2019 outlook

Global effects of shareholder activism to be felt more than ever in the year ahead: JP Morgan

SINGAPORE (Jan 17): With  potentially volatile stock prices on the horizon, the impact of activists and shareholder activism – now permanent features of global capital markets – will be felt more than ever in 2019, says JP Morgan.

See: A different notion of shareholder activism

See: Minority rights

Go for lower beta, dividend-paying stocks this year after a disappointing 2018: Phillip

SINGAPORE (Jan 4): Phillip Capital is maintaining its Straits Times Index (STI) target of 3,400 in Oct 2019 – which pegs the market at 13.5 times, or around its ten-year average valuation – as the research house advocates a lower-beta equity portfolio for the year, with an emphasis on dividend-paying stocks.

In a Friday report, head of research Paul Chew opines that the Singapore market is currently cheap on a historical basis, as the STI currently trades at 1 SD of its 10-year historical valuations on a forward P/E of 12 times, or P/B of 1 times.

Why 2019 might be a better year for investors: Schroders

After the disappointment of 2018, Schroders chief executive Peter Harrison rounds up the factors its fund managers think could lead to a brighter year ahead.

SINGAPORE (Jan 2): 2018 has been a disappointing year for most investors. Almost all markets, both stocks and bonds, fell in value last year, under pressure from rising interest rates, political developments such as Brexit, and the trade dispute between the US and China. With hindsight, markets were priced for perfection at the start of the year and were vulnerable to bad news - and there has been plenty of that.

Market valuations may be inexpensive but stay defensive: RHB

SINGAPORE (Jan 2): RHB Research prefers to stay selective and defensive amid growth uncertainties in 2019.

The Straits Times Index (STI), down 12% in USD terms, could remain under pressure this year amid slowing GDP growth and an uncertain trade outlook due to China-US tensions.

In a Wednesday report, analyst Shekhar Jaiswal says, “While 12.6x forward P/E and 4.2% dividend yield make the STI’s valuations look compelling, we recommend investors stay selective and focus on buying stocks offering stable earnings, strong balance sheets, and sustainable dividends.”

Don't let your investing guard down in 2019, says RHB

SINGAPORE (Dec 26): RHB Research is targeting 3,300 for the Straits Times Index (STI) by end-2019 and advises investors to remain defensive amid anticipated volatility in the year ahead – by focusing on buying stocks that offer stable earnings, strong balance sheets and sustainable dividends.

The research house’s caution comes despite inexpensive overall market valuations, in the research house’s view, with the STI trading at 12.7 times its one-year forward P/E at the -1SD band as at the close of Dec 13.

STI more likely to trade between 2,800-3,200: OCBC

SINGAPORE (Dec 24): OCBC Investment Research is projecting for the Straits Times Index (STI) to trade as high as 4,125 in 2019 in a bull case scenario. 

As at Dec 5 this year, the index traded at 3,156, 18% down from Bloomberg’s target of 3,721.

The research house’s base case is for the STI to trade at around 3,632 with a potential upside of 17% from Dec 5 levels, based on 7% earnings growth and a seven-year historical average price-earnings ratio (PER) of 13.9 times.

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