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INSIDE INSIGHTS

26 director acquisitions filed; Q&M founder continues to build stake

FOR the five trading sessions spanning Aug 16 to 22, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.1 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 1.1 per cent gain.

A number of STI stocks went ex-dividend over the five sessions, which brought the five-day total return of the STI to 0.2 per cent. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to Aug 22 to 5.5 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 13 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended Aug 22, with a total consideration of S$13.2 million.

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A trio of STI stocks led the buyback consideration tally - Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings), Keppel Corporation and Singapore Technologies Engineering.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Aug 16 to 22 saw approximately 130 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for just over 40 primary-listed stocks.

There were 26 company director acquisitions and four disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing 16 acquisitions and 11 disposals.

Q & M Dental

Quan Min Holdings Pte Ltd resumed its buying of Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) (Q & M) shares.

Quan Min Holdings is an investment holding company incorporated in Singapore and Q & M's ultimate parent company.

Q & M founder and group CEO, Ng Chin Siau, maintains a 43.91 per cent direct shareholding in Quan Min Holdings Pte Ltd (as at Dec 31).

Between Aug 15 and 21, Quan Min Holdings acquired 1,499,100 shares of Q & M for a consideration of S$725,009 at an average price of S$0.4836.

Its preceding acquisition was back on June 4, with the acquisition of 1,262,600 shares at an average share price of S$0.5238.

The Aug 15 to 21 acquisitions took Dr Ng's total interest in Q & M, one of Asia's leading private dental clinics, to 55.50 per cent.

He began 2018 with a 49.88 per cent total interest in Q & M, which he increased to 53.59 per cent at the end of 2018.

Dr Ng is responsible for the corporate direction of the group, leading it in all aspects of its business strategies, policy planning and business development in Singapore and overseas.

Quan Min Holdings Pte Ltd's direct holdings in Q & M also crossed above the 54.0 per cent threshold on Aug 21.

JB Foods

On Aug 19, JB Foods executive director and CEO Tey How Keong acquired 546,367 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$344,211 at a price of S$0.63 per share.

This took Mr Tey's total interest in JB Foods from 45.99 per cent to 46.17 per cent.

His previous acquisition, which also involved a married deal, was on March 1 involving 206,000 shares at a price of S$0.64 per share.

Mr Tey has over 25 years of experience in the cocoa business and is responsible for the overall strategic, management and business development of the group.

Lian Beng Group

Between Aug 16 and 20, Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd acquired 313,200 shares of Lian Beng Group.

The consideration for the acquisitions was S$158,600 at an average price of S$0.5064 per share.

This took the total interest of Ong Sek Chong & Sons in the home-grown construction group from 29.83 per cent to 29.89 per cent.

Lian Beng Group chairman and managing director, Ong Pang Aik, and Ms Ong Lay Hua maintain deemed interests in Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd.

As at Aug 20, Ong Pang Aik maintained a 35.56 per cent total interest in Lian Beng Group, with Ms Ong Lay Hua maintaining a total interest of 33.10 per cent.

JEP Holdings

On Aug 15, JEP Holdings executive chairman, Andy Luong, acquired 220,000 shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$30,800 at an average price of S$0.140 per share.

This took the total interest of Mr Luong, who was appointed executive chairman of JEP Holdings in February 2018, to 39.55 per cent.

Mr Luong's preceding direct acquisition of JEP Holdings shares was back on July 12 and involved 330,000 at an average price of S$0.148 per share.

Mr Luong has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing front-end semiconductor components and is also the executive chairman and CEO of UMS Holdings.

On Aug 16, JEP Holdings executive director Zee Hoong Huay also acquired 100,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$14,000 at an average price of S$0.14 per share.

This took his total interest in JEP Holdings to 15.16 per cent.

Mr Zee co-founded JEP Holdings in 1986 as a trading company that markets cutting tools and spearheads its overall direction, sales and marketing strategies.

Vibrant Group

On Aug 15, Vibrant Group executive director and CEO Eric Khua Kian Keong acquired 5,681,300 shares of the listed company, with the majority of the shares acquired through a married deal.

The open market and married transactions increased Mr Khua's interest in the integrated logistic services provider from 58.352 per cent to 59.173 per cent.

This followed a similar set of acquisitions between June 28 and July 1 which saw Mr Khua increase his total interest in Vibrant Group from 51.768 per cent to 58.352 per cent.

Mr Khua has been the CEO of Vibrant Group (formerly known as Freight Links Express Holdings) since November 2003.

He is also an alternate director of Freight Management Holdings Berhad, an associated company listed on Bursa Malaysia.

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