Singapore blue-chip stocks made available for $100 monthly

OCBC Bank launched on Tuesday a regular investment plan that allows retail investors to purchase 19 blue-chip stocks for as little as S$100 a month.

The bank said the OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan is targeted at young working adults who may find investing in equities out of reach given the amount of upfront cash needed, as well as busy professionals who have little time to monitor the performance of stocks.

As the purchase of one lot (1,000 shares) can cost up to a five-figure sum, the new plan gives investors an option to buy smaller number of shares with their chosen monthly investment amount, bank officials said during the press launch of the financial product.

Investors can use cash or funds from Central Provident Fund (CPF) or Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) accounts to invest in one or more stocks from a selection of 19 mainboard Straits Times Index (STI) stocks such as CapitaLand Limited, ComfortDelGro Corporate Limited and StarHub Ltd, and the STI Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

OCBC said it chose blue-chip stocks for the plan as they are nationally-known companies, with a long record of profit growth and dividend payment.

First-time investors also need not go through the hassle of opening securities trading and Central Depository (CDP) accounts as OCBC will buy the stocks on their behalf on a pre-determined date every month.

OCBC Bank head of consumer financial services (Singapore) and group premier banking, Dennis Tan, said the plan makes it “very simple and accessible for anyone who wishes to participate in blue chip stocks, in an affordable way.”

Chew Sutat, executive vice president at SGX, said that, contrary to popular belief, investing in equities is not all about trading and speculating, but also about saving and investing.

He added that the benchmark index for the Singapore stock market STI’s returns are attractive compared to that of other countries.

Chew also noted, “Retail investor participation in Singapore remains low at about 8 per cent compared to 24 per cent in Hong Kong and 17 per cent in Australia.”

SGX hopes to “increase the retail participation rate in Singapore in the next three years to 15 per cent," he added.

To educate the public on the importance of regular investing, OCBC Bank will also work jointly with SGX to organise public seminars and road shows to help raise awareness, starting in July 2013.



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