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INSIDE INSIGHTS

52 director acquisitions filed with S$35m in buybacks

FOR the five trading sessions from May 24 through to 30, the STI declined by 0.6 per cent while the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaged a 1.0 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to May 30 to 4.6 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were a dozen primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended May 30, with a total consideration of S$35.3 million, lower than the S$48.4 million reported for the preceding four sessions. DBS Group Holdings, OCBC and China Sunsine Chemical Holdings led the buyback tally. Koufu Group commenced a new mandate on May 29, which had been approved five weeks ago on April 24.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

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The five sessions spanning May 24 to 30 saw more than 170 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for approximately 50 primary-listed stocks.

There were 52 company director acquisitions and six disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing 20 acquisitions and eight disposals.

Sin Ghee Huat Corporation

On May 28, Sin Ghee Huat Corporation non-executive director Low Chui Heng acquired 9,845,476 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$2,264,459. The married deal increased his total interest in Sin Ghee Huat Corporation from 21.29 per cent to 25.72 per cent.

Mr Low is currently an executive director of Hong Hock Hardware Pte Ltd, has over 30 years of experience dealing in non-ferrous metal including stainless steel, and was formerly an executive director of Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group.

Q & M Dental

Q & M Dental Group - Singapore (Q & M) founder and group CEO Ng Chin Siau continued to increase his total interest in the listed company, to 55.09 per cent. Between May 23 and 28, he acquired 4,163,800 shares for a consideration of S$2,130,417.

The majority of Dr Ng's interest in Q & M is by virtue of his 43.91 per cent direct shareholding in Quan Min Holdings Pte Ltd.

Asian Pay Television Trust

Between May 23 and 24, non-executive director and vice-chair of the Board of the Trustee-Manager of Asian Pay Television Trust (APTT), Lu Fang-Ming, acquired 2,923,100 units of the trust. The consideration of the transactions amounted to S$507,543 and took Mr Lu's total interest in APTT to 0.348 per cent.

He was appointed to the APTT Board in April 2017. Mr Lu has also been a corporate executive vice-president of Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group since the intelligent hub and switch products ODM manufacturing company he founded was acquired by Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group in May 2000.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

Between May 23 and 29, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH, to 28.39 per cent. Mr Wee acquired 292,100 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$347,749.

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

Perennial Real Estate Holdings

On May 24, Perennial Real Estate Holdings executive director and CEO Pua Seck Guan acquired 412,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$263,492. This took his total interest in the integrated real estate and healthcare company from 10.34 per cent to 10.36 per cent.

Mr Pua also serves as an executive director of Wilmar International and non-executive director of United Engineers.

JB Foods

On May 29, JB Foods executive director Goh Lee Beng acquired 400,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$256,000. The married deal increased her total interest in JB Foods from 46.65 per cent to 46.78 per cent.

Madam Goh is responsible for procurement of raw materials and managing the cocoa trading positions of the group, which includes sourcing of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients, managing the group's cocoa hedging book, monitoring world cocoa trends, and marketing of cocoa butter.

She is deemed to be interested in JB Foods shares held by JB Cocoa Group Sdn Bhd and has over 25 years of experience in the cocoa business.

PropNex

On May 28, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 415,400 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$211,854.

The acquisition took his total interest in PropNex from 64.25 per cent to 64.36 per cent. His total interest in PropNex has gradually increased from 62.14 per cent in July 2018.

Sing Investments & Finance

On May 22, FH Lee Holdings (Pte) Ltd acquired 130,500 shares of Sing Investments & Finance for a consideration of S$190,530.

This increased the total interest of Sing Investments & Finance's managing director, Lee Sze Leong, and deputy managing director, Lee Sze Siong, to 30.102 per cent and 30.144 per cent, respectively.

UMS Holdings

On May 23, UMS Holdings chairman and CEO Andy Luong acquired 250,000 shares of the precision engineering group for a consideration of S$148,750. This took his total interest in the company from 20.623 per cent to 20.670 per cent.

As president and founder of the UMS Group, he has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing front-end semiconductor components.

iX Biopharma

Between May 22 and 24, iX Biopharma non-executive director Albert Ho acquired 450,100 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$104,224. This took his total interest in the Catalist-listed integrated specialty pharmaceutical company from 1.23 per cent to 1.30 per cent.

Mr Ho is also an independent director of Riverstone Holdings and currently a director of Centrum Capital, an investment and asset management firm. He has previously worked at international banks and multinational corporations, and possesses more than 25 years of experience in the areas of corporate development, finance and investment banking.

Vibrant Group

On May 23, Vibrant Group executive director and CEO Eric Khua Kian Keong acquired 420,200 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$54,206. This took his interest in the integrated logistics services provider to 51.768 per cent.

Mr Khua has been the CEO of the listed company (formerly known as Freight Links Express Holdings) since Nov 2003. He is also an alternate director of Freight Management Holdings Bhd.

Union Gas Holdings

On May 24, LK Tang Pte Ltd acquired 79,000 shares of Union Gas Holdings for a consideration of S$20,074. LK Tang is wholly-owned by Union Gas Holdings' founder and non-executive chairman, Teo Kiang Ang. The transactions took his total interest in Union Gas Holdings from 65.25 per cent to 65.29 per cent.

Having founded the business as a sole proprietorship in 1974, Mr Teo has more than 40 years of experience in the LPG market in Singapore and is responsible for formulating the group's strategic focus and direction.

Eagle Hospitality Trust

On May 24, Eagle Hospitality Trust listed on SGX. The stapled trust has an initial portfolio of 18 full-service hotel properties, ranging from upper midscale to upper upscale hotels, located in the United States.

All the assets in the initial portfolio, except The Queen Mary Long Beach, are branded by and operated under franchise agreements with the three largest global hotel franchisors - Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide Holdings and InterContinental Hotels Group.

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