 month.
SIA Cargo. Besides passenger transportation, there's also SIA Cargo. The fleet has carried special cargo such as racehorses and Formula 1 race cars.
SIA Engineering Company. This subsidiary provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. SIAEC’s international line maintenance network covers 34 airports, handles more than 1,000 daily flights around the clock for more than 90 airline customers.
#9 Singapore Press Holdings
SPH has three major operating segments, namely Media, Property, and Treasury andInvestment.
Singaporeans are most familiar with the media business thanks to the flagship newspaper, Straits Times. SPH also have several magazines and digital media assets under her wing.
SPH Radio. The media business also includes 5 radio stations which are quite popular in Singapore.
SPH REIT. SPH have invested in properties over the years and even spun off an SPH REIT to hold her prized real estate. Some of these properties are frequented by locals such as Paragon, The Clementi Mall and The Seletar Mall.
Orange Valley. Nursing homes are increasingly important in an ageing society. Orange Valley is one of Singapore’s leading nursing home operators with 5 nursing homes across the island with over 900 beds.
#10 Dairy Farm
Dairy Farm is a subsidiary of Jardine Strategic and Jardine Matheson.
Supermarkets. A Singaporean would have patronised from Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets in his lifetime. Dairy Farm also runs other brands such as Marketplace and Jasons, albeit of smaller presence.
Convenience Stores. 7-Eleven is likely the first name you that you would come up with when you think about convenience stores. Many of them are open 24-7 and dotted around the island. You can even find two stores close to each other in some areas.
Health and Beauty Stores. The bright orange Guardian stores are a commonplace in most shopping malls, pitting against her main rival, Watsons. They sell beauty products and often have a pharmacy in-store where you can buy non-prescribed drugs conveniently.
Starbucks. Maxim's Caterers (a Dairy Farm's joint venture) was awarded the exclusive right to operate Starbucks stores in Singapore. That's more than 130 outlets besides the ones in Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia and Vietnam.
CEO of Dr Wealth. Built a business to empower DIY investors to make better investments. A believer of the Factor-based Investing approach and runs a Multi-Factor Portfolio that taps on the Value, Size, and Profitability Factors. Conducts the flagship Intelligent Investor Immersive program under Dr Wealth. An author of Secrets of Singapore Trading Gurus and Singapore Permanent Portfolio. Featured on various media such as MoneyFM 89.3, Kiss92, Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. Given talks at events organised by SGX, DBS, CPF and many others.