Singapore’s fiscally prudent budget targeting just a few sectors of the country’s pandemic-hit economy for support will do little to significantly boost the country’s lagging stock market — although some sectors like aviation and green energy are set to benefit, say analysts.

The benchmark Straits Times Index, among Asia’s worst performing gauges last year, closed near the day’s low on Feb 16. It ended 0.1% higher after paring an earlier advance of as much as 0.5%. Among budget winners, aviation stocks largely held their gains while property stocks, a key component of the benchmark, gave up their intraday advance and dropped.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced plans for the government to spend $11 billion to help households and businesses hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the Southeast Asian country grapples with its worst economic contraction since it became independent in 1965.

See: JSS to be extended for hardest-hit companies until September 2021

“The budget is pretty targeted toward some sectors so those (targeted) themes will move rather than the index,” said Shekhar Jaiswal, head of research at RHB Singapore. “Last year was blanket help — this year is more about those who are still hit.”

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Here are the sectors analysts say will be the key winners from Singapore’s budget plan:



Heng proposed $870 million in support for the aviation sector, as well as extending an ongoing job-support scheme instituted last year. Shares in the sector largely held their gains. Singapore Airlines rose 1.4% while airline caterer SATS closed 1% higher.

“While the support for the aviation sector was expected, the fact that related stocks didn’t fall shows the market appreciated the budgetary allocation,” said Joel Ng, an analyst at KGI Securities (Singapore).

Green Businesses, EVs

Singapore plans to issue green bonds to raise funds for selective public infrastructure projects, and has identified as much as $19 billion of public sector green projects as a start. It will also set aside $30 million over the next five years for electric-vehicle-related initiatives and revise fees to encourage the early adoption of EVs.

See also: Climate change is a global emergency: Heng

The focus on electric vehicles will be positive for taxi-operator ComfortDelGro, according to Terence Chua, analyst at Phillip Securities Research. “ComfortDelGro will win because of an improving economy and their taxis, which are already transitioning toward electric vehicles. Most are already hybrid,” he said.


Singapore is considering plans to issue new bonds to finance infrastructure projects worth as much as $90 billion, Heng said in his budget speech.

Phillip Securities’ Chua said Keppel Corp., Sembcorp Industries and Keppel Infrastructure Trust are the stocks to watch on this spending plan.

See also: A budget for recovery and beyond



Singapore’s real estate-related stocks gave up their intraday gains after Heng didn’t, as expected by some market participants, propose aid for the sector.

See also: Some cheer for REITs unitholders

The FTSE Straits Times Real Estate Investment Trust Index fell 0.2% after earlier rising as much as 0.6%. The FTSE Straits Times Real Estate Index dropped 0.3% after rising as much as 0.4%.



Heng’s proposal to increase the nation’s goods and services tax rate “sometime” between 2022 and 2025 is being seen as a mixed bag for the consumption-related stocks. While a higher tax rate will weigh on consumers’ pockets, its deployment on so-far cheaper online purchases will be positive for bricks and mortar retailers.

“This new tax for online purchases is better than the current situation, where they are not taxed at all,” said Phillip Securities’ Chua.

Stocks to watch for regarding the coming tax hike include CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, Jumbo Group, Fraser and Neave and Sheng Siong Group.