Stocks to benefit from Budget 2018: UOB

By PC Lee / The Edge Singapore | February 20, 2018 12:15 PM SGT
SINGAPORE (Feb 20): UOB KayHian remains positive on property stocks and REITs saying the raising of BSD (Buyers Stamp Duty) rate is more of revenue collection than a property cooling measure.
In a Tuesday report, UOB's Singapore Research Team says the impact on home-buying demand will be marginal with the mass-market segment making up the bulk of the transactions relatively unaffected.
The high-end properties will see a bigger impact with the effective BSD rates rising 0.8-1 ppt, but affordability is a lesser constraint for buyers in this segment.
View of St Michael's Road
(Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
This is because the new BSD is unchanged for properties priced below $1 million, while those ranging $1 million-$2 million will see up to $10,000 increase in BSD rates.
Instead, tweaks to the proximity housing grant (PHG) is expected to bolster HDB resale prices.
Families buying a resale flat to live with their parents or children will benefit from an increased PHG of $30,000, up from $20,000. For those buying a resale flat near their parents or children, they will continue to receive a PHG of $20,00.
"Maintain 'overweight' on both sectors with City Developments, Wing Tai, CDL Hospitality Trusts, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Ascendas REIT as our top picks," says UOB.
Meanwhile, the deferment of GST and bonus “hongbao” of $100-300 for every Singaporean aged 21 and above, is expected to provide a boost for the consumer sector and retailers.
"Beneficiaries could include Courts, Sheng Siong, Jumbo and FJ Benjamin," says UOB.
Spending on infrastructure continues to be a key focus in Budget 2018.
The projection for public infrastructure spending has been raised to $20 billion.
Projects over the next decade include the expansion of the rail network, Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District, Woodlands North Coast, Changi Airport Terminal 5, Tuas Port and the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail.
UOB says this is a positive to the construction sector, which has experienced a challenging 2017.
Beneficiaries could include KSH with 87 cents target under review and Hock Lian Seng with 63 cents target.
To be sure, the benchmark Straits Times Index has started the year strongly, up 2.5% YTD and close to UOB's year-end target of 3,530.
"However, we think our STI target could stretch to 3,730 if earnings surprise to the upside," says UOB.
Other stocks UOB favours include those that ride on multi-year growth drivers like Venture, Cityneon, Raffles Medical and CITIC Envirotech; Reflation picks like City Developments, Keppel Corp, Wing Tai; and quality laggards like SingPost, Raffles Medical, ComfortDelGro.
Stocks impacted by 2018 Budget
(Source: UOB)
This story, written by PC Lee for The Edge Singapore, first appeared on Feb 20.