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ComfortDelGro, Keppel Infrastructure Trust ride on Singapore's EV push: OCBC Investment Research

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
ComfortDelGro, Keppel Infrastructure Trust ride on Singapore's EV push: OCBC Investment Research
This is the last of three stories revealing the analyst’s stock picks. Photo: Bloomberg
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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong emphasised in his Budget 2024 speech that Singapore will “make no apology for pursuing growth”. 

While Wong acknowledged that embracing sustainability may entail additional costs for businesses, going green can also be a competitive advantage, and it is important that local companies are “sustainability-ready”, says OCBC Investment Research analyst Ada Lim. 

“While Singapore’s approach to environmental sustainability may not be the most perfect nor the most ambitious, we think there is merit in highlighting the various ways in which the Singapore government is striking a balance with, partnering and galvanising the private sector to decarbonise, without compromising on economic growth,” adds Lim.

In a March 11 note, Lim names eight Singapore stocks across industrials and financials that are contributing to Singapore’s transition to a low-carbon economy. This is the last of three stories revealing the analyst’s stock picks. 

Long-term EV gains

Electric vehicles (EVs) face a chicken-and-egg problem, says Lim. The installation of EV charging infrastructure is necessary to support widespread EV adoption. However, charging stations are often unprofitable, especially when the EV population is not yet sufficiently large. 

See also: A comfortable pace of change: Our interview with ComfortDelGro’s managing director and group CEO

According to Bloomberg, EV chargers need to reach 15% utilisation before they are able to turn a profit. As at the end of 2023, EVs and hybrid vehicles make up only 10.8% of the total motor vehicle population in Singapore, though infrastructure utilisation figures are unavailable.

Although EV charging infrastructure may only see more meaningful returns in the medium to long term, companies like ComfortDelGro C52 -

and Keppel Infrastructure Trust A7RU - (KIT) are already paving the way for EV adoption, says Lim. 

Lim has target prices of $1.40 and $0.60 on ComfortDelGro and KIT respectively. 

See also: CGS International increases Yangzijiang Shipbuilding TP to $2.35, ups order book win target to US$5.5 bil

ComfortDelGro’s wholly-owned subsidiary, ComfortDelGro Engineering, and KIT’s City Energy are both involved in the installation and management of EV chargers. 

Simultaneously, Singapore’s government is also ramping up efforts to encourage the adoption of EVs as part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. 

In September 2023, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) and National Environment Agency (NEA) announced the extension of the EV Early Adoption Initiative, which was due to end on Dec 31, 2023, by two more years, albeit with lower rebates.

Green financing 

EnterpriseSG first launched the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Green (EFS-Green) in October 2021 to provide green financing to project developers, system integrators and technology and solution enablers that develop enabling technologies and solutions to reduce waste, resource use or reduce emissions. 

The scheme was well-received, says Lim, and close to $100 million of green loans had been provided to more than 30 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by the end of 2022, across areas like solar energy, energy storage and energy efficient technologies.

For more stories about where money flows, click here for Capital Section

At Budget 2024, Wong announced that the scope of EFS-Green will be broadened to include the financing of green technology and solution adopters from April 1 in order to support more local enterprises in their adoption of green solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.

EnterpriseSG will continue to provide 70% risk-share to catalyse lending from partner financial institutions. According to Lim, these include local bank DBS Group Holdings (39.00) and United Overseas Bank U11 -

($32.50),

OCBC Investment Research does not issue ratings on OCBC. 

Shares in ComfortDelGro closed at $1.37, units in Keppel Infrastructure Trust closed at $0.49, shares in DBS closed at $33.50 and shares in UOB closed at $28.28 on March 12. 

Infographic: CBC Investment Research

Read OCBC’s full list of eight stock picks that could benefit from Budget 2024 schemes here:

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