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Earnings in focus; Q & M founder continues to build stake
FOR the 2018 year through to Oct 25, the Straits Times Index (STI) has generated an 8.4 per cent decline in total return, amid regional mixed moves that have ranged from a 1.9 per cent decline for the Nikkei 225 Index to a 21.6 per cent decline for China's CSI 300 Index.
For the five trading sessions ended Oct 25, the STI was comparatively defensive declining 1.8 per cent, with regional benchmarks comprising the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 4.5 per cent decline.
One common factor to the two jolts of volatility observed in October were developments fuelling further calls for the federal regulation of consumer data in the United States.
Recent years have seen a proliferation of online businesses, which currently accounts for some of the world's biggest stocks. Apple CEO Tim Cook made clear via a series of Twitter tweets on the night of Oct 24 that more US consumer data safeguards are warranted.
There were 15 stocks/trusts conducting buybacks over the five sessions ended Oct 25, down from 19 stocks for the preceding five sessions. The consideration totalled S$7.5 million, which was down from the S$8.4 million total the preceding week.
Singapore Press Holdings, SATS, Singapore Exchange, Keppel Reit Management and Hi-P International led the tally, while no new mandates were commenced.
Director and substantial shareholder transactions
The five sessions spanning Oct 19 to 25 saw 34 primary-listed stocks lodge 120 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings. There were 18 company director acquisitions and no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 19 acquisitions and nine disposals.
The seasonal earnings run also saw less than 40 stocks filling transactions for the same week in 2017.
On Oct 22, Colonial First State Group's deemed interest in chocolate confectionary company Delfi increased from 10.54 per cent to 11.17 per cent.
The purchase of the securities for client funds saw the substantial shareholder file an acquisition of 3,877,600 shares for a consideration of S$4,381,688.
Colonial First State Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and its deemed interest in Delfi has more than doubled since November 2016.
Dasin Retail Trust
On Oct 17, Aqua Wealth Holdings Limited (Aqua Wealth) acquired 3.5 million units of Dasin Retail Trust for a consideration of 3,027,500. This took the direct stake of Aqua Wealth in the China retail property trust to 60.30 per cent.
DBS Trustee Limited holds the entire issued share capital of Aqua Wealth as the trustee of the Zhang Family Trust.
Q & M Dental
Q & M Dental Group - Singapore (Q & M) founder and group CEO Ng Chin Siau continued to increase his total stake in the stock, which is now 52.10 per cent.
Between Oct 18 and 24, Dr Ng acquired 1,237,100 shares for a consideration of S$609,008.
The majority of Dr Ng's interest in Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) is by virtue of his 43.91 per cent direct shareholding in Quan Min Holdings Pte Ltd. He began 2018 with a 49.88 per cent stake in Q & M.
Dr Ng is responsible for the corporate direction of the group, leading it in all aspects of its business strategies, policy planning and business development in Singapore and overseas.
Allied Technologies executive director Kenneth Low Si Ren continued to acquire more shares in the manufacturer of precision stamped metal parts.
Between Oct 24 and 25, Mr Low acquired 20 million shares for a consideration of S$345,050. This has taken his direct holdings in the stock to 100 million shares, representing a stake of 5.65 per cent.
Mr Low was appointed to the board of directors on June 27, 2018 and his responsibilities include managing and overseeing the group's strategic investments and corporate development activities.
In a married deal on Oct 18, Quantum Global Ltd reduced its substantial shareholding in Allied Technologies by 50 million shares.
This reduced its stake in the stock from 10.73 per cent to 7.91 per cent.
Quantum Global Ltd was one of the four investors that participated in Allied Technologies' placement of 420 million placement shares back in June 2018.
UOB-Kay Hian Holdings
Between Oct 18 and 23, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH which now stands at 27.76 per cent. He acquired 169,300 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$206,478.
The UOBKH chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.
RHT Health Trust
On Oct 19, Chicago-based hedge fund manager Kabouter Management, LLC (Kabouter) reduced its deemed stake in RHT Health Trust (RHT) by 1,074,600 units. The consideration of the transaction was S$780,697.
This took Kabouter's deemed interest in RHT below the 8 per cent threshold, from 8.091 per cent to 7.959 per cent, which is held through funds managed by Kabouter. Kabouter Management invests in non-US small cap stocks on behalf of its clients.
Between Oct 18 and 19, Oxley Holdings (Oxley) executive chairman and CEO Ching Chiat Kwong acquired 981,700 shares of Oxley for a consideration of S$304,327. This took his total stake in the stock to 41.49 per cent.
At Oxley Holdings, Mr Ching is responsible for the formulation of corporate strategies, charting future growth plans and driving overall performance of the group.
Apart from his commitments at Oxley, Mr Ching sits on the boards of Galliard (Group) Ltd, Pindan Group Pty Ltd and Aspen (Group) Holdings Ltd.
Between Oct 18 and 23, Oxley deputy CEO & executive director Eric Low See Chin acquired 600,000 shares of Oxley for a consideration of S$186,000. This increased his direct stake in the home-grown property developer to 27.74 per cent.
Mr Low is responsible for business development, as well as supporting Mr Ching in the formulation of corporate strategies and future direction of the group.
Mr Low is also a non-executive director of Hafary Holdings where he previously served as CEO.
Between Oct 18 and 22, Sing Holdings managing director and CEO Lee Sze Hao acquired 361,500 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$137,749. This took his total stake in the stock to 39.25 per cent.
Since Sing Holdings reported its FY17 results in February, Mr Lee 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.
Bonvests Holdings chairman and managing director Henry Ngo increased his deemed interest on Oct 24, acquiring 99,800 shares for a consideration of S$130,738. This increased his total stake in Bonvests Holdings to 83.07 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.
Hwa Hong Corporation
Steven Ong Kay Eng continued to increase his total stake in Hwa Hong Corporation with the acquisition of 129,000 shares. The transactions between Oct 19 and 22 had a total consideration value of S$39,990, and increased Mr Ong's stake in Hwa Hong Corporation to 13.957 per cent.
Mr Ong 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.
Hai Leck Holdings
On Oct 17, Hai Leck Holdings (Hai Leck) founder and executive chairman, Cheng Buck Poh acquired 38,700 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$22,276. This took his total interest in the integrated services provider to 83.90 per cent.
Mr Cheng is responsible for charting corporate directions and strategies for the group. He has been gradually building his stake in recent months, which stood at 83.34 per cent at the end of August 2018. Prior to this, his two most recent filed acquisitions were in April 2017 and Sept 2016.
Sin Ghee Huat Corporation
On Oct 19, Sin Ghee Huat Corporation executive director and CEO Kua Peng Chuan acquired 23,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$5,520. This took his stake in the distributer and seller of stainless steel products to 5.02 per cent.
Mr Kua is responsible for corporate strategic direction and general management of the group, and concurrently oversees the purchasing functions.
On Oct 16, Sunpower Group issued and allotted an aggregate of 1,485,000 ordinary shares in the capital of the company at an exercise price of S$0.116 each. This was pursuant to the exercise of options granted under the Sunpower Employee Share Option Scheme 2015.
This marginally decreased the direct stake of substantial shareholder Allgreat Pacific Ltd (APL) in the China-based environmental protection, equipment and solutions group from 10.34 per cent to 10.32 per cent and the direct stake of Sunpower Business Group Pte Ltd (SBGPL) in the stock from 9.68 per cent to 9.66 per cent.
Sunpower Group founder and executive chairman Guo Hong Xin is deemed to be interested in 19.98 per cent of Sunpower Group. This is through shares held by both APL and SBGPL, with the latter a wholly-owned subsidiary of APL. Mr Guo is responsible for the overall management and strategic plan for the development of the group as executive director and chairman of the board.
Executive director Ma Ming is deemed to be interested in 17.39 per cent of Sunpower Group, through shares held by Claremont Consultancy Ltd (CCL) and Tournan Trading Pte Ltd (TTPL). With the Oct 16 allotment, CCL's direct stake in Sunpower Group declined marginally from 7.74 per cent to 7.73 per cent. TTPL which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCL also saw its direct stake in Sunpower Group decline marginally from 9.68 per cent to 9.66 per cent. Mr Ma is responsible for the management of the financial affairs and external investment of the group.
- The writer is the market strategist at Singapore Exchange (SGX). To read SGX's market research reports, visit sgx.com/research.