SINGAPORE (Jan 23): On Jan 8, when investors were spooked by the assassination of an Iranian general by the US, most Singapore stocks turned red. Among the key heavyweight counters, ST Engineering was the standout, closing higher that day instead.

As one of the very rare defence plays across the region, ST Engineering is a natural stock for investors to load up when geopolitics turn hairy. The company, incidentally, is one of the top picks by Credit Suisse for this year. Others include wellknown blue chips Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), Wilmar International and City Developments (CDL).

Now, picking these big names isn’t because Credit Suisse is being conservative and recommends investors to seek safety in these stocks. “Generally, we are still expecting significant volatility in the market. And I think that really explains why we have a stock selection process that is skewed towards some of the safer stocks within the entire Singapore market,” says Credit Suisse’s Gerald Wong in an interview with The Edge Singapore.

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