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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Earnings in focus; Synagie Corporation debuts on Catalist

EARNINGS season is in full swing with more than 150 SGX listed securities reporting financials over the four sessions ending Aug 8.

For the four trading sessions ended Aug 8, the Straits Times Index (STI) generated a 1.6 per cent total return, coinciding with the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 Indices averaging a 1.3 per cent return. For the 2018 year through to Aug 9, the STI generated a 0.3 per cent total return, compared to the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 Indices averaging a 1.9 per cent gain.

Share buybacks

Share buyback momentum picked up marginally for four sessions ended Aug 8. Buyback consideration totalled S$10.6 million, up from S$5.4 million the previous week. The S$10.6 million was similar for the corresponding week in 2017, which saw buyback consideration amounting to S$10.1 million. United Overseas Bank led the tally with 231,894 shares bought back for a consideration of S$6.4 million.

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Two companies commenced share buyback mandates - Star Pharmaceutical and Japan Foods Holding. Star Pharmaceutical acquired 90,000 shares on Aug 7 for a consideration of S$12,944, which was its first buyback since the current mandate was approved on April 27. Japan Foods Holding, with its current mandate approved on July 23, bought back 2,000 shares at S$0.485 per share on Aug 6.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The four sessions spanning Aug 3 to Aug 8 saw just 30 primary-listed stocks lodge close to 50 changes in director interests or substantial shareholders' transactions.

There were two company director acquisitions and one disposal filed, while substantial shareholders filed 10 acquisitions and six disposals. The 50 filings were lower than the 73 transactions filed for the same week in 2017, which were filed by approximately 40 stocks.

Substantial shareholder acquisitions were filed for UnUsUaL, CapitaLand, Jadason Enterprises, ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited, Thai Beverage Company, Miyoshi, Sincap Group, Kori Holdings and Oceanus Group.

Substantial shareholder disposals were filed for Yoma Strategic Holdings, Raffles Medical Group, First Resources, Miyoshi, Sincap Group. Note that substantial shareholder acquisitions or disposals are filed if interests in voting shares of listed corporations (or voting units in a listed business trust or real estate investment trust) cross a percentage level.

Synagie Corporation

On Aug 8, Synagie Corporation (Synagie) debuted on Catalist. Synagie is primarily engaged in the provision of e-commerce solutions in the body, beauty and baby (BBB) sector. The company works with both SMEs and large MNCs, providing integrated technology to better manage multi e-commerce channels.

As reported by The Business Times Synagie was founded by chief executive Clement Lee and executive director Olive Tai in 2014. The July 31 article noted that Synagie's cloud-based platform was launched in August 2016 and helps brand partners like Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clark and Shiseido distribute their products on online marketplaces.

Furthermore, Synagie's CEO Clement Lee likens Synagie's business to Baozun in China, albeit on a much smaller scale. Synagie's competitors include aCommerce, Anchanto, DKSH, SCI Ecommerce, Singpost eCommerce, Y Ventures, Shopify and Shopmatic, according to Frost & Sullivan. Mr Lee is the sole beneficial owner of Metadrome International Pte Ltd which maintained a 23.7 per cent stake in Synagie at the IPO.

The IPO raised approximately S$11.6 million in gross proceeds and anchor investors include Nikko Asset Management Asia Limited and Cindy Tai Lai Fun. Synagie's shareholder base also includes pre-IPO investors such as Agate Investments Limited, which is wholly owned by Centurion Private Equity Ltd; Harmony Treasure Holdings Ltd; Island Asset Management Pte Ltd and Wang Yu Huei.

Kori Holdings Limited

On Aug 3, substantial shareholder Foo Tiang Ann acquired 926,500 shares of Kori Holdings for a consideration of S$324,275.00. This took the substantial shareholding to 7.49 per cent from 6.56 per cent. Foo Tiang Ann's stake in Kori holdings crossed above the 5.0 per cent substantial shareholder threshold back on April 16, 2018 with the acquisition of 1.45 million shares for a consideration of S$566,952.

On May 14, Kori Holdings appointed Hooi Yu Koh as executive chairman and CEO. Mr Hooi has more than 20 years of experience in the civil/engineering construction industry. Mr Hooi maintains a 19.04 per cent direct stake in Kori Holdings in addition to a 15.04 per cent deemed interest held through BNP Paribas Nominees Singapore Private Limited. This brings his total interest in the company to 34.08 per cent.

UnUsUaL

On Aug 2, UnUsUaL Management Pte Ltd acquired 500,000 shares of UnUsUaL for a consideration of S$232,000. This increased the direct interest of UnUsUaL Management Pte Ltd in UnUsUaL from 76.80 per cent to 76.85 per cent.

UnUsUaL Management Pte Ltd is a 51 per cent subsidiary of mm2 Asia. UnUsUaL's non-executive chairman and independent director, Melvin Ang Wee Chye, holds 38.1 per cent of the shareholdings of mm2 Asia and thus maintains a 76.85 deemed interest in UnUsUaL.

The acquisition also increased the total interests in UnUsUaL of its executive director and CEO Leslie Ong Chin Soon, and his brother, executive director and COO Johnny Ong Chin Leong, to 76.971 per cent and 76.913 per cent, respectively.

UnUsUaL is a leader in concert promotion and event production in Asia. On Aug 2, the company announced that along with its subsidiaries, it had entered into a binding Heads of Agreement with Nick Grace Management Ltd to develop and produce APOLLO, a show that celebrates the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the moon.

APOLLO is slated to start touring North America in the summer of 2019 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and to run for a period of three years in various cities, after which it has plans to tour South-east Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the subsequent years.

Miyoshi

On Aug 6, Miyoshi CEO Andrew Sin Kwong Wah acquired 2 million shares of the company for a consideration of S$106,000. This took the total stake of Mr Sin in Miyoshi from 26.2 per cent to 26.6 per cent. The married deal saw Miyoshi Industry Co Ltd dispose of 2 million shares, reducing the deemed stake of non-executive and non-independent director Masayoshi Taira in the stock to 10.3 per cent.

Mr Sin and Mr Taira have both served as directors of Miyoshi since 1991. Miyoshi is a manufacturer of a wide range of precision stamping, prototyping, metal finishing and automation for its customers with high quality solutions.

On July 31, Miyoshi announced it had entered into an agreement with JV Partners - Core Power (Fujian) Electric Co, Ltd and Fujian Kaibote Technology Co, Ltd - to increase the company's investment from a 15 per cent interest to a 32 per cent interest by way of new capital injection into the JV company. This followed the completion of the placement of 115,000,000 new ordinary shares in the capital of the company to raise net proceeds of S$6.8 million on May 18, 2018.

First Sponsor Group

On Aug 7, First Sponsor Group Limited (FSGL) non-executive chairman Calvin Ho Han Leong acquired 60,000 shares for a consideration of S75,498. This took Mr Ho's total stake in FSGL to 45.28 per cent and followed Mr Ho's acquisition of 100,000 FSGL shares for a consideration of S$132,000 on July 30.

FSGL is supported by both its established key controlling shareholders, the Hong Leong Singapore Group of companies, through its shareholding interests in Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, and Tai Tak Estates Sendirian Berhad.

FSGL is a mixed property developer in the Netherlands and the PRC, an owner of commercial properties (including hotels) and a provider of property financing services in the Netherlands, Germany and the PRC.

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