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Buybacks and filings slow as the quarter-end approaches

FOR the five trading sessions that spanned June 19 to 25, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 2.8 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.6 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's decline in total return for the 2020 year to June 25 to 17.8 per cent.

Over the five sessions, the iEdge S-Reit Index declined 3.1 per cent, bringing its decline in total return for the 2020 year to June 25 to 9.0 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were eight primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions that spanned June 19 to 25 with a total consideration of S$3.2 million, less than the S$5.5 million from the preceding week.

Singapore Exchange, Hong Fok Corporation and Global Investments led the buyback tally over the five sessions.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions spanning June 19 to 25 saw more than 80 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings, filed for close to 50 primary-listed stocks. This included 12 company director acquisitions, with five disposals filed, and substantial shareholders filing nine acquisitions and 12 disposals.

Bumitama Agri

On June 19, Wellpoint Pacific Holdings acquired one million shares of Bumitama Agri for a consideration of S$470,000 at 47 cents per share. This took the deemed interest of executive chairman and CEO Lim Gunawan Hariyanto in Bumitama Agri from 52.12 per cent to 52.28 per cent.

Wellpoint Pacific Holdings' preceding acquisition was back on Dec 16, with 2 million shares acquired at an average price of 72.8 cents per share, and on Sept 6, with 400,000 shares acquired at 58.24 cents per share.

Mr Lim's father, Lim Hariyanto Wijaya Sarwono, is also deemed to be interested in the Bumitama Agri shares held by Wellpoint Pacific Holdings Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortune Holdings Ltd.

Mr Lim Gunawan Hariyanto joined the group in 1997 when he was appointed director of PT Karya Makmur Bahagia. He was first appointed to the board on March 23, 2012 and re-elected on April 22, 2019.

He is responsible for the formulation of the group's business and corporate policies and strategies, business development as well as business and operations management.

In the Q1 FY20 (ended March 31) business update, Bumitama Agri noted revenue increased by 20.3 per cent year on year (yoy) to 2,017 billion rupiah with FFB volumes increasing 0.8 per cent yoy to 711,847 metric tonnes.

Hyphens Pharma International

On June 23, Hyphens Pharma International executive director Tan Chwee Choon disposed of 1,336,000 shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$440,880.

At an average price of 33 cents per share, this reduced Mr Tan's total interest in the Asean pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare group from 14.07 per cent to 13.63 per cent.

Mr Tan has more than 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare industries. He joined the group in January 2004 and is currently responsible for managing the Indochina operations.

For its Q1 FY20 ended March 31, Hyphens Pharma International noted that its revenue increased by 16.4 per cent yoy to S$31.4 million. The revenue increase was due to increased sales across all three of the group's business segments with the highest growth of 35.9 per cent coming from the proprietary brands segment.

Look forward, the group noted that driving the growth of the skin health portfolio through its Ceradan and TDF brands remained the strategic priority, and it will continue to nurture its Ocean Health brand as a leading nutritional supplement brand of Singapore.

iFAST Corporation

On June 22, iFAST Corporation non-executive director Lim Wee Kian disposed of 150,000 shares of the wealth management Fintech platform for a consideration of S$209,500. At an average price of S$1.40 per share, this reduced his total interest in iFAST Corporation from 7.41 per cent to 7.35 per cent.

iFAST Corporation reported a record quarterly net profit of S$3.64 million in its Q1 FY20 (ended March 31), a yoy increase of 126.8 per cent, achieved on the back of a 25.3 per cent yoy increase in net revenue, and a 41.5 per cent yoy increase in gross revenue.

On June 18, the group confirmed it was one of nine Digital Wholesale Bank (DWB) applicants that met the eligibility criteria required to progress to the next stage of assessment for a licence.

In the MAS announcement, it was mentioned that the timeline for the award of the digital bank licences would be by the end of this year, and that the MAS will issue up to three DWB licences. The digital bank applications also include five eligible digital full bank (DFB) applicants vying for two DFB licences.

LHN Group

On June 22, Fragrance Ltd acquired 1,852,600 shares of Catalist-listed LHN Group for a consideration of S$194,523. At an average price of 10.5 cents per share, this took Fragrance Ltd's direct interest in the real estate management services group from 53.90 per cent to 54.36 per cent.

This also increased the deemed interests of siblings, LHN Group's executive chairman and group managing director, Kelvin Lim Lung Tieng, and its executive director and group deputy managing director Jess Lim Bee Choo in LHN from 53.90 per cent to 54.36 per cent.

Mr Lim is primarily responsible for the business development and overall management of the group and oversees its investment activities, operations and marketing efforts.

Ms Lim is primarily responsible for the corporate development and overall administration for the group and oversees its finance, human resource, information systems and administration functions.

Back on May 3, LHN reported that its residential properties segment under the Space Optimisation Business registered yoy revenue growth of 294.2 per cent in H1 FY20 due to increase in revenue from the co-work co-live business at 31, Boon Lay Drive and the new serviced residence project in Myanmar.

Marco Polo Marine

Between June 23 and 24, Marco Polo Marine Group CEO Sean Lee Yun Feng acquired 4,296,900 shares of the marine logistics group for a consideration of S$59,858. At an average price of 1.39 cents per share, the acquisitions took his total interest in Marco Polo Marine from 4.59 per cent to 4.71 per cent.

He is responsible for the overall management and day-to-day operations of the group as well as the formulation of the business directions, strategies and policies.

Mr Lee is also instrumental in initiating and penetrating new markets for both the shipping and shipyard operations. On the operational front, he has also introduced a slew of strategic operational measures to improve the efficiency of its fleet of vessels.

Heeton Holdings

On June 19, Heeton Holdings alternate director to non-executive chairman Toh Gap Seng acquired 100,000 shares of the real estate conglomerate for a consideration of S$21,000. At a price of 21 cents per share, the open market transaction took his total interest in Heeton Holdings from 5.83 per cent to 5.85 per cent.

Mr Toh was appointed as an alternate director to non-executive chairman Toh Khai Cheng on April 13, 2018. Mr Toh Gap Seng has more than 30 years of experience in property development and investment business. Mr Toh is also the executive director of Hong Heng Co Private Ltd.

JB Foods

Between June 23 and 24, JB Foods non-independent, non-executive director and vice-chairman Sam Goi Seng Hui acquired 30,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$15,000. At 50 cents per share this increased his total interest in JB Foods from 24.02 per cent to 24.04 per cent.

Mr Goi is also the executive chairman of global food and beverage group Tee Yih Jia Group, and GSH Corporation, a regional developer of premium residential and commercial properties, in addition to being vice-chairman of Envictus International Holdings.

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

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