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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Director acquisition value led by THG, UOBKH & YSH

FOR the four trading sessions ended Aug 23, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 1.2 per cent, with the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 Indices averaging a 0.5 per cent gain. For the 2018 year through to Aug 23, the STI generated a 1.4 per cent decline in total return, compared to the three benchmarks that averaged a 0.9 per cent gain.

Share buybacks

Share buyback momentum continued with 17 stocks conducting buybacks, with consideration totalling S$66.8 million over the four sessions, following consideration of S$93.3 million during the preceding week.

The buyback tally was led by DBS Group Holdings (DBS) which bought back 1.6 million shares over the course of four sessions for a consideration of S$40.5 million. On Aug 20, GK Goh Holdings commenced its buyback mandate which was approved on April 23.

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Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The four sessions spanning Aug 17 to 23 saw approximately 40 primary-listed stocks lodge 80 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings. This was a similar number of filings as the preceding week.

There were 25 company director acquisitions and no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 14 acquisitions and five disposals. The same corresponding week for 2017 saw 130 interests filed for close to 60 primary-listed stocks.

The Hour Glass

On Aug 17, The Hour Glass' executive chairman Henry Tay Yun Chwan acquired 12,993,000 stocks of the company for a consideration of S$8,510,415. This increased Dr Tay's total stake in the company from 63.097 per cent to 64.940 per cent. This followed a similarly large acquisition back on May 28 when he acquired 981,700 stocks of the company for a consideration of S$6,587,922. Dr Tay has been the executive chairman of the leading specialist luxury watch retailer since October 1987 and has served as an executive director since August 1979.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

Between Aug 20 and 21, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in the UOBKH which now stands at 27.68 per cent.

Over the two sessions, he acquired a total of 810,000 UOBKH shares between for a consideration of S$1,020,600. He has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

Yoma Strategic Holdings

Between Aug 16 and 21, Yoma Strategic Holdings (YSH) executive director and CEO Melvyn Pun Chi Tung acquired 1,847,800 stocks of YSH at S$0.33 per share. With a consideration of S$609,774, this increased his direct interest in YSH to 1.063 per cent. Mr Pun was appointed the CEO of YSH in 2015, driving the move to diversify the group's businesses along the core businesses while building its recurring income streams.

He has been extensively involved in developing the group's relationships with key partners. YSH executive chairman Serge Pun is the largest shareholder of the company, with total interests of 33.25 per cent.

ValueMax Group

Between Aug 15 and 17, ValueMax group managing director and CEO Yeah Hiang Nam acquired 1,383,900 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$385,845. This took his deemed interest from 79.03 per cent to 79.29 per cent. Mr Yeah is responsible for the overall strategic, management, and business development of the group and has more than 45 years of experience dealing with gold and jewellery, and more than 25 years in the pawnbroking industry.

PropNex

Between Aug 16 and 21, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 350,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$201,028, taking his total interest in the stock from 62.60 per cent to 62.70 per cent. With more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, he is responsible for the group's strategic direction and oversees business operations of the group as a whole.

JEP Holdings

In January 2018, UMS Holdings became a substantial shareholder of Catalist-listed JEP Holdings. Between Aug 16 and 20, UMS Holdings acquired another 939,800 shares of JEP Holdings for a consideration of S$187,404. This took UMS Holdings stake in JEP Holdings to 28.31 per cent.

Chairman and CEO of UMS Holdings, Andy Luong holds 20.08 per cent of the issued share capital of UMS Holdings, and hence now also maintains a deemed interest of 28.31 per cent in JEP Holdings.

Back in January Mr Luong noted that about 80 per cent of JEP Holdings' business was in aerospace, with the remainder coming from the semiconductor and oil and gas industries, enabling UMS Holdings' to diversify its customer base.

Memtech International

On Aug 16, Memtech International (Memtech) executive director Teow Joo Hwa's spouse acquired 100,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$115,500. This took his total stake in Memtech from 0.05 per cent to 0.12 per cent.

Mr Teow was appointed a director of the company on February 2005. He is responsible for overseeing the entire operation of the business unit in Kunshan, including both manufacturing and marketing activities.

ABR Holdings

On Aug 14, ABR Holdings managing director Ang Yee Lim acquired 94,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$78,960. This took his stake in the stock from 50.142 per cent to 50.189 per cent. Mr Ang has over 10 years of experience in the food and beverage business and more than 30 years of experience in property development and investment in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

SASSEUR Reit

On Aug 16, Sasseur Asset Management Pte Ltd CEO Anthony Ang Meng Huat acquired 100,000 units of SASSEUR Reit for a consideration of S$74,030. This took Mr Ang's stake in the Reit to 0.0085 per cent. SASSEUR Reit is managed by SASSEUR Asset Management Pte Ltd, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the sponsor, SASSEUR Cayman Holding Limited.

The Sponsor and its subsidiaries (collectively the Sponsor Group), is one of the premium outlet mall groups in China, focused on the development and operation of retail outlet malls in China. Mr Ang was previously the CEO and executive director of ARA Asset Management (Fortune) Pte Ltd, the manager of Fortune Reit.

Frencken Group

On Aug 17, Frencken Group chairman and non-executive non-independent director Gooi Soon Chai acquired 144,000 shares for a consideration of S$57,500. This increased his total stake in the stock to 23.19 per cent.

He has been the chairman of Frencken Group since August 2016.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Steven Ong Kay Eng continued to increase his total stake in Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) with the acquisition of 91,000 shares on Aug 16.

The latest acquisition had a consideration value of S$28,430 and increased Mr Ong's stake in Hwa Hong from 13.770 per cent to 13.784 per cent. He has gradually grown his stake in the company from 10.80 per cent on Nov 28, 2016, and 7.38 per cent at the end of 2014.

Food Empire

Between Aug 17 and 20, Food Empire Holdings non-executive director Tan Guek Ming acquired 32,100 shares through her nominees for a consideration of S$17,334. This increased Mdm Tan's total stake in Food Empire to 22.62 per cent. She was appointed to the board as a non-executive director in April 2000. She is also the spouse of Food Empire Holdings executive chairman, Tan Wang Cheow.

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