SINGAPORE (Mar 5): DBS's windfall dividend was the most "exciting" event over the two months of earnings reporting, says CIMB, given 4Q17 was not an impressive quarter for Singapore stocks.

However, CIMB is still "overweight" on banks gong forward as they seem most defensive, trading at mean of CY18 1.35 times P/BV with 11.3% ROE.

The banks have also cleaned up their oil & gas loan book under new reporting rules FRS 109.

"Higher Net Interest Income and fees, and benign credit costs are tailwinds for all three banks," says analyst Lim Siew Khee in a Friday report.

All three telcos also disappointed in 4Q17 on higher-than-expected costs and weak associate contribution. Earnings outlook also looks grim given the impending entry of a fourth telco.

"Valuations are also not screamingly attractive at 16x CY19 P/E vs 10-year average of 15x," says Lim.

For the property sector, CIMB has an "overweight" call on developers on the premise of replacement housing for en bloc buyers and nascent recovery in residential prices and land bank restocking.

Cambridge Industrial Trust and UOL are its top picks.

Results of REITs were largely in line except for CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDL HT) which beat estimates on higher RevPar in Singapore and supporting expectations of 5% y-o-y rise in RevPAR in FY18.

The other REIT preferred picks are Mapletree Logistics Trust on share price weakness and CapitaLand Commercial Trust which is a proxy for office recovery.

In the capital goods sector, more kitchen-sinking provisions were made across rigyards after Keppel Corp stomached the $618 million global settlement of Brazilian penalty.

Weak operating leverage was apparent among the Singapore yards due to the cumulative effects of anaemic orders over the past two years, adds CIMB.

Hype over corporate actions between Sembcorp Industries and Sembcorp Marine had kept interests strong until they reported earnings misses.

"We prefer SembMarine over Keppel given the recent share price weakness. At current price, it is trading at 1.6x CY18F P/BV, below its 20-year average of 2.5x," says Lim.

ST Engineering appears to be the least risky for now on the back of the return of the engine repair cycle.

In tech, manufacturing and gaming, Creative Technology’s unveiling of its latest Super X-Fi technology created more buzz than its earnings although the stock is unrated by CIMB.

Results were mixed with Venture Corp living up to expectations from earnings to dividend while UMS and AEM outperformed on higher sales.

"Venture and AEM are our picks," says Lim.

As Genting Singapore's earnings which came in line disappointed the market after two sequential quarters of outperformance, CIMB sees a buying opportunity after its recent share price correction and see volume growth as a key re-rating catalyst.

With that, CIMB's Alpha picks are SembMarine, Venture, UOL, Genting Singapore, ST Engineering among the big caps; and AEM, China Sunsine, Yongnam and mm2 Asia among the small caps.

"We removed Sunningdale due to forex uncertainty and lower ASPs and Keppel due to noises from various arbitrations," concludes Lim.