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INSIDE INSIGHTS

73 acquisitions and disposals filed while 14 companies conduct buybacks

FOR the five trading sessions from July 5 to 11, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.7 per cent in line with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index average decline of 1.0 per cent. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to July 11 to 11.5 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 14 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended July 11, with a total consideration of S$11.1 million, similar to the preceding five session's S$10.7 million. OCBC and Olam International again led the buyback tally.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

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The five sessions spanning July 5 to 11 saw approximately 160 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for more than 50 primary-listed stocks. There were 28 company director acquisitions and six disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing 24 acquisitions and 15 disposals.

Cordlife Group

On July 10, Full Day Ltd acquired 16,880,000 shares of Cordlife Group for a consideration of S$10,128,000 at S$0.60 per share. The married deal took substantial shareholder Hon Kwok Lung's direct interest in Cordlife Group from 9.69 per cent to 16.34 per cent.

Mr Hon holds 100 per cent equity interest in Full Day Ltd and 80 per cent equity interest in Sincere View International Ltd. This means he is deemed to have a total interest of 28.17 per cent in Cordlife Group.

Full Day Ltd acquired an interest of 54,580,300 shares (9.704 per cent) in Cordlife Group back on Nov 14, 2018 at S$0.45 per share.

As reported in The Business Times on July 12, Mr Hon is the chairman of Hong Kong-listed Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group. He was on Forbes' Billionaires List in 2018 with an estimated net worth of US$1 billion but dropped off the list this year.

First Sponsor Group

On July 9, First Sponsor Group (FSGL) non-executive chairman Calvin Ho Han Leong increased his deemed interest in the listed company by 353,400 shares for a consideration of S$469,421. The average price per share of the acquisition was S$1.3283 and followed a similar sized acquisition by Mr Ho between June 24 and 25, at S$1.340 per share. The July 9 transaction took Mr Ho's deemed interest in FSGL to 45.38 per cent.

Mr Ho was appointed as the non-executive chairman of the company in April 2015, and prior to this, served as the non-executive vice-chairman of the company since October 2007.

He has accumulated extensive experience during his tenure as CEO of Singapore-incorporated Tai Tak Estates Sdn Bhd, having been involved in its businesses, including in plantations, listed and private equities, and property holding and development. He has also been instrumental in assisting the group's senior management in the conceptualisation and setting of its strategic direction and corporate values.

FSGL is a mixed property developer in the Netherlands and China, an owner of commercial properties (including hotels) and a provider of property financing services mainly in the Netherlands, Germany, and China. Last month the group completed and began operations at the 193-room Hampton by Hilton hotel in Utrecht, Netherlands.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

Between July 4 and 10, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director, Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH, which is now at 29.28 per cent. He acquired 160,100 shares for a consideration of S$192,120 at an average price of S$1.20 per share. The UOBKH chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

Indofood Agri Resources

On July 5, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk (PT ISM) increased its total interest in Indofood Agri Resources from 78.95 per cent to 79.00 per cent. PT ISM is a holding company of Indofood Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd. (ISHPL) with an interest of approximately 83.84 per cent of the total number of issued shares in ISHPL.

The open market acquisition of 751,700 shares had a consideration of S$244,303 at an average price of S$0.3250 per share. Note that a voluntary conditional cash offer by PT ISM to take Indofood Agri Resources private lapsed after the market close on June 25.

JEP Holdings

Between July 8 and 10, JEP Holdings executive director Zee Hoong Huay acquired 1,000,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$148,000 at an average price of S$0.148 per share. This took his total interest in Catalist-listed JEP Holdings from 14.77 per cent to 15.01 per cent.

Mr Zee is a veteran in the metal tooling and precision engineering industries with over 30 years of industrial experience and capabilities.

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

On July 9, JEP Holdings executive chairman Andy Luong also acquired 600,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$88,800 at an average price of S$0.148 per share. He was appointed as executive chairman of the company in February 2018.

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.

The Hour Glass

On July 4, FMR LLC increased its deemed interest in The Hour Glass from 9.27 per cent to 9.29 per cent. The acquisition involved 151,300 shares for a consideration of S$124,254 at an average price of S$0.82 per share.

FMR LLC's interests in the securities of The Hour Glass Ltd are currently entirely deemed interests. FMR LLC is deemed to have interests in the securities of The Hour Glass Ltd because such securities are held by funds and/or accounts managed by one or more FMR LLC's direct and indirect subsidiaries, which are fund managers.

On the same day, The Hour Glass announced that a wholly-owned subsidiary had entered into a sale and purchase agreement for a freehold property located at 190 Edward Street, Brisbane, in Australia.

ISDN Holdings

On July 5, NTCP SPV VI acquired 451,000 shares of ISDN Holdings for a consideration of S$108,240 at S$0.24 per share. This took the direct interest of NTCP SPV VI in ISDN Holdings from 6.40 per cent to 6.51 per cent. Novo Tellus PE Fund 2, LP is the owner of 100 per cent of the shares of NTCP and is therefore treated as having an interest in the ISDN Shares.

Loke Wai San is a founder and managing director of Novo Tellus Capital Partners and has led the investment activity of the fund since its founding in 2011.

Mr Loke is also the chairman of AEM Holdings and Novoflex Pte Ltd, and represents the fund on the boards of MFS and Luma Holdings.

ISDN Holdings is a multi-industry corporation dominant in the niche areas of motion control, other engineering solutions and industrial computing.

ISDN's customised engineering solutions cater to different industrial sectors including medical, robotics, factory automation, energy, manufacturing, hard disk and semiconductor industries.

GK Goh Holdings

Between July 8 and 9, GKG Investment Holdings Pte Ltd (GKGI) acquired 116,200 shares of GK Goh Holdings for a consideration of S$98,770 at an average price of S$0.80 per share.

GK Goh Holdings executive chairman Goh Geok Khim and executive director Goh Yew Lin have controlling interests in GKGI which maintains a 60.51 per cent interest in GK Goh Holdings.

Hwa Hong Corporation

On July 4, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong from 5.704 per cent to 5.719 per cent.

Dr Ong acquired 100,000 shares for a consideration of S$31,000 at S$0.31 per share. This also increased the deemed and hence total interest of Dr Ong's father, Steven Ong Kay Eng, in Hwa Hong to 15.372 per cent.

SHS Holdings

On July 9, SHS Holdings executive director and group CEO Henry Ng Han Kok acquired 150,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$26,700 at an average price of S$0.178 per share. This increased his deemed interest in SHS Holdings from 17.56 per cent to 17.58 per cent.

Mr Ng's previously filed acquisition was on June 28 for 838,600 shares at an average price of S$0.175 per share.

At SHS Holdings, Mr Ng is responsible for making strategic proposals to the board and implementing the group's strategies, policies and board's decisions.

He also leads the development of the group's growth strategy including identifying and assessing risks and opportunities for the growth of existing business and new businesses and reviewing the performance of its existing businesses.

Goodland Group

On July 8, Goodland Group CEO Alvin Tan Chee Tiong acquired 81,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$16,441, at an average price of S$0.20 per share. This took his total interest in the Singapore based premier lifestyle property developer to 78.66 per cent.

He is primarily responsible for the overall management, performance, as well as the formulation of corporate strategies of the group. Under his leadership, the group has seen a significant expansion in its holdings, and a substantial increase in capital base.

AEI Corporation

On July 4, New Impetus Strategy Fund acquired 25,000 shares of AEI Corporation for a consideration of S$15,615 at an average price of S$0.625 per share. This took AEI Corporation's non-executive chairman Sun Quan's deemed interest in the listed company from 51.05 per cent to 51.09 per cent.

His preceding acquisitions were on June 21 at an average price of S$0.682 per share and June 28 at an average price of S$0.646 per share.

Mr Sun has more than 20 years of investment and management experience in the Greater China region, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. During this time, he has covered a variety of business areas including high technology, pharmaceuticals, electronics, real estate, natural resources and the chemical industry.

Shinvest Holding

On July 10, Shinvest Holding independent director Chau Sik Ting acquired 10,800 shares of the specialist manufacturer for a consideration of S$12,957 at an average price of S$1.20 per share. This took his direct interest in the listed company from 0.300 per cent to 0.336 per cent.

Dr Chau serves as the medical adviser to SembCorp Marine and is an accredited specialist in occupational medicine with Singapore's Ministry of Health. He is a medical practitioner by profession and has been an independent non-executive director of China Dairy Group Ltd, since 2004.

Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group

On July 8, Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group executive director Andrew Lim Kok-Kin acquired 11,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$7,859 at an average price of S$0.714 per share. This took his direct interest in the group from 0.46 per cent to 0.47 per cent. Mr Lim's previous acquisition was between April 18 and 23 at S$0.718 per share.

  • The writer is the market strategist at Singapore Exchange (SGX). To read SGX's market research reports, visit sgx.com/research.
  • Please note that Inside Insights will take a break and return on Monday Aug 5.