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INSIDE INSIGHTS

20 director acquisitions filed; 12 stocks conduct buybacks

FOR the five trading sessions from April 5 to 11, the STI gained 0.4 per cent, again outpacing regional indices, the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200, which averaged a 0.5 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to April 4 to 9 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 12 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended April 11. The consideration totalled S$11.6 million, close to the S$11 million to S$12 million in buybacks filed for each of the preceding three sessions.

Buyback consideration was again led by OCBC and Hong Fok Corporation, with Global Investments, Best World International and Stamford Land Corporation making up the remainder of the top five by buyback consideration.

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Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning April 5 to 11 saw more than 130 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for approximately 40 primary-listed stocks.

There were 20 company director acquisitions and no disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing 20 acquisitions and 11 disposals.

The Hour Glass

On April 3, The Hour Glass' executive chairman Henry Tay Yun Chwan acquired 500,000 stocks via a married deal of the company for a consideration of S$335,000. This increased his total stake in the company from 64.940 per cent to 65.011 per cent.

His preceding acquisitions were on Aug 17, 2018 for 12,993,000 shares of the listed company.

He has been the executive chairman of the specialist luxury watch retailer since October 1987 and has served as an executive director since August 1979.

Acesian Partners

On April 5, Acesian Partners managing director & executive director Loh Yi acquired 22,512,956 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$337,694.

This increased his total interest in Acesian Partners from 20.41 per cent to 24.93 per cent.

On the other side of the married deal was Kelvin Kwok who reduced his shareholding in Acesian Partners from 6.79 per cent to 2.27 per cent. Mr Loh joined the group in September 2013 as executive chairman and was redesignated as managing director in August 2018.

He is responsible for the overall management and performance of the group and is also the managing partner of MGF Management, which is an exempt fund management company that focuses primarily on China private equity investment.

Sinostar Pec

Between April 4 and 5, Intelligent People Holdings Ltd (IPHL) acquired 896,000 shares of Sinostar Pec Holdings (Sinostar). With a consideration of S$191,365, the acquisitions took IPHL's total interest in the listed company from 56.05 per cent to 56.19 per cent. Sinostar non-executive chairman Li Xiang Ping has a 100 per cent shareholding interest in IPHL.

Mr Li made multiple acquisitions of Sinostar shares via IPHL in 2018, increasing his total interest from 52.19 per cent prior to Dec 27, 2017.

Hong Lai Huat Group

Between April 9 and 10, Hong Lai Huat Group deputy chairman and CEO Ong Bee Huat acquired 1,006,300 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$256,310. This increased his direct interest from 18.392 per cent to 18.845 per cent.

He is the founder of the group and is responsible for its overall strategic direction and planning as well as business development. He has gradually increased his direct interest in Hong Lai Huat Group from 15.02 per cent in early May 2018.

Best World International

Between April 9 and 10, Best World International (BWI) founding co-chairwomen and presidents each acquired 50,000 shares of the listed company.

On April 10, Doreen Tan acquired 50,000 shares of BWI for a consideration of S$99,000, increasing her total BWI interest to 40.8611 per cent.

Dora Hoan's acquisition of 50,000 BWI shares was for a consideration of S$100,000, which increased her total BWI interest to 41.0255 per cent.

BWI also bought back 215,000 shares between April 9 and 11 which brought the total number of shares bought back by BWI since the mandate was approved on April 30, 2018, to 0.218 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) as of the buyback resolution.

Hwa Hong

Between April 4 and 9, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong from 5.624 per cent to 5.669 per cent. He acquired 294,000 shares for a consideration of S$94,885.

This also increased the deemed and hence total interest of his father, Steven Ong Kay Eng, in Hwa Hong to 15.322 per cent. Mr Steven Ong has gradually grown his stake in the stock from 10.80 per cent on Nov 28, 2016 and 7.38 per cent at the end of 2014.

Heeton Holdings

On April 8, Heeton Holdings non-executive director Toh Gap Seng acquired 150,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$71,500.

This took Mr Toh's total interest in Heeton Holdings from 5.78 per cent to 5.83 per cent.

Mr Toh was appointed as a director of the company in 1978. He has more than 30 years' experience in property development and investment business and is also the executive director of Hong Heng Co Pte Ltd.

Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group

On April 5, Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group executive director Andrew Lim Kok-Kin acquired 30,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$24,000.

This took Mr Lim's direct interest in the group to 0.43 per cent.

He is a CFA charterholder since 1993 and has over 18 years of working experience in the investment industry. That included serving as director at Azure Capital Pte Ltd, chief investment officer at S.E.A. Asset Management Pte Ltd, senior fund manager at Pheim Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd as well as senior portfolio manager at MMG Investments (Dubai, UAE).

Uni-Asia Group

On April 9, Uni-Asia Group chairman and chief executive officer Minichio Tanamoto acquired 10,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$11,600.

Mr Tanamoto is one of the founders who established the company in 1997 and has been a director since then. He has over 36 years of experience in the financial sector based in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore and maintains a 2.2 per cent stake in Uni-Asia Group.

The group also recently released its annual report with the chairman highlighting that the property and hotel business segment led the group's profit in FY18 with the property business also contributing positively to its cash flow, with its second Hong Kong property realising HK$160 million proceeds in FY2018.

Hai Leck Holdings

On April 3, Hai Leck Holdings (Hai Leck) founder and executive chairman, Cheng Buck Poh acquired 20,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$10,400.

This took his total interest in the integrated services provider from 84.18 per cent to 84.19 per cent.

Mr Cheng is responsible for charting corporate directions and strategies for Hai Leck.

Mr Cheng's total interest in Hai Leck was 83.34 per cent at the end of August 2018.

He started Hai Leck Engineering as a sole proprietorship in 1971.

  • The writer is the market strategist at Singapore Exchange (SGX). To read SGX's market research reports, visit sgx.com/research.