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INSIDE MARKETS

Buying by directors falls during short trading week (Amended)

BUYING by directors fell during the holiday-shortened week of July 4 to 8: Twelve companies recorded 18 insider purchases worth S$0.76 million. The figures were sharply down from the previous week's five-day totals of 18 firms, 34 purchases and S$1.12 million. Sellers, on the other hand, returned after posting no sales in the previous week - two companies recorded three disposals worth S$2.66 million.

Buyback activity fell last week as 17 companies posted 56 repurchases worth S$20.6 million. The figures were sharply down from the previous week's 25 firms, 86 trades and S$37.8 million.

There were only a handful of significant filings last week with buybacks in Pacific Radiance, Sembcorp Industries, Soup Restaurant and LH Group. On the directors' side, there were purchases in Global Investments and S I2I Limited and sales in Parkway Life Reit.

Pacific Radiance

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Offshore vessels and support services provider Pacific Radiance bought 508,000 shares from July 1 to 7 at an average of S$0.25 each. The trades, which accounted for 17 per cent of the stock's trading volume, were made on the back of the 28 per cent drop in the share price since March from S$0.344.

The group previously acquired 6.246 million shares from Jan 6 to 22 at an average of S$0.295 each. Prior to the buybacks this year, it acquired 271,400 shares on Dec 14, 2015 and 3.41 million shares from Aug 20 to Sept 8, 2015 at an average of S$0.30 each. The acquisitions since August 2015 are the company's first buybacks since listing in November 2013. The company's purchase prices were sharply lower than the initial public offering (IPO) price of S$0.90.

Also positive this year is independent director Goh Chong Theng who bought 30,000 shares on June 10 at S$0.295 each. The trade increased his direct holdings by 19 per cent to 190,000 shares or 0.03 per cent of the issued capital.

Mr Goh was appointed to his post in October 2013. The counter closed at S$0.245 last Friday.

Sembcorp Industries

Integrated industrial site and infrastructure services provider Sembcorp Industries resumed buying back at higher than its acquisition prices earlier this year. It picked up 100,000 shares on July 4 at S$2.91 each. The group previously acquired 760,000 shares from Feb 24 to June 15 at S$2.55 to S$2.80 each, or an average of S$2.68 each.

Prior to the repurchases this year, the company acquired 22.83 million shares from December 2010 to December 2015 at S$3.05 to S$5.51 each or an average of S$4.73 each; and 12.2 million shares from January to September 2008 at S$3.65 to S$4.50 each or an average of S$4.17 each. The stock closed at S$2.82 on Friday.

Soup Restaurant Group

Restaurant chain operator Soup Restaurant Group resumed buying back at higher than its acquisition price in March. It bought 334,000 shares on July 5 at S$0.20 each. The group previously acquired 140,000 shares on March 15 at S$0.187 each. The trades since March were made on the back of a rebound in the share price since February from S$0.162.

Prior to the repurchases this year, the company acquired 2.515 million shares from January to December 2015 at S$0.188 to S$0.218 each or an average of S$0.202 each; and 12.85 million shares from August 2013 to December 2014 at S$0.155 to S$0.265 each or an average of S$0.22 each.

Investors should note that managing director Mok Yip Peng acquired 465,000 shares on March 16 at an average of S$0.212 each, which increased his direct holdings to 66.008 million shares or 23.33 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 9.86 million shares in August 2012 at S$0.12 each. The counter closed at S$0.20 on Friday.

LH Group

Buybacks by aluminium and metal parts and components fabricator and manufacturer LH Group since June totalling 49,500 shares accounted for 86 per cent of the stock's trading volume. The purchases were made from June 6 to July 7 at an average of S$0.606 each. The group last bought 2,300 shares on July 7 at S$0.59 each.

Aside from the buybacks since June, the company acquired 562,000 shares from Jan 6 to April 27 at an average of S$0.60 each. Prior to the repurchases this year, the company acquired 367,000 shares from Nov 26 to Dec 28, 2015 at S$0.415 to S$0.605 each or an average of S$0.536 each. The buybacks since November 2015 are the company's first repurchases since buybacks were introduced by the Exchange in June 1999. The counter closed at S$0.60 on Friday.

Global Investments

Chairman and non-executive director Boon Swan Foo recorded his first on-market trades in mutual fund Global Investments since March 2010. He bought 3.2 million shares from July 5 to 7 at an average of S$0.133 each. The trades, which accounted for 60 per cent of the unit trust's trading volume, increased his direct holdings to 176.427 million shares or 11.79 per cent of the issued capital.

The purchases were made on the back of the 66 per cent rise in the share price since October 2014 from S$0.08. He previously acquired an initial 33.09 million shares in March 2010 via married deal at S$0.18 each. Mr Boon was appointed to his post in November 2009.

Two other directors also recorded buys this year. Manager nominated director Jason See purchased an initial 506,000 shares from May 18 to 31 at an average of S$0.13 each. The shares bought represented 0.03 per cent of the issued capital. Mr See was appointed to the board in November 2013. Meanwhile, independent director Ronald Seah Lim Siang acquired an initial 50,000 shares on May 16 at S$0.13 each. Mr Seah was appointed to the board in April 2010. The counter closed at S$0.136 on Friday.

S I2I

Purchases by chairman and non-executive director Kumar Modi Bhupendra in mobile telecommunication solutions provider S I2I Limited since the last week of May totalling 120,000 shares accounted for 32 per cent of the stock's trading volume. The purchases were made from May 31 to July 4 at S$1.38 to S$2.10 each or an average of S$1.726 each.

The chairman recorded buys in 22 out of the 24 trading days during that period. He last bought 12,600 shares on July 4 at S$1.64 each, which increased his deemed holdings to 4.425 million shares or 32.27 per cent of the issued capital.

The acquisitions since May were made on the back of a rebound in the share price since the last week of April from S$1.42. The counter is also sharply up since November 2015 from S$0.59.

Prior to his trades this year, the chairman acquired 126,000 shares from September to October 2015 at S$0.38 to S$0.80 each or an average of S$0.701 each; S$1.3 million worth of shares from January to August 2010 and S$3.9 million worth of shares from October to December 2009. The stock closed at S$1.55 on Friday.

Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust

Independent director Tan Bong Lin recorded his first on-market trades in real estate investment firm Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust since November 2015 with the sale of his entire holdings (direct interest) of 100,000 units from July 5 to 7 at an average of S$2.564 each. The trades, which accounted for 6 per cent of the unit trust's trading volume, were made on the back of the 24 per cent rise in the unit price since the second half of January from S$2.063.

He previously sold 80,000 units on Nov 12, 2015 at S$2.31 each. Mr Tan's sales since November 2015 are his first on-market trades since the unit trust was listed in August 2007. The counter closed at S$2.63 on Friday.

  • The writer is managing director, Asia Insider Limited

 

 

Amendment note:

An earlier version of this story stated that  independent director Choo Boon Tiong who bought 30,000 shares of Pacific Radiance on June 10 at S$0.295 each. This is incorrect. It was Goh Chong Theng who bought those shares. We are sorry for the error.

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