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SET touts dividend stocks amid volatility

Bull and bear mascots sit in the Stock Exchange of Thailand museum on Ratchadaphisek Road. (Photo: Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

Given global volatility and high interest rates, many investors are searching for investments with stable returns.

Dividend stocks can provide substantial returns, especially compared with bank deposits, as many stocks offer a dividend yield of more than 5%, paying a dividend of 20% per year.

Data from the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) showed the average dividend yield of listed Thai companies is roughly 1.25-2.25 times, which is higher than the 12-month fixed deposit interest rate. That makes dividend stocks a good option for long-term investment, according to analysts.

Listed companies on the SET numbered 823 with total income of 18.2 trillion baht in 2023, a decrease of 2% from 18.6 trillion a year earlier.

The combined net profit was 947 billion baht, down 2.6%. Of the total, 76% or 625 companies posted net profits from operations.

There were some “golden goose stocks”, referring to stocks that offered consistent returns for investors.

Data compiled by the Bangkok Post found the dividend yield of listed Thai companies from 2017 to 2023 was 1.25-2.25 times, topping the highest rate of 12-month fixed deposits offered by commercial banks.

Last year, listed companies in the resource group had a dividend yield of 4.51%, or 1.92 times the highest rate of the 12-month fixed deposit at commercial banks.

To facilitate investment in dividend stocks, the SET has selected stocks for a “dividend universe” group every year since 2016.

The selection criteria comprises: listed companies with good, continuous profits; liquidity in operations; and good corporate governance.

According to SET data, 141 listed companies meet the criteria.

Dividend universe stocks have an average dividend yield of 4.11% per year, higher than the market average of 2.88%, while 43 of the 141 companies have a five-year average dividend yield higher than 5% per year.

The top 15 have an average dividend yield in a range of 6.62% to 11.6%, averaging 8% per year, according to SET data.

As of March 29, the top 10 dividend yield stocks based on five-year averages are: Sherwood Corporation (SWC) (11.6%), Lohakit Metal (LHK) (9.98%), Lanna Resources (LANNA) (9.83%), Pruksa Holding (PSH) (9.09%), TPI Polene Power (TPIPP) (7.87%), Phol Dhanya (PHOL) (7.65%), Sahamit Machinery (SMIT) (7.59%), Tisco Financial Group (TISCO) (7.47%), Namyong Terminal (NYT) (7.37%) and MFC Asset Management (MFC) (7.27%).

The top 15 stocks in the SET High Dividend Index have a three-year dividend yield ranging from 4.75% to 22.1%, averaging 8.01% per year.

Stocks in this index include: Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) (STGT) (22.1%), Regional Container Lines (RCL) (16.5%), Sri Trang-Agro Industry (STA) (13.1%), Tipco Asphalt (TASCO) (7.56%), TISCO (7.18%), Land and Houses (LH) (6.03%), Supalai (SPALI) (5.78%), Original Property (ORI) (5.77%) and Thai Union Group (TU) (5.05%).

Michael Maren
Michael Maren
Former marine biologist who likes to spend as much time in the tropics as possible, due to a horrible time I once had in Alaska. Brrrr.

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