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Revamped Straits Times Index officially launched - Jan 11, 2008 (ST)

BackJan 11, 2008

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

Revamped Straits Times Index officially launched

This is the STI's first major revamp since 1998. A family of 18 new FTSE ST indexes was also launched.

By Alvin Foo
Jan 11, 2008
The Straits Times

THE champagne flowed and the Chinese drums sounded at the SGX Centre yesterday to signal the first trading session of the new-look Straits Times Index (STI).

SNAZZIER STI: At the launch of the revamped Straits Times Index yesterday were (from left) SPH chief executive Alan Chan, SGX CEO Hsieh Fu Hua and FTSE CEO Mark Makepeace. Photo/ CHEW SENG KIM

In its first major revamp since 1998, the STI has seen its 47 component stocks cut to 30 blue chips.

A family of 18 new FTSE ST indexes, covering various sectors as well as smaller companies and China-based firms, was also launched.

The exercise, a joint undertaking by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Britain's FTSE Group, aims at making the index more reflective of the market and accessible for investors.

About 100 people attended the kick-off ceremony, including SPH chief executive Alan Chan, SGX chief executive officer Hsieh Fu Hua and FTSE CEO Mark Makepeace.

Mr Chan said: 'The revamped STI will be more comprehensive in its primary role...and will also become a more investible index for both institutional and retail investors.

It will thus cement its importance for the future.'

Mr Hsieh hailed the launch as 'a major milestone for the Singapore market', adding that the SGX now has a 'globally recognised methodology for our indexes'.

The changes are expected to generate more index-linked investment products and generate a more vibrant market.

Mr Makepeace said: 'We want to make sure the STI is not just the best known index in Singapore, but also the most widely used for investment purposes.'

Mr Hsieh also revealed that several issuers have already told the exchange of plans to launch new products on the indexes, in particular the China index.

The only guests missing yesterday were the bulls, leaving the market to close 33.46 points, or 1 per cent, down at 3,311.07.

The dip was due mainly to falls in the Hong Kong and Japan markets.

One of the STI's four new entrants - Wilmar International - closed up four cents to $5.64 after hitting a day's high of $5.72.

Investors can get live values of the new STI and 18 indexes for free at these five websites:

SPH:
btstocks.asiaone.com/keyIndices.html

SGX:
www.sgx.com

NextView:
www.investasiaonline.com

ShareInvestor:
www.shareinvestor.com and www.listedcompany.com
FTSE will display the end-of-day index values on its website at www.ftse.com/st

The SGX is also working with the Society of Remisiers to have the real-time numbers on its website.