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Acquisitions balanced between directors, substantial shareholders

FOR the five trading sessions from March 8 to 14, the STI declined 0.7 per cent, in line with regional indices the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 that averaged a 0.8 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to March 14 to 4.6 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 16 stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ending March 14. The consideration totalled S$15.2 million, similar to the S$15.2 million for the preceding five sessions. Buyback consideration was led by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, CSE Global, Hong Fok Corporation, Singapore Exchange and Global Investments.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning March 8 to 14 saw 150 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for close to 50 primary-listed stocks. There were 29 company director acquisitions and three disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing 27 acquisitions and four disposals.

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First Sponsor Group

On March 8, First Sponsor Group Ltd (FSGL) non-executive chairman Calvin Ho Han Leong acquired 200,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$258,000. This took his total stake in FSGL from 45.30 per cent to 45.32 per cent.

Mr Calvin Ho was appointed as the non-executive chairman of FSGL on April 2, 2015, and previously the non-executive vice-chairman of FSGL from Oct 1, 2007. He has been instrumental in assisting the group's senior management in the conceptualisation and setting of the strategic direction and corporate values of the group.

Alternate director to non-executive chairman, Ho Han Khoon also acquired 100,000 shares of FSGL on March 8 for a consideration of S$129,000 taking his total interest in FSGL to 44.35 per cent.

Both Mr Calvin Ho and Mr Ho Han Khoon have deemed interests in FSGL through their respective 50 per cent interests in TT Properties (Asia) Ltd. FSGL is supported by both its established key controlling shareholders, the Hong Leong Singapore Group of companies, through its shareholding interests in Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, and Tai Tak Estates Sendirian Berhad.

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 in the Netherlands, Germany and China.

Union Gas Holdings

Between March 5 and 7, Union Gas Holdings' founder and non-executive chairman, Teo Kiang Ang acquired 4,569,200 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$1,162,251. This took his direct stake in Union Gas Holdings from 63.11 per cent to 65.11 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.

Sinostar Pec

Between March 8 and 13, Intelligent People Holdings Ltd (IPHL) acquired 2,392,700 shares of Sinostar Pec Holdings (Sinostar). With a consideration of S$506,066, the acquisitions took IPHL's total interest in the listed company from 54.56 per cent to 54.935 per cent.

IPHL's preceding acquisition of shares in Sinostar was back in early October 2018 and involved 2,443,200 shares. 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 back in 2018, increasing his total interest from 52.19 per cent prior to Dec 27, 2017.

As independent investor relations firm GEM COMM noted earlier this month, Sinostar completed the acquisition of a 70 per cent controlling stake in Dongming Qianhai Petrochemical in FY18, which will double production capacity of propylene to 180,000 tonnes per year. This is expected to contribute positively to the group from FY19 onwards.

GEMM COMM added that while propylene formed only 19 per cent of its FY18 total sales, it has a much higher margin compared to processed-LPG, which formed 60 per cent of total sales. On March 12, Yoof Investments Ltd reduced its interests in Sinostar, from above the substantial shareholder threshold at 5.479 per cent to below the threshold at 3.839 per cent.

Yanlord Land Group

On March 6, Yanlord Land Group independent director Hong Pian Tee acquired 100,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$137,000. This increased his direct interest in the stock to 0.0165 per cent.

Mr Hong was appointed to the board of Yanlord Land Group on Sept 1, 2018 and serves as the chairman of the remuneration committee, a member of the audit committee and a member of the risk management committee. Mr Hong is also an independent director of other SGX-listed companies including AsiaPhos, XMH Holdings and Sinarmas Land.

Hong Fok Corporation

On March 7, Hong Fok Corporation joint chairman and joint managing director Cheong Sim Eng acquired 170,000 shares of the listed company.

The transaction had a consideration value of S$130,600 and boosted his total interest in the stock from 19.118 per cent to 19.137 per cent.

Mr Cheong is principally involved in the group's overall operations and management with greater emphasis in Singapore and has over 33 years of experience in the property development business

TEE International

On March 8, TEE International managing director and group CEO Phua Chian Kin acquired one million shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$98,000. This took his total interest in TEE International from 58.09 per cent to 58.24 per cent.

Mr Phua has been the group CEO and managing director of TEE International since 2000.

He is instrumental in spearheading the expansion and growth of TEE Group and is also responsible for TEE Group's overall management, investment decisions, direction and policy decision-making.

Sasseur Reit

On March 8, the Manager of Sasseur Reit, Sasseur Asset Management Pte Ltd received a total of 8,673,352 units of Sasseur Reit at an average price of S$0.6979 per unit. This represented 100 per cent of the base fee component of its management fees for the period from March 28, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018. The consideration of the management fees totalled S$6,053,000 and took the manager's direct stake in Sasseur Reit to 0.7295 per cent.

The issue price per management fee unit represented the volume weighted average traded price for a unit in Sasseur Reit for all trades done on SGX in the ordinary course of trading for the last 10 business days immediately preceding the end of each of the three quarters.

These additional units had been accounted for in the DPU forecast calculations made and has no material impact on future DPU payout.

Earlier that week, on March 4, Sasseur Reit announced it had won the "Best Reit Deal in South-east Asia 2018" at the Twelfth Annual Best Deal & Solution Awards by Alpha SEAsia magazine.

Sasseur Asset Management Pte Ltd CEO Anthony Ang Meng Huat, noted when accepting the Award that the Reit had delivered a stellar operational performance in its maiden year with its DPU for FY2018 exceeding the forecast by 12.6 per cent.

Sasseur Reit is the first listed outlet mall Reit in Asia and back on Feb 18, the manager noted its portfolio was valued at S$1,539.5 million. This was up 5 per cent from the IPO portfolio valuation.

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

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