October 2019 Singapore Savings Bonds is 1.75%

The effective interest rate for October 2019 Singapore Savings Bonds (GX19100N) fell to a new low which is 1.75% if you held it for 10 years. The interest rate is the lowest and the worst for the past 12 months. The minimum amount you can purchase for Singapore Savings Bonds is S$500. If you decide to hold and sell it for 1 year, the effective interest rate is 1.64%.

Currently, CIMB Fast Fixed Deposit offers a fixed deposit interest rate of 1.70% p.a. for 3 months period. CIMB Fast Fixed Deposit also offers an interest rate of 1.85% p.a. for a 12 months period. However, there is a minimum placement of S$10,000 required and only for online deposit.

DBS Multiplier Account + Singapore Savings Bonds

If you hold a DBS Multiplier Account, you can perhaps try the hack I previously wrote about to achieve a higher interest rate payout. (Read more: Earn More Interest With DBS Multiplier Account + Singapore Savings Bonds).

Tracking Singapore Savings Bonds via StocksCafe

My favorite website, StocksCafe has introduced a new feature to allow adding of Singapore Savings Bonds into your portfolio. If you didn’t know, I signed up as a Friend of StocksCafe as my most favorite feature of StocksCafe is the automated tracking of dividends payout.

I have renewed my subscription with StocksCafe and this is the second year that I continue to use StocksCafe to track my dividends.

Tracking Singapore Savings Bonds via My Savings Bonds Portal

MAS has launched My Savings Bonds Portal where you can track your Singapore Savings Bonds purchases separately from your stock purchases. I have done up a simple guide here. (Read more: Guide to My Savings Bonds Portal)

Summary of August 2019 Transactions

Today is the last day of the month of August 2019. As usual, I am stock taking my stock portfolio. When the stock market fell this month, I tried to find an opportunity to make a purchase but unfortunately, I didn’t find anything that was attractive.

Frasers Commercial Trust continue to held steady at the price range of S$1.58 to S$1.64. Given the risk of Microsoft vacating its premises which I wrote about recently, this is pretty quite a risk to jump in at this price and moment even though its Distribution Per Unit (DPU) head steady at 2.40 cents. (Read more: Frasers Commercial Trust Maintain DPU of 2.40 Cents)

I was fortunate that most of my major holdings did well (SPH REIT, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust, ST Engineering, Parkway Life REIT, CapitaMall Trust) and those that didn’t do well (Kingsmen Creatives, OUE Hospitality Trust) are minority among my stock holdings.

The hospitality sector is expected to remain weak this year and I would have sold off OUE Hospitality Trust if not given its quality assets and its recent announced merger with OUE Commercial Trust which may or may not renewed its life.

As for my wife’s stock portfolio, Starhill Global REIT credit rating was downgraded yesterday to ‘BBB’ given the lack of prospects and weakened rental income for the next few years.

Last but not least, I have continued to add on to my Singapore Savings Bonds since I have no alternative place to park my month allocated money for investment. This is despite the super lousy interest rate that it offers in the latest issue. (Read more: September 2019 Singapore Savings Bonds is 1.95%) The sum that I have is too little to buy any Endowment Plans and honestly, I dislike the lock in period for 3 years. (Read more: NTUC Capital Plus Versus Singapore Savings Bonds Versus SPH REIT )

I will unlock my war chest once I find an opportunity!

Starhill Global REIT Downgraded To BBB

Three years ago, I wrote about Soilbuild Business Space REIT being given a Baa3 credit rating by Moody’s. (Read more: What is meant by Baa3?) Today, I receive an email notification that Starhill Global REIT has been downgraded from a credit rating of ‘BBB+’ to ‘BBB’ by Standard & Poors (S&P). This is an indication that something isn’t right even though it is not a recommendation to buy or sell.

My wife currently held 9% of Starhill Global REIT in her stock portfolio. In FY2019, Distribution Per Unit (DPU) declined 1.5% from 4.55 cents in FY18 to 4.48 cents in FY19.

Here are a few noteworthy points from the S&P report:

  • Starhill Global REIT is facing pressure in rent reversions in its key Singapore assets amid weakened economic conditions.
  • Funds from operations (FFO) to debt to decline to 7.6%-7.8% in fiscals 2020 and 2021.
  • Ngee Ann City’s master tenant’s rent review in June 2019 resulted in rents remaining flat (Read more: Starhill Global REIT Decides Not To Increase Toshin New Base Rent)
  • Contributions from Starhill Global REIT’s Australia assets were weighed down by the depreciation of the Australian dollar against the Singapore dollar.
  • Starhill Global REIT is performing AEI on Starhill Gallery Mall in Malaysia. The rental rebates agreed by Starhill Global REIT will weigh down rental performance at these assets.

The outlook doesn’t seem good which might place further pressure on the Distribution Per Unit (DPU).