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INSIDE INSIGHTS

FMR LLC increases deemed interests in First Resources

FOR the five trading sessions spanning May 8 to 14, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 2.7 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.2 per cent gain. This has brought the STI's decline in total return for the 2020 year to May 14 to 20.8 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were seven primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions than spanned May 8 to 14, with a total consideration of S$1.7 million, close to the S$1.5 million for the preceding week.

Global Investments led the buyback tally and bought back one million shares over each of the five sessions at an average price of 13.71 cents per share. This means that as at May 14, Global Investments had bought back 7.17 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) with the mandate that commenced on April 25, 2019.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions spanning May 8 to 14 saw close to 80 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings, filed for 35 primary-listed stocks. This included eight company director acquisitions, with one disposal and substantial shareholders filing 11 acquisitions with 14 disposals.

AEM Holdings

On May 8, AEM Holdings' James Toh Ban Leng disposed of one million shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$3,065,000. The married deal, at S$3.07 per share, decreased his total interest in AEM Holdings from 7.63 per cent to 7.26 per cent.

His current deemed interests in AEM Holdings arise from his shareholding of ACT Holdings Pte Ltd (ACT).

Started in 1969, ACT invests in several joint ventures with the Hitachi Group, in the consumer electronics sector. It was also the key Singapore local partner for Fujitec Elevator Corporation, which operated the largest elevator factory in South-east Asia from 1974 to 2011.

Mr Toh is also a co-founder and anchor investor of the Novo Tellus PE Fund 1 and Fund 2, which focuses on the buyouts of small/mid-cap technology and industrial companies. He is a founding director of the funds' Singapore Registered Fund Management company, Novo Tellus Capital Partners Pte Ltd.

First Resources

On May 6, FMR LLC increased its deemed interest in First Resources above the 6 per cent threshold, from 5.98 per cent to 6.10 per cent. FMR LLC's interests in the securities of First Resources are currently entirely deemed interests.

FMR LLC is deemed to have interests in the securities of First Resources because such securities are held by funds and/or accounts managed by one or more FMR LLC's direct and indirect subsidiaries, which are fund managers.

The married deal involved a purchase of 1,997,300 shares of First Resources for a consideration of S$2,436,706 at an average price of S$1.22 per share.

Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC is also deemed interested in the shares of First Resources in its capacity as investment adviser of various funds and accounts.

Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FMR LLC, and the married deal saw its deemed interest in First Resources increase from 5.19 per cent to 5.30 per cent.

Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC's deemed interest in First Resources crossed the 5 per cent substantial shareholder threshold on April 30, 2020.

Established in 1992, First Resources is one of the leading palm oil producers in the region, managing over 200,000 hectares of oil palm plantations across the Riau, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia.

The group is also committed to the production of sustainable palm oil, with a sustainability strategy centred on maximising output while minimising adverse environmental and social impact from its operations.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH between May 6 and 8, which is now at 29.97 per cent. He acquired 415,100 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$478,338 at S$1.15 per share.

Mr Wee also serves on the board of Haw Par Corporation and UOL Group as a non-executive director, and is also a director of Kheng Leong Co Pte Ltd, and Wee Investment Group.

GL

On May 4, GL substantial shareholder Hong Leong Company (Malaysia) Berhad (HLCM) increased its deemed interest in the listed company above the 71 per cent threshold. The acquisition of 310,000 shares for a consideration of S$173,600 was transacted at 56 cents per share. This acquisition took HLCM's deemed interest in GL to 71.01 per cent.

The filing noted that HLCM's deemed interest in GL shares had increased from 70.02 per cent due to open market purchases of an aggregate of 13,596,400 GL shares by GuocoLeisure Assets Ltd, between Nov 27, 2019 and May 4, 2020.

Hong Lai Huat Group

Between May 6 and 12, Hong Lai Huat Group deputy chairman and CEO, Ong Bee Huat acquired 513,300 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$66,709. At 13 cents per share, this increased his direct interest in the group from 20.58 per cent to 21.02 per cent.

He is the founder of the group and is responsible for its overall strategic direction and planning as well as business development.

Dr Ong has gradually increased his direct interest in Hong Lai Huat Group from 15.02 per cent in early May 2018. He noted in the FY19 annual report (released in April) that the property and real estate division in Cambodia has successfully completed the construction of its first mixed development project D'Seaview in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

The group's second mixed development project, Royal Platinum has also completed its piling works and expected to start its main construction works on 20 May 2020.

Roxy-Pacific Holdings

Between May 6 and 13, Roxy-Pacific Holdings independent director Winston Tan Tien Hin acquired 100,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$32,500. At 32.5 cents per share, the transaction followed his acquisition of 50,000 shares at 32.0 cents per share on May 4, and 50,000 shares at 32.5 cents per share on 28 April.

Mr Tan maintains a 0.75 per cent in Roxy-Pacific Holdings. He has been a non-executive director since December 2006.

He was re-designated from the position of non-executive and non-independent director to independent director in January 2012 and was last re-elected as director in April 2018.

Mr Tan is also executive chairman of Serrano and non-executive director of Plastoform Holdings. He is also currently the managing director of Winmark Investments Pte Ltd, Corporate Brokers International Pte Ltd and ZhenXing Commercial Consultancy (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

Jadason Enterprises

On May 13, Jadason Enterprises substantial shareholder Liaw Hin Hao acquired 403,500 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$9,788 at an average price of 2.43 cents per share.

His direct stake in the printed circuit board supplier has gradually increased to 8.75 per cent, from 6.08 per cent as at Dec 29, 2017.

GYP Properties

On May 8, GYP Properties substantial shareholder Sam Goi Seng Hui acquired 46,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$4,597. At an average price of 9.99 cents per share, the acquisition increased his total interest in GYP Properties from 16.36 per cent to 16.38 per cent.

On May 12, GYP Properties provided an update on the its business operations in New Zealand, noting that the New Zealand government had announced lowering the national alert level response to Covid-19 from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 on May 14.

Alert Level 2, in New Zealand sees the easing of lockdown restrictions, but safety and physical distancing rules will remain.

As a result, Pakuranga Plaza, the group's retail centre in New Zealand, is allowed to fully re-open, subject to compliance with safety and physical distancing rules.

GYP Properties added that it was in discussions with its tenants to facilitate their re-opening where they are able to comply with these rules.

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

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