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Asia’s Highest Dividend Yields In Singapore
Perspective | 13 November 2013
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This article is written by Geoff Howie from the Singapore Exchange (SGX). Geoff is widely known for providing insightful investment analysis and this article is republished with permission from SGX My Gateway.

Among more than 1200 of Asia’s largest stocks, those listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX) maintain the highest dividend yield. This is based on information in the FTSE Asia Monthly Index Performance Report released this week that compares yields using distributions over the past 12 months. Of the 12 Asian countries represented by the FTSE Global Equity Index Series the FTSE Singapore Index maintained the highest yield of 3.31 percent with the 12 global equity indices maintaining a median yield of 2.58 percent.

The table below details the 12 FTSE Global equity Indices relevant to Asia. The FTSE Singapore Index is a broader and much less known index than the Straits Times Index (STI), however part of a global equity index series useful for global comparisons. In terms of the number of index constituents in the series, Japan has the highest number followed by China.

The FTSE Singapore Index includes a total of 41 constituents which is made up of both large cap and mid cap stocks. The FTSE Singapore Index includes most of the STI stocks and some of the largest stocks of the FTSE ST Mid Cap Index.

Due to the global equity index methodology, the FTSE Singapore Index does not include Jardine Matheson Holdings, Jardine Strategic Holdings and Hongkong Land. However, like the STI, the FTSE Singapore Index is a free float market capitalisation weighted index.

For a country’s index to be constructed and included in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series, it must have a minimum of three companies which pass all the eligibility criteria. FTSE Group also publishes a number of other regional and economic indices. As shown in the table below, the FTSE Singapore Index has also maintained a higher yield that the FTSE Emerging Index and FTSE Developed Index.

The ten constituents of the FTSE Singapore Index that paid the highest dividend yields over the 12 months ending 7 November are detailed below.

Nine of the ten counters detailed in the table above have generated gains for investors when taking into account dividend distributions. The indicative dividend yield is an annualised measure of the most recent applicable distributions, whereas the 12 month yield takes into account all distributions over the past 12 months. Four of the stocks in the table above are part of the STI and six are a part of the FTSE ST Mid Cap Index.

Income received from dividend distributions can be an important part if not objective of investing. While the FTSE Singapore Index maintained a dividend yield of 3.31 percent at the end of October, the yield for the STI stood at 3.05 percent and the FTSE ST Mid Cap Index maintained a dividend yield of 3.99 percent.

Over the past 10 years, an annual 3.0 percent dividend yield meant the STI averaged 9.5 percent annualised total returns. These average total returns have kept in line with Singapore housing prices (6.7 percent) plus inflation (2.5 percent).

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