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Director acquisitions continue in a less volatile market

FOR the five trading sessions spanning March 27 to April 2, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 1.4 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.9 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's decline in total return for 2020 through to April 2 to 23.5 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 29 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended April 2 with a total consideration of S$19.15 million, following the S$63.6 million for the preceding week. OCBC led the consideration tally, with 1,375,800 shares bought back at an average price of S$8.58 per share. Buyback consideration in the 2020 year to date have already surpassed the total consideration of buybacks in 2019.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning March 27 to April 2 saw more than 130 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings, filed for more than 50 primary-listed stocks. These included at least 40 company director acquisitions and four disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing 18 acquisitions and 14 disposals.

Olam International

Between March 27 and 30, Olam International substantial shareholder Kewalram Singapore acquired 750,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$1,103,120.

At S$1.47 per share, this increased its total interest in the leading agri-business group from 7.04 per cent to 7.06 per cent.

Its preceding acquisition of Olam International was on March 24 with 500,000 shares acquired at S$1.37 per share.

Haw Par Corporation

Between March 30 and 31 Wee Investments (Pte) Ltd acquired 101,000 shares of Haw Par Corporation for a consideration of S$1,033,603, at an average price of S$10.23 per share. This saw non-executive and non-independent chairman Wee Chow Yaw increase his total interest in the listed company, from 36.45 per cent to 36.50 per cent.

Non-executive and non-independent deputy chairman Wee Ee Chao and executive and non-independent director and president and CEO Wee Ee Lim also accordingly increased their interest in Haw Par Corporation.

Mr Wee Ee Chao also serves as UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director. He increased his total stake in UOBKH between March 26 and April 1, which is now at 29.88 per cent. Mr Wee acquired 266,100 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$303,354 at S$1.14 per share.

Sasseur Reit

On March 30, Sasseur Asset Management Pte Ltd non-executive and non-independent director Yang Xue acquired 5,667,900 units of Sasseur Reit via a married deal at S$0.60 per unit. This is in addition to the acquisition of 465,000 units through a market transaction at S$0.655 on March 16, 2020.

The two share buybacks increased the total direct and deemed interest of Ms Yang and Mr Xu Rongcan, the spouse of Ms Yang and non-executive and non-independent chairman of Sasseur Asset Management Pte Ltd, in Sasseur Reit from 57.63 per cent to 58.15 per cent. Entities of Meritz Group also reduced their substantial shareholdings in Sasseur Reit on March 30.

Ms Yang co-founded Sasseur (Shanghai) Holding Company Ltd, a property development and construction company which provides enterprise management to nine malls in eight municipalities and provincial capitals in China, in December 2005.

Two weeks prior to Ms Yang's acquisition, Sasseur Reit announced encouraging first day reopening sales from its four outlet malls, which had reopened progressively from March 11, after closures of between 44 to 49 days in efforts to control the Covid-19 outbreak in China.

Centurion Corporation

Between March 27 and April 1, Centurion Corporation non-executive director David Loh Kim Kang acquired 1,476,200 shares of the accommodation developer and manager for a consideration of S$583,099.

At S$0.40 per share, this took Mr Loh's total interest in Centurion Corporation from 54.95 per cent to 55.12 per cent.

Between March 30 and 31, non-executive director Han Seng Juan also increased his interest in Centurion Corporation from 55.33 per cent to 55.42 per cent. The acquisitions saw Mr Han acquire 791,400 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$309,814 at an average price of S$0.39 per share.

Riverstone Holdings

Between March 26 and April 1, Riverstone Holdings founder, executive chairman & CEO Wong Teek Son acquired 590,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$547,124.

At an average price of S$0.93 per share, this increased Mr Wong's total interest in the Malaysian-based leading cleanroom gloves manufacturer from 50.86 per cent to 50.94 per cent. This followed Mr Wong's acquisition of 850,000 shares at S$0.75 per share between March 19 and 25.

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

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