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Celebrating the top listed companies in Singapore

Loh Boon Chye
Loh Boon Chye • 6 min read
Celebrating the top listed companies in Singapore
SGX Group is gradually transforming Singapore’s stock market with support from public and private stakeholders, says SGX CEO Loh / Photo: Albert Chua
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Now in its seventh year, The Edge Singapore’s Billion Dollar Club (BDC) awards prove the many successful companies listed on the Singapore Exchange S68 -

(SGX) that generate returns and value for their shareholders year after year. 

2023 has been challenging and uncertain for many businesses and investors as the world grapples with the lingering effects of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, inflationary pressures and interest rate hikes. The past year has probably been one of the most volatile in recent history regarding global interest rate rises and inflation.

Despite these headwinds, the winners of the BDC and Centurion Club awards have demonstrated their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve robust performance, even in times of economic uncertainty. They have exemplified agility, innovation and adaptability in navigating the changing business environment, delivering commendable returns to their shareholders.

I am pleased to acknowledge all the award winners, many of whom are no strangers to the awards. This year, leading specialist watch retailer The Hour Glass AGS -

Group, has emerged as the Overall Winner of the BDC, buoyed by the robust interest in luxury mechanical watches amid supply side constraints. Earlier this year, the homegrown company announced that its revenue had exceeded the $1 billion mark for the second year running.

The other Overall Sector Winners for the BDC have similarly excelled in their respective fields: DBS Group Holdings, Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust BUOU -

, Golden Agri-Resources E5H - , GuocoLand F17 - , Hutchison Port Holdings Trust NS8U - , Raffles Medical Group BSL - , Sembcorp Industries U96 - , Venture Corporation V03 - , Wilmar International F34 - , and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

We are also delighted to see AEM Holdings AWX -

, a global leader in test innovation, clinch the Centurion Club Overall Winner accolade amid a challenging year for the semiconductor industry. AEM has been one of the top most traded companies on SGX by turnover this year. 

See also: The Edge Singapore unveils winners of 2023 Billion Dollar Club

Our heartiest congratulations too to the other Overall Sector Winners of the Centurion Club for their well-deserved wins: BRC Asia BEC -

, Civmec P9D - , Cortina C41 - Holdings, PropNex, Riverstone Holdings AP4 - , Samudera Shipping Line S56 - , Sasseur REIT, Sing Investments & Finance and The Straits Trading Company. The high rankings of companies across diversified sectors testify that it is possible to innovate and thrive, even as different sectors face varying challenges and opportunities across economic cycles.

Driving mutual success
Notwithstanding the challenging macroenvironment which has weighed down worldwide stock markets, the Singapore stock market has remained relatively resilient over the years.
This reflects the quality and diversity of our listed companies, underpinned by robust governance frameworks, which have built up SGX Group’s reputation as a flight-to-quality and flight-to-safety venue. 

While macro factors like the tightening of monetary policies by major central banks have put a brake on global debt and equity fundraising activity, our position as a neutral international platform for companies and investors seeking long-term sustainable growth holds strong.

See also: CIMB Singapore well poised to capture new growth as regional economies recover

We continue to see growing interest from issuers and international investors, who value our stability, reliability and efficiency – these are key strengths that will position us well when market sentiments improve and as capital gravitates towards Asia. 

The substantial increase in scores in the 2023 Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) indicates the commitment of SGX-listed companies and trusts to greater governance and accountability.

We believe this will be an edge for SGX-listed companies as they seek to enhance shareholder value and attract capital for growth.

The success of the Singapore stock market is closely linked to the success of our listed companies. Investors today do not just look at financial numbers and what businesses do but how they do it: Communicating transparently, building a strong culture of good governance, and investing in sustainability and human capital are some factors that drive investment decisions. 

The way forward
SGX Group is working towards a gradual transformation of Singapore’s stock market, with the support of the ecosystem involving both public and private sector stakeholders. It is vital for the community to work together to build a vibrant investment ecosystem that fosters confidence and liquidity, as well as draws a diverse pool of issuers and investors.

Our programmes for market makers and liquidity providers help to create a more active and efficient market. Our research and education efforts have expanded alongside MAS’ GEMS Research Talent Development Grant Scheme.

At the same time, we continually introduce new products and services that offer investors more choices and opportunities. Some of these include:

Sector- and geography-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for portfolio diversification, including our landmark climate action ETF managed by Blackrock and anchored by Prudential, the largest equity ETF launched in Singapore to date

Enhanced connectivity through ETF links with exchanges such as Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange

Singapore Depository Receipts under the Thailand-Singapore Depository Receipt Linkage to provide investors with more efficient access to regional markets

Structured Certificates to meet the rising sophistication in investor needs

With the shift in investor preferences towards companies prioritising sustainability efforts, we are ramping up our efforts to support our ecosystem through ESG disclosures, data and capacity building. While disclosure through sustainability reporting is critical, what will set companies apart are their efforts to communicate a credible climate transition plan.

Transition plans
Sustainability journeys are not easy, but starting somewhere and improving as we go along is essential. Transition plans will become increasingly important for a company’s success as governments, companies, consumers, and shareholders prioritise climate action. 

According to a report by Forbes, Singapore is one of the most future-ready economies in the world, with a high level of innovation, competitiveness and resilience.

We are confident that our listed companies likewise have what it takes to succeed in the future as they focus their efforts in the right areas. 

As an exchange, our success cannot be achieved alone. We stand on the shoulders of our ecosystem partners, including issuers, investors, intermediaries, regulators, industry associations, media and academia, whose support and collaboration have been instrumental in building a robust and sustainable marketplace. We look forward to the continued advancement of the marketplace. 

Loh Boon Chye is CEO of SGX Group, a Supporting Partner of the BDC

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