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INSIDE INSIGHTS

DBS, OCBC lead buybacks with new mandates

FOR the five trading sessions from May 10 through to 16, the STI declined by 1.2 per cent while the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaged a 0.3 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to May 16 to 7 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 14 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended May 16, with a total consideration of S$24.9 million, more than double the preceding five session's S$11.7 million.

DBS Group Holdings, OCBC, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings, Cheung Woh Technologies and Aspen (Group) Holdings commenced new mandates.

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Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning May 10 to 16 saw 120 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for approximately 40 primary-listed stocks.

There were 13 company director acquisitions and one disposal filed, with substantial shareholders filing nine acquisitions and one disposal.

KTMG

On May 13, KTMG, a Malaysia-based apparel contract manufacturer for various ages held its official Catalist listing ceremony at the SGX.

KTMG was formerly known as Lereno Bio-Chem and completed its reverse takeover exercise on Feb 18.

KTMG operates three manufacturing facilities in Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia with a combined total of 35 production lines. The group manufactures apparel that are exported to retailers in the European Union, the United States, and Canada that sell apparel products under their own brands.

Wyandotte Capital Ltd maintains a 50.09 per cent interest in KTMG. Wyandotte Capital Ltd is held by Lion Trust (Singapore) Ltd for a family trust of which KTMG executive chairman Lim Siau Hing and executive director and CEO Lim Vhe Kai are beneficiaries.

JEP Holdings

On May 13, UMS Holdings acquired 43,841,202 shares of its associated Catalist-listed JEP Holdings for a consideration of S$6,576,180. This took its substantial shareholding in JEP Holdings from 27.96 per cent to 38.78 per cent.

The incremental 10.93 per cent interest was acquired via a married deal from Ellipsiz.

JEP Holdings also announced that UMS Holdings is making a mandatory conditional cash offer to acquire all the remaining issued and paid-up ordinary shares of JEP Holdings other than those already owned, controlled, or agreed to be acquired by UMS.

UMS' executive chairman and CEO Andy Luong has stated that the proposed acquisition of JEP Holdings is in line with the group's overall diversification strategy to tap new growth sectors beyond the semiconductor industry.

In January 2018, UMS acquired 29.5 per cent of JEP Holdings. Mr Luong has since joined JEP's board. JEP increased its profit by 166 per cent from S$0.8 million in FY17 to a profit of S$2.2 million in FY18.

PropNex

On May 15, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 339,500 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$171,373. The acquisition took his total interest in PropNex from 64.15 per cent to 64.25 per cent.

The majority of his deemed stake is via his 62 per cent ownership of P&N Holdings Pte Ltd. His total interest in PropNex has gradually increased from 62.14 per cent in July 2018.

Mr Ismail Gafoor noted last week that while the Singapore real estate market is still feeling the effects from the interest rate increments and property cooling measures implemented in July 2018, buyers and investors have started regaining confidence in entering the market towards the end of the last quarter.

He added that developer sales rebounded strongly in March 2019, on the heels of the Chinese New Year festivities in February and comparing the developer sales in January and February, buyers and investors are exhibiting more willingness to commit.

United Overseas Bank

On May 9, United Overseas Bank non-executive and independent director Alex Hungate acquired 6,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$153,010. He maintains a 0.0005 per cent direct interest in United Overseas Bank.

Mr Hungate has more than 25 years of global leadership experience in financial services, marketing, customer service and strategic planning and development, having held senior management positions in various positions in SATS, HSBC and Reuters. He currently serves as the president and CEO of SATS.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

On May 15, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH, which is now at 28.30 per cent. Mr Wee acquired 68,000 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$81,600.

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

Thai Beverage

On May 13, Thai Beverage Public Company Ltd (ThaiBev) director and executive vice-president Ueychai Tantha-Obhas acquired 80,000 shares of the company at S$0.765 per share. The consideration of the transaction totalled S$61,200 and took his total interest in ThaiBev to 0.00233 per cent.

Mr Ueychai Tantha-Obhas was appointed to this position in May 2010 and the prior director and senior vice-president of the company from July 2005, and a director of Oishi Group Public Company Ltd since January 2006.

LHT Holdings

On May 15, LHT Holdings chairman, managing director and CEO Yap Mui Kee acquired 58,500 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$38,376. This took her total interest in the manufacturer of high quality wooden pallets, boxes and crates to 13.3097 per cent.

Ms Yap has been an executive director of the company since 1988 and is in charge of all sales and marketing functions.

She is also actively involved in the group's efficient consumer response (ECR) pallet rental business in Singapore and Malaysia, and spearheads the group's radio frequency identification ECR pallet tracking system.

Katrina Group

On May 9, Katrina Group (Katrina) founder, executive chairman and CEO Alan Goh Keng Chian acquired 66,000 shares of the Catalist-listed stock for a consideration of S$12,540. This took his total interest in the F&B group with multi-cuisine concepts to 87.56 per cent.

He has gradually increased this interest from 84.67 per cent with multiple acquisitions since the beginning of March 2018.

Mr Goh heads the formulation of the group's strategic directions and expansion plans in Singapore and overseas markets, and manages the group's overall business development.

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