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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Buyback momentum returns and director acquisitions rise

FOR the five trading sessions ended Sept 13, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.5 per cent, with the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 Indices averaging a 0.3 per cent decline.

For the 2018 year through to Sept 13, the STI generated a 4.9 per cent decline in total return, compared to the three benchmarks which have averaged a 0.2 per cent decline.

While the Nikkei 225 has been Asia-Pacific's best performing benchmark in the year thus far, the least performing benchmark has been China's CSI 300 Index with a decline of 20.2 per cent in total return.

Share buybacks

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There were 19 stocks conducting buybacks over the five sessions ended Sept 13. The consideration totalled S$49.6 million which was up from S$29.5 million for the preceding five sessions.

The buyback tally was again led by DBS Group Holdings which bought back 1,600,000 shares over three sessions for a consideration of S$39 million.

Hi-P International and Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) led the buyback tally for non-STI stocks.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Sept 7 to 13 saw 50 primary-listed stocks lodge more than 130 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings.

There were 47 company director acquisitions and one disposal, while substantial shareholders filed 11 acquisitions and 10 disposals.

The same week in 2017 saw the same number of stocks file a similar number of transactions. China Sunsine Chemical Holdings and Broadway Industrial Group both commenced share buyback mandates.

800 Super Holdings

Over two sessions (Sept 6 and 7), Yong Seong Investment Pte Ltd (YSI) acquired 1,191,000 shares of 800 Super Holdings for a consideration of S$980,225.

This increased YSI's stake in 800 Super Holdings from 66.96 per cent to 67.63 per cent.

800 Super Holdings executive chairman Lee Koh Yong holds 28 per cent of the issued share capital of YSI.

Mr Lee is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the group.

Under his direction, the group has grown steadily since its inception as a waste management solutions provider to a one-stop provider of waste and environmental solutions by expanding into the cleaning, recycling and horticulture industries.

CEO Lee Cheng Chye holds 24 per cent of the issued share capital of YSI. Mr Lee is involved in the corporate planning and business development of the group and has over 20 years of experience in the waste management and cleaning industries.

GSH Corp

Between Sept 10 and 12, GSH Corporation Limited executive chairman Sam Goi Seng Hui acquired 579,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$237,438. This took his stake in the stock from 49.97 per cent to 50 per cent.

Mr Goi also serves as a director of Envictus International Holdings, JB Foods and Tung Lok Restaurants (2000).

He has gradually increased his stake in the property developer from 47.32 per cent at the end of 2014.

Hai Leck Holdings

Over three sessions spanning Sept 6 to 12, Hai Leck Holdings (Hai Leck) founder and executive chairman, Cheng Buck Poh acquired a total of 323,700 shares for a consideration of S$187,229.

This took his total interest in the integrated services provider to 83.72 per cent.

Mr Cheng is responsible for charting corporate directions and strategies for the group.

This brings the number of filed acquisitions in Hai Leck by Mr Cheng, from Sept 3 to 13, to six.

Prior to this, Mr Cheng's two most recent filed acquisitions were in April 2017 and September 2016.

Bonvests Holdings

Bonvests Holdings chairman and managing director Henry Ngo increased his deemed interest by acquiring 299,000 shares for a consideration of S$389,870.

This increased Mr Ngo's total stake in Bonvests Holdings from 82.94 per cent to 83.01 per cent.

Mr Ngo is also the founder of Bonvests Holdings and is responsible for mapping out the corporate and growth strategy of the group.

PropNex

Between Sept 7 and 13, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 435,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$181,475.

The acquisition took his total interest in the stock to 62.84 per cent.

The majority of Mr Mohamed Ismail's deemed stake is via his 62 per cent ownership of P&N Holdings Pte Ltd.

He is responsible for the group's strategic direction and oversees business operations.

JB Foods

On Sept 7, JB Foods CEO Tey How Keong acquired 160,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$99,200.

The married deal took Mr Tey's total stake in JB Foods to 45.90 per cent.

The majority of his holdings in JB Foods comprise a deemed interest in shares held by JB Cocoa Group Sdn Bhd.

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.

The current CEO started his career in the cocoa business in November 1988 as sales manager of JB Cocoa Group Sdn Bhd.

TEE International

On Sept 11, TEE International managing director and CEO Phua Chian Kin acquired 500,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$94,500.

This took his total stake in TEE International to 60.88 per cent.

Mr Phua has maintained his current role in the regional engineering, infrastructure and real estate group since the year 2000.

TEE International's collaboration with Dymon Asia Private Equity for the acquisition of the medical and biohazardous waste division of Sembcorp Environmental Pte Ltd was completed on Sept 1.

As Mr Phua highlighted in the 2018 Annual Report, which was released recently, the environmental arm of TEE International now forms the largest revenue contributor to its Infrastructure business.

Sing Holdings

On Sept 5, Sing Holdings managing director and CEO Lee Sze Hao acquired 150,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$58,500. This took his total stake in the stock to 39.16 per cent.

Since Sing Holdings reported its FY17 results in February, he has gradually increased his stake in the company from 38.45 per cent.

Mr Lee joined the group as an executive director in 1992, has been CEO since 2009 and has been running the property business for more than 20 years.

China Sunsine Chemical Holdings

On Sept 11, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings Ltd independent director Paul Tan Lye Heng acquired 50,000 shares of the company.

The consideration of the transaction totalled S$55,400 and took Mr Tan's stake in the stock to 0.04 per cent.

He is also the managing director of CA TRUST PAC, a firm of Chartered Accountants.

He has over 20 years of auditing experience and also serves as an independent director in other SGX-listed companies.

Over the course of four sessions, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings also bought back 382,300 shares for a consideration of S$418,563.

These were the first share buybacks conducted under the current mandate which commenced on April 26.

Enviro-Hub Holdings

Between Sept 10 and 13, Enviro-Hub Holdings executive chairman Raymond Ng acquired 1,647,600 shares of the environmental management solutions group for a consideration of S$49,016.

This took his total stake in the stock to 40.03 per cent.

Mr Ng is responsible for the group's overall management, business development, investment decisions as well as strategic direction and planning.

Keong Hong Holdings

On Sept 10, Keong Hong Holdings non-executive and non-independent director Lionel Leo Zhen Wei acquired 30,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$15,600.

This took Mr Leo's direct interest in the stock to 0.12 per cent. He has built this stake in Keong Hong Holdings with a series of six acquisitions since 16 July.

Mr Leo is a partner in the Banking and Financial Disputes Practice of Wong Partnership LLP. He is also the son of the chairman and CEO of Keong Hong Holdings, Ronald Leo Ting Ping.

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