Some of Singapore’s Small-Cap Winners Now Turn Into Losers

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The coronavirus outbreak is turning some of the winners of the last quarter into this year’s losers in Singapore’s market for small-cap stocks.

Palm-oil producers -- two of which were among the top performers in the last three months of 2019 -- have seen their gains fizzle with the price of the commodity as the virus weakens demand for their products. Meanwhile, real estate stocks have become even more popular as a defensive play. They make up seven of this year’s top 10 biggest gainers in the MSCI Singapore Small Cap Index.

As the coronavirus continues to cloud the outlook for growth, investors are sticking with safer stocks. It is likely to remain that way unless there is a significant improvement to the outbreak situation in Singapore, said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia.

The biggest gainer in the fourth quarter, agricultural producer Bumitama Agri Ltd., is this year’s largest loser. First Resources Ltd., which also produces palm oil, is now among the 10 worst stocks in the MSCI small-cap gauge.

Their larger peers aren’t immune. Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. has seen its share price decline by 11% in 2020, while Wilmar International Ltd. is up only 0.7%, after they both gained more than 4% in the fourth quarter.

Past Winners

CompanySectorPerformance (4Q)Performance (YTD)
Bumitama AgriAgriculture38%-17%
JapfaAgriculture29%2.5%
Accordia Golf TrustHotels25%0.8%
COSCO SingaporeTransportation20%-15%
First ResourcesAgriculture19%-11%
Oxley HoldingsReal estate developer13%-4.2%
Manulife U.S. REITREIT12%4%
SembCorp MarineOil and gas12%-11%
Sheng Siong GroupRetail12%4%
Sasseur REITREIT11%-7.9%

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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