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INSIDE INSIGHTS

GYP completes placement; Oxley adds to its Aspen stake

BROADER macro themes and fresh sector rotations by institutional investors have seen index returns converge in recent weeks.

For the 2018 year through to June 7, the Straits Times Index (STI) generated a 3.9 per cent total return, compared to the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 averaging a 3.1 per cent return, while the Dow Jones has gained 3 per cent, in SGD terms.

For the five trading sessions ended June 7, the STI generated a 1.3 per cent gain, with the three regional benchmarks averaging a 2.3 per cent total return.

Share buybacks

Buyback momentum was maintained over the five sessions ended June 7 and totalled S$52.2 million. This followed S$45.8 million over the preceding four sessions.

CapitaLand again led the tally, buying back 9.1 million shares for a consideration of S$32.3 million.

Q&M Dental Group commenced its share buyback mandate on May 31 which had been approved at the April 19 AGM. The group bought back 5.7 million shares for a consideration of S$3 million.

Like last year, a buyback limit of 10 per cent of its prescribed shares was approved. Under the previous year's mandate, Q&M Dental Group bought back a total of 2.3 million shares, equivalent to 0.29 per cent of outstanding shares.

TeleChoice International also commenced its buyback mandate. The diversified provider and enabler of innovative infocommunications products and services purchased 890,000 shares for a consideration of S$232,118.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The four sessions saw 70 primary-listed stocks lodge 160 changes in director interests or substantial shareholders' transactions.

There were 36 director acquisitions and one disposal filed, while substantial shareholders filed 24 acquisitions and seven disposals.

On May 30, Yanlord Land Group founder chairman and CEO Zhong Sheng Jian purchased 200,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$330,000.

Mr Zhong, who is responsible for the overall management and strategy development of the group, increased his stake in the stock to 69.81 per cent.

He also serves as the executive chairman of United Engineers (UEL). On May 31, Yanlord Perennial Investment (Singapore) Pte Ltd (YPIL) acquired 310,000 shares of UEL for a consideration of S$871,100. This took the deemed UEL interest of Mr Zhong to 34.15 per cent.

On May 31, Oxley Holdings also increased its direct stake in UEL, acquiring 1,113,900 shares for a consideration of S$3,139,137. This increased its direct stake in UEL to 18.16 per cent.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao acquired 197,900 shares of UOBKH at an average price of S$1.313 per share. The multiple transactions spanned May 31 to June 6 with a consideration of S$259,814.

This took Mr Wee's total stake in UOBKH to 26.78 per cent.

Between May 31 and June 7, Sing Holdings managing director and CEO Lee Sze Hao acquired a total of 444,100 shares of the company at an average price of S$0.43 per share.

The consideration of the transactions totalled S$190,959 and took his total stake in Sing Holdings to 38.88 per cent. Mr Lee has been running the property business of Sing Holdings for more than 20 years and maintains a pivotal role in the management of the group's business.

Between June 6 and June 7, FH Lee Holdings Pte Limited acquired 1.5 million shares of Sing Investments & Finance for a consideration of S$2,295,000. At S$1.53 per share, the married deal increased the total stakes of Sing Investments & Finance's managing director, Lee Sze Leong, and deputy managing director, Lee Sze Siong, to 29.953 per cent and 29.995 per cent respectively. Mr Lee Sze Hao is also deemed to have an interest in the shares of FH Lee Holdings (Pte) Limited.

On June 1, Hiap Hoe CEO Teo Ho Beng acquired 1.8 million shares of the regional real estate group for a consideration of S$1,566,000. The married deal took the total interest of Mr Teo in Hiap Hoe to 74.84 per cent.

Mr Teo has more than 42 years of experience in the construction and property industries, and over 27 years of experience in the leisure industry.

On June 5, Centurion Corporation non-executive director Han Seng Juan increased his total stake in Centurion Corporation from 55.734 per cent to 55.914 per cent.

Global Yellow Pages

On June 4, Global Yellow Pages (GYP) completed the placement of 24 million shares to its non-executive chairman Mah Bow Tan. The consideration of the placement totalled S$4.8 million and took the former minister's stake in GYP from 0.24 per cent to 10.51 per cent.

Over the years, GYP has evolved from foundations in 1967 into other diversified sectors, with its current core in real estate.

Following the placement issue, GYP substantial shareholders include Pang Yoke Min with a total interest of 10.49 per cent, Sam Goi Seng Hui with a total interest of 10.35 per cent, Yong Yin Min with a total interest of 9.41 per cent, and Kathlyn Tan Jiling with a total interest of 7.94 per cent.

Ms Tan's holdings crossed above the substantial shareholder threshold in March 2018, following the direct acquisition of 10 million shares for a consideration of S$2 million.

Aspen (Group) Holdings

On June 1, Oxley Holdings (Oxley) added to its stake in Aspen (Group) Holdings (Aspen).

Back on April 30, Oxley took a 10.07 per cent stake in Aspen for S$23.28 million at S$0.24 per share, with proceeds to be assigned to land banks, future developments and working capital.

On June 1, that stake was increased to 10.23 per cent with Oxley acquiring 1,620,600 shares at S$0.23 per share. The consideration of the June 1 transaction totalled S$372,738.

On May 25, Aspen announced the appointment of Ching Chiat Kwong (executive chairman and CEO of Oxley) as a non-independent non-executive director to its board of directors.

Aspen also appointed Low See Ching (deputy CEO of Oxley) as an alternate director to Mr Ching.

Hence Oxley's acquisition of Aspen shares on June 1 also saw the deemed interest of Mr Ching and Mr Low in Aspen rise to 10.23 per cent.

Rich Capital Holdings

Wang ZhenWen is the non-independent non-executive chairman of Rich Capital Holdings (Rich). Mr Wang was appointed to this role in January 2018 and has gradually increased his stake in Rich to 29.54 per cent from 26.98 per cent at the end of 2017.

Between June 1 and 5, Mr Wang acquired a total of 140 million shares of Rich for a consideration of S$1.4 million.

Rich was formerly known as the Infinio Group before its diversification into the property business. The approval for business diversification in March 2018 provided the group with the green light to engage in property development, specialist construction services, property investment, property management and the acquisition and sale of properties with yield-accretive and/or capital-growth potential.

The group noted with its FY18 (ended March 31) report that it will focus on working towards completing the recently announced acquisitions as part of its efforts to build a sustainable property development business going forward.

Clearbridge Health

Between June 1 and 7 Clearbridge Health non-executive non-independent chairman Johnson Chen acquired 595,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$250,890. This took his stake in the company, which listed on Catalist, in December 2017, to 15.65 per cent.

Mr Chen is the founder of Clearbridge and also serves as executive director and CEO of the MAS-regulated private financing platform CapBridge Pte Ltd.

In Clearbridge Health's inaugural FY17 Annual Report Mr Chen noted that over the years, Clearbridge has taken great strides to deepen its ability to invest and build its capabilities in the medical technology and healthcare field.

As at March 2018, QED Innovate Pte Ltd maintained a 23.98 per cent stake in ClearBridge Health. Halcyon Investment Capital Pte Ltd, in turn, held 27.27 per cent of the issued and paid-up share capital of QED Innovate Pte Ltd.

Katrina Group

On June 4, Katrina Group's founder, executive chairman and CEO Alan Goh Keng Chian acquired 870,000 shares at an average price of S$0.2437 per share. The consideration of the transaction totalled S$212,019 and took his total stake in the stock to 86.98 per cent.

Mr Goh heads the formulation of the group's strategic directions and expansion plans in Singapore and overseas markets, and manages the group's overall business development.

In the FY17 Annual Report, Mr Goh noted that management will continue to focus on building sustainable growth in its existing operations and stay competitive, and will build on working with strategic partners to create greater awareness for its brands across the region. He noted that China and Hong Kong present a multitude of possibilities for expansion.

Mr Goh's spouse Madaline Catherine Tan Kim Wah serves as the co-founder and executive director of Katrina Group and her total stake in the stock also increased to 86.98 per cent accordingly. Mr Goh and Ms Tan have gradually increased their total stake in Katrina Group from 84.67 per cent in August 2017.

  • 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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