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INSIDE INSIGHTS

K-Reit, Tuan Sing, DFI lead share buybacks

FOR the four trading sessions from April 26 through to May 2, the Straits Times Index (STI) rallied 1.8 per cent while the Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaged a 0.1 per cent gain.

This has brought the STI's 2019 total return through to May 2 to 11.8 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were eight primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the four sessions ended May 2, with a total consideration of S$1.8 million.

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Buyback consideration was led by Keppel Reit Management, Tuan Sing Holdings and Duty Free International.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The four sessions spanning April 26 to May 2 saw approximately 150 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings filed for more than 45 primary-listed stocks.

There were 21 company director acquisitions and one disposal filed, with substantial shareholders filing a total of 15 acquisitions and five disposals.

Ireit Global

On April 29, Tikehau Investment Management Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (TIM AP) acquired 232,143 shares of Ireit Global Group Pte Ltd (IGG) from Shanghai Summit Pte Ltd, bringing the percentage of its shareholding in IGG from 84.5 per cent to 100 per cent.

IGG is the manager of the Europe focused real estate investment trust, Ireit Global.

Tikehau Capital also increased its stake in Ireit Global to 16.4 per cent, almost double its previous unit holding stake of 8.5 per cent.

Subsequently, TIM AP entered into sale and purchase with a subsidiary of City Developments (CDL), City Reit Management Pte Ltd (CRMPL) for shares in the capital of IGG.

CRMPL agreed to acquire 742,500 shares in the capital of IGG (and 15,000 non-voting preference shares) from TIM AP for a consideration of S$18,361,800.

Completion of the acquisition took place on the same day.

As a result of the sale of the IGG shares to CRMPL, TIM AP currently holds 50 per cent of the shares in IGG with CDL holding 50 per cent of IGG.

CDL noted that the consideration, paid in cash, was arrived at after arm's length negotiations on a willing buyer and willing seller basis and after taking into account factors such as comparable valuation in the market with consideration of the business of the manager and its financial position.

Another indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of CDL, City Strategic Equity Pte Ltd (CSEPL) acquired 75,600,000 units in Ireit Global from Goodness Investments Ltd, an affiliate of Shanghai Summit Pte Ltd and 3,000,000 units in Ireit Global from Lim Chap Huat.

The acquisition's consideration was S$59,358,000.

Following the acquisition of the sale units, CSEPL owns 12.4 per cent of the total issued units in Ireit Global.

CRMPL and CSEPL are both private limited companies which were incorporated in Singapore on March 18, 2019 and March 22, 2019 respectively, for the purpose of acquiring the acquired shares and sale units respectively.

The total consideration of CDL's investment through the two private companies was approximately S$77.8 million.

CDL is a leading Singapore-listed real estate operating company with a global network spanning 103 locations in 29 countries and regions.

Ireit Global which listed in 2014 focuses on investing, directly or indirectly, in income-producing office, retail and industrial properties in Europe.

Its current portfolio, which comprises five freehold office properties in Germany's cities of Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Munich and M√ľnster, is valued at 504.9 million euros (approximately S$800 million).

On the transaction, Mr Aymeric Thibord, the CEO of IGG said: "We are excited about the collaboration as it will strengthen Ireit Global's capabilities to pursue its growth plans, given CDL's strong brand name and financial resources.

"Together with the unit holding support from Tikehau Capital, CDL and Mr Tong Jinquan, Ireit Global is well positioned to achieve its long-term goals of building a resilient and sustainable portfolio for unitholders."

Epicentre Holdings

On April 29, Epicentre Holdings executive chairman and acting chief executive officer Lim Tiong Hian acquired 1.5 million shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$148,500.

This took Mr Lim's direct interest in the Catalist-listed stock from 17.97 per cent to 18.91 per cent.

His preceding acquisition of Epicentre Holdings shares was for 932,000 shares on Sept 14, 2017.

Mr Lim will be responsible for setting the strategic direction, tracking of financial and profitability growth of the group, as well as managing the business and overseeing all aspects of the daily operation of the company.

Mr Lim's career spans across technical, project, marketing and business development roles over 15 years in the infocomm technology sector.

Note that the deadline for the completion of the proposed placement of up to 79,737,300 new ordinary shares in the capital of Epicentre Holdings was extended on April 16.

The proposed placement is pursuant to the general mandate granted by the shareholders at the company's Oct 31, 2018 annual general meeting.

The board of Epicentre Holdings announced that the company and placement agent mutually agreed in writing to extend the deadline for fulfilment of the conditions precedent and completion of the proposed placement until May 31, 2019.

MS Holdings

Between April 24 and 30, MS Holdings executive director and chief executive officer Jovan Yap Chin Hock increased his interest in the listed company from 83.38 per cent to 85.91 per cent.

He acquired 4.2 million shares of MS Holdings for a consideration of S$231,000.

Mr Yap is responsible for the overall management of the group's operations.

He also supports executive chairwoman, Ng Chui Hwa in developing the corporate and business development strategies of the group.

Sing Investments & Finance

On April 29, FH Lee Holdings Pte Ltd acquired 42,000 shares of Sing Investments & Finance for a consideration of S$62,950.

This increased the total interest of Sing Investments & Finance's managing director, Lee Sze Leong, and deputy managing director, Lee Sze Siong, to 29.980 per cent and 30.022 per cent accordingly.

Lee Sze Hao is also deemed to have an interest in the shares of FH Lee Holdings Pte Ltd.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Between April 24 and 29, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong from 5.674 per cent to 5.691 per cent.

Dr Ong acquired 114,000 shares for a consideration of S$35,910.

This also increased the deemed and hence total interest of Dr Ong's father, Steven Ong Kay Eng, in Hwa Hong to 15.344 per cent.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

On April 25, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH, which is now at 28.29 per cent.

Mr Wee acquired 24,900 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$31,125.

The UOBKH chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

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