Stock Market Bounce Back Strongly
The stock market bounced back strongly during January of 2019. Even I was surprised by the wild swing in stock market valuation in just 1 month. My portfolio including cash rallied from S$405K (based on what I documented for 31 Dec 2018) to S$445K– an increase of almost S$40K (S$32K capital gain from favorable stock market volatility and S$8K capital injection in Jan’19) which brings the overall investment back to profitability.
(i) Thai Beverage performed extremely well in January 2019 and it helped to offset the previous 2 months huge plunge in value for my First REIT investments. My only regret for this counter is that I did not accumulate more aggressively when Thai Beverage fell below S$0.60 as I was rather worried over the concentration risk given the already significant stake in my investment portfolio.
(ii) First REIT also rallied from a low of S$0.94 to S$1.10 after the more than 20% plunge from the Lippo Karawaci credit risk issue as well as fear of unfavorable master lease renewal coming up in another 2 years time.
(iii) Frasers Commercial Trust also seemed to have rallied upon the news that Google is in talks with the Trust for 400,000sqft of space at Alexander Technopark- Pls read here for reference.
1. Have accumulated more of Sing Medical Group shares while awaiting its announcement of its Q4 and full year ending FY2018 financial results. Sing Medical Group has been performing exceedingly well for the past few years. But its share price has dropped drastically- pls refer to my previous blog post on the enigmatic case of Sing Medical Group.
A word of caution here, it is a fallacy to think that medical services earnings are resilient. Please refer to my post here on this topic. For me, it is also more of diversifying my investments into medical services businesses on top of my own personal view that the share prices are currently undervalued relative to other medical services players.
2. I have also invested into Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust and accumulated 5,000 units at an average unit price of S$1.195. Maple NAC Trust has been doing rather well and a good track record of increasing value for shareholders. The current dividend yield is around 6%.
3. Since the more concrete plans to revamp Orchard Road came out, I have deployed additional cash into Starhill Global REIT. The REIT is trading below its NAV and I am expecting future earnings to bottom out soon in view of more positive rental reversion as well as new tenants contracted. The current yield for this Retail and Office REIT is more than 6%.
The Worst Is Over?
I am a pessimist on this. Within a short span of just 1 month, there is not much improvement in overall macroeconomic conditions. However, share prices have rallied strongly. The risk of Donald Trump slapping an additional tariff on 1st March 2019 on US$200 billion of China goods is still there. China’s growth has, in fact, started slowing down based on recent announcement.
Also, the Brexit crisis is still unresolved. There is still a high probability that UK will crash out of the EU without any deal. This may adversely affect not just UK but the entire Europe economy and spread to the rest of the world. For example, Nissan recently announced the pulling back of plans to manufacture the X-Trail SUV in UK due to loss of preferential zero tariff in the EU market. It will now most likely be manufactured from France. This thus does not bode well for the economy of UK in such event.
Hence I expect the yoyo in the stock market to continue.
Taking Profits And Building Up Cash On Hand
While no one can accurately predict the market, I have decided to continue to adopt a more conservative approach until we have more visibility over the global macro-economic conditions.
As such, I have sold off part of my Singtel, Thai Beverage as well as First REIT to lock in on the January 2019 high valuation and raise cash level to S$10K. Going forward, I will be maintaining cash position level of S$10K to S$20K.
If a downturn does occur, one will be able to hopefully accumulate more businesses at a cheaper valuation with cash on hand and dividends payout to position the portfolio for future growth upon economic recovery.