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INSIDE INSIGHTS

2020 starts with a director acquisition-to-disposal ratio of 3:1

FOR the five trading sessions spanning Jan 3 to 9, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.3 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.5 per cent return. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return to 0.8 per cent, following a 9.4 per cent total return in 2019.

Share buybacks

There were 12 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended Jan 9 with a total consideration of S$12.9 million. OCBC, Silverlake Axis and Singapore Technologies Engineering led the consideration tally.

The total buyback consideration of primary-listed stocks in 2019 was S$590 million. OCBC, DBS Group Holdings, Keppel Reit, Singapore Technologies Engineering and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) led the 2019 tally.

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Buybacks conducted by STI stocks made up two-thirds of the S$590 million total consideration in 2019.

The non-STI stocks that are currently actively trading and contributed the highest buyback considerations for 2019 included Keppel Reit, Stamford Land Corporation, Global Investments, Hong Fok Corporation and Olam International.

The S$590 million in buyback consideration in 2019 compared to S$1.53 billion in 2018 and S$426 million in 2017.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Jan 3 to 9 saw 115 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for close to 45 primary-listed stocks.

There were a total of 16 company director acquisitions and five disposals that were filed, with substantial shareholders filing eight acquisitions and eight disposals.

Wilmar International

On Jan 9, Wilmar International independent director Tay Kay Chye sold 100,000 shares for a consideration of S$432,000. This reduced Mr Tay's total interest in the leading Agri-business from 0.003 per cent to 0.002 per cent and followed on from his exercising 100,000 employee share options on Dec 27.

Mr Tay is also the executive chairman of CLMV Consult Net Private Ltd, a regional consulting company headquartered in Singapore and the CEO of the PATA Group (comprising PATA Consultancy Pte Ltd and PATA International Enterprise Pte Ltd).

He has served as the honorary adviser of Asean Bankers Association, from 2008 to 2010.

Prior to his retirement on Dec 31, 2007, Mr Tay was the president and CEO of Asean Finance Corporation Ltd, a regional merchant bank based in Singapore and owned by various leading banks and financial institutions in Asean since 1991.

PEC

On Jan 3, PEC CEO Robert Dompeling acquired 400,000 shares of the plant and terminal engineering specialist company for a consideration of S$236,000.

At S$0.59 per share, this increased his direct interest in PEC from 0.52 per cent to 0.68 per cent.

Mr Dompeling joined PEC in July 2007 as group CEO and is responsible for the operational, commercial and financial management of the group as well as charting business development and expansion.

On Jan 6, PEC executive chairman Edna Ko Poh Thim also acquired 400,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$236,000 at S$0.59 per share.

This increased her total interest in PEC from 47.40 per cent to 47.56 per cent.

Ms Ko has been with the group for more than 20 years, and is responsible for the overall business strategy and development of the group. She was appointed executive chairman in July 2007.

The company provides project works, maintenance services and other related services to the oil and gas, petrochemical, oil and chemical terminals, and pharmaceutical industries in Asia and the Middle East.

Heeton Holdings

On Jan 7, Heeton Holdings deputy chairman and executive director Toh Giap Eng acquired 500,000 shares of the real estate conglomerate for a consideration of S$157,500.

At an average price of S$0.315 per share, this took his total interest in Heeton Holdings from 40.21 per cent to 40.31 per cent.

Mr Toh's role at Heeton Holdings is to identify and secure investment and development properties in new markets, explore and develop related or new businesses as well as assist the chairman in the overall stewardship and governance of the group.

Mr Toh's preceding acquisition was for 100,000 shares at S$0.4573 per share on Dec 12. The contrast in the share price can be mostly attributed to the issuance of bonus shares.

On Dec 31, Heeton Holdings issued 162,578,243 new ordinary shares in the share capital of the company to the shareholders of the company on the basis of one bonus share for every two existing ordinary shares held (as of 5pm Dec 26).

Interra Resources

On Jan 3, Interra Resources non-executive director Yin Lifeng sold 1.14 million shares of the O&G exploration and production company for a consideration of S$116,640. At an average price of S$0.1023 per share this reduced his direct interest in the listed company from 0.449 per cent to 0.255 per cent.

Mr Yin's preceding Interra Resources transaction was on Dec 19, 2019 and was also a disposal of 1.14 million shares at S$0.082 per share.

Mr Yin is also the vice-president of China Zhenhua Oil Co Ltd since 2015, and is in charge of the company's business strategy, planning, investment and finance.

Yanlord Land Group

On Jan 6, Yanlord Land Group chairman and CEO Zhong Sheng Jian acquired 80,400 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$97,284. At S$1.21 per share, this increased his total interest in Yanlord Land Group from 70.318 per cent to 70.322 per cent.

Mr Zhong's preceding acquisition was Dec 31, with 4 million shares acquired at S$1.22 per share and prior to this, on July 2, 2018, he acquired 1.2 million shares at an average price of S$1.5258 per share.

Mr Zhong is the founder of Yanlord Land Group and is responsible for its overall management and strategy development.

Stamford Tyres Corporation

On Jan 2, Stamford Tyres Corporation president Wee Kok Wah acquired 360,000 shares of the independent tyres and wheels distributor for a consideration of S$88,200.

At S$0.245 per share, this increased his total stake in the listed company from 39.152 per cent to 39.304 per cent.

Prior to this, Mr Wee vested 300,000 shares in Stamford Tyres Corporation on Nov 29, 2019 and Nov 29, 2018, after being granted a share award of 900,000 performance shares on Nov 29, 2018 to be vested over three years through to Nov 30, 2020.

Mr Wee has propelled Stamford Tyres forward as its CEO since the 1970s after taking over the helm from his father, who had founded the first Stamford Tyres business in the 1930s as a petrol pump service station and tyre retail shop.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Between Jan 2 and 3, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder Steven Ong Kay Eng increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong from 15.720 per cent to 15.765 per cent. He acquired 265,700 shares for a consideration of S$87,875, at S$0.3307 per share.

Mr Ong has gradually grown his total interest in the stock from 10.80 per cent on Nov 28, 2016 and 7.38 per cent at the end of 2014.

Hai Leck Holdings

On Jan 7, Hai Leck Holdings (Hai Leck) founder and executive chairman, Cheng Buck Poh acquired 131,000 shares of the EPC services company for a consideration of S$70,740 at an average price of S$0.54 per share.

This took his total interest in the Hai Leck from 84.55 per cent to 84.61 per cent.

Mr Cheng started Hai Leck Engineering as a sole proprietorship in 1971 and he is currently responsible for charting the 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.

Kimly

On Jan 8, Kimly independent director Danny Lim Teck Chai acquired 262,600 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$63,024.

At S$0.24 per share, this increased his total interest in the Catalist-listed stock from 0.04 per cent to 0.06 per cent. Mr Lim's preceding acquisition was March 28, 2019 when he acquired 422,000 share at an average price of S$0.2347 per share.

Mr Lim has more than 20 years of experience in the legal industry and is currently an equity partner in Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

GK Goh Holdings

On Jan 8, GKG Investment Holdings Pte Ltd (GKGI) acquired 64,700 shares of GK Goh Holdings for a consideration of S$53,701 at S$0.83 per share.

GKGI's total interest in the listed company is 60.70 per cent.

GK Goh Holdings executive chairman Goh Geok Khim, and executive director Goh Yew Lin have controlling interests in GKGI.

TrickleStar

On Jan 3, TrickleStar director Gunananthan Nithyanantham acquired 100,000 shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$30,500, at a price of S$0.305 per share. This took his direct interest in TrickleStar to 0.12 per cent.

He also maintains a 50.88 per cent deemed interest in Tricklestar through his deemed interests in CircleBright Ltd. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, financial and operations professional, who is experienced in financial management.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

On Jan 8, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director, Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH, which is now at 29.49 per cent.

Mr Wee acquired 18,600 shares for a consideration of S$22,692 at S$1.22 per share.

The UOBKH chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

Katrina Group

On Jan 2, Katrina Group (Katrina) founder, executive chairman and CEO Alan Goh Keng Chian acquired 50,000 shares of the Catalist-listed stock at an average price of S$0.1638 per share.

The consideration of the transaction totalled S$8,190.

This took his total interest in the F&B group with multi-cuisine concepts to 87.60 per cent. Mr Goh has gradually increased this interest from 84.58 per cent.

Mr Goh heads the formulation of the group's strategic directions and expansion plans in Singapore as well as its overseas markets, and also manages the group's overall business development.

This transaction also increased the total interest of Ms Madaline Catherine Tan Kim Wah in Katrina. Ms Tan is the co-founder and executive director of the group and spouse of Mr Goh.

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