Time flies and 2023 is almost drawing to a close.
The economy also remains weak as consumer sentiment has been dented by higher costs.
Despite these headwinds, several companies are still pushing to grow their business.
These moves may not generate any immediate benefit but are important to help the company build up a solid foundation for future growth.
Here are three Singapore stocks to keep an eye on as the final month of 2023 arrives.
iFAST Corporation Limited (SGX: AIY)
iFAST is a financial technology (fintech) company that operates a platform for the buying and selling of unit trusts, equities, and bonds.
The group reported a sparkling set of earnings for its third quarter of 2023 (3Q 2023) with net profit quadrupling year on year to S$8.5 million.
The fintech’s assets under administration also hit a new record high of S$19.12 billion as of 30 September 2023.
Just last week, iFAST unveiled its new iFAST Global Hub.ai in Malaysia.
This launch is in line with the group’s initiative within its three-year growth plan to become a prominent player in digital banking, wealth management, and pension administration solutions.
Originally known as iFAST Service Centre, the iFAST Global Hub.ai will play a central role in enhancing operating efficiency and scalability.
The hub will utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance iFAST’s fintech capabilities and optimise workflows.
In time, the hub will increase the group’s effectiveness in delivering financial services to worldwide clients, bringing it closer to achieving its goal of building a truly global business model.
At a launch event on 21 November, several AI initiatives were announced.
These include plans to automate its customer service with in-house AI solutions by the end of 2025 which will then enable the service support to handle 50 languages and provide round-the-clock services.
iFAST Global Hub.ai will also support the group’s pension administration division led by the ePension division in Hong Kong.
In line with this growth plan, iFAST will hire at least 400 digital talent to join its team over the next five years.
The Global Hub.ai will also invest more than RM 150 million and occupy more than 63,000 square feet of space over the same period, in line with iFAST’s ambition to become a global fintech powerhouse.
City Developments Limited (SGX: C09)
City Developments Limited, or CDL, is a global real estate company with operations in 143 locations in 28 countries and regions.
Earlier this month, CDL acquired 1NQ, a 261-unit freehold project in Manchester, UK, for £75.6 million.
The project is located in the Northern Quarter, which was cited as one of the coolest neighbourhoods on Earth in Time Out magazine in 2022.
CDL will forward-fund the project with work commencing in November and completion is slated for 2026.
The blue-chip group will develop the site into two newbuild 10 and 12-storey apartment blocks with two commercial units on the ground floor.
1NQ represents the fourth private rented sector (PRS) by the group since 2019.
Sherman Kwek, CEO, believes that PRS assets offer resilience, recurring income, and strong growth potential.
With this purchase, CDL would have scaled up its global PRS portfolio by nearly 70% to 4,489 operational and pipeline units in the UK, Japan, Australia, and the US.
Kingsmen Creatives Limited (SGX: 5MZ)
Kingsmen Creatives offers services to its clients in the Exhibitions, Interiors, Research and Design, and Experiential Marketing segments.
Earlier this month, the group announced that Kingsmen Xperience, its subsidiary in the US, will partner with Max-Matching Entertainments to bring the NERF Action Xperience family entertainment centres to China beginning in 2025.
These entertainment centres are licensed by leading toy company Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS).
Kingsmen Xperience will manage the intellectual property and licensing as well as lead design and development while Max-Matching is responsible for identifying locations, developing the properties, operating the centres, and providing facility management services.
Each facility will range in size from 1,500 square metres (sqm) to 4,500 sqm and feature different fun zones, a food and beverage area, and a retail store.
Kingsmen had previously attempted to bring NERF Action Xperience to China by partnering with Vision High (HK) Limited back in July 2019 but the agreement was terminated on the last day of December.
In June 2019, Kingsmen had inked a deal with Hasbro to bring these activity centres to the US.
The group already runs a NERF Action Xperience centre in Singapore’s Marina Square.
If successful, Kingsmen will have snagged three countries under its belt with its NERF Action Xperience centres by 2025.
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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of iFAST Corporation Limited.