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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Keppel Corp commences buybacks after new mandate approved in April

FOR the 2018 year through to June 21, the Straits Times Index (STI) generated a 1.3 per cent decline in total return, compared to the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 Indices averaging a 2.1 per cent gain in total return, while the Dow Jones has gained 1.7 per cent, in SGD terms.

For the four trading sessions ended June 21, the STI generated a 1.7 per cent decline, with the three regional benchmarks averaging a 0.7 per cent gain.

Share buybacks

Buyback momentum was maintained over the five sessions ended June 21 with consideration totalling S$37.3 million. This followed a consideration of S$44.7 million over the preceding four sessions.

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Keppel Corporation commenced its buyback mandate which was approved on April 20 and led the buyback tally for the five sessions. Between June 14 and June 21, Keppel Corporation bought back 1.81 million shares for a consideration of S$12.98 million.

As many as seven STI stocks conducted buybacks over the five sessions.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning June 14 to June 21 saw 58 primary-listed stocks lodge 138 changes in director interests or substantial shareholders' transactions. There were 42 company director acquisitions and no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 24 acquisitions and six disposals.

Between June 13 and June 19, UOL Equity Investments Pte Ltd acquired 997,000 shares of United Industrial Corporation (UIC) shares for a consideration of S$3.27 million. This increased the stake of UIC shares held by its chairman Wee Cho Yaw to 50.0548 per cent.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao also increased his total stake in UOBKH over the five sessions to 27.42 per cent.

Envictus International

Envictus International Holdings non-executive director and vice-chairman Sam Goi Seng Hui has increased his deemed stake in the company to 19.39 per cent. Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing Pte Ltd acquired 149,400 shares at S$0.35 per share with a consideration of S$52,290.

Mr Goi is the executive chairman of Tee Yih Jia Group in addition to Mainboard-listed GSH Corporation.

As reported in The Business Times recently, Envictus International Holdings has announced the undertaking of a rights cum warrants issue of up to 113.5 million new shares at an issue price of S$0.16 for each rights share with up to 113.5 million free detachable warrants.

The net proceeds arising from the allotment and issuance of the rights shares (without taking into account the proceeds from the exercise of the warrants) will be used towards repayment of bank borrowings, working capital and to fund the expansion of the group's existing businesses.

These include the construction of a factory in Pulau Indah for the manufacturing of condensed milk and the expansion of the Texas Chicken business in Indonesia and San Francisco coffee outlets in Malaysia.

Avi Tech Electronics

On June 19, Avi Tech Electronics CEO Lim Eng Hong acquired 208,000 shares of the stock at S$0.39 per share.

The consideration of the acquisition totalled S$81,120 and increased Mr Lim's total stake in the company to 35.265 per cent.

His preceding acquisition was for 200,000 shares at S$0.502 per share.

Mr Lim is the founder of the group and has maintained a board position since 1984.

Mr Lim oversees the group's overall business activities and is particularly involved in the development of the strategies behind the group's diversification into other related business areas.

With the company's Q3FY18 (ended 31 March) results, Mr Lim noted that rapid growth of semiconductor content, advanced design rules for vehicles necessitating more complex semiconductors and higher reliability requirements of semiconductor devices will continue to drive the automotive semiconductor market, which augurs well for the group's burn-in services, and manufacturing and PCBA services business segments.

Hwa Hong

On June 18, veteran banker Steven Ong Kay Eng continued to increase his total stake in Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) with the acquisition of 325,000 shares.

The consideration of the transaction totalled S$104,210 and has taken Mr Ong's stake in Hwa Hong to 13.259 per cent.

Mr Ong has gradually grown his stake in the company from 10.804 per cent on Nov 28, 2016, and 7.38 per cent at the end of 2014.

No Signboard

On June 19, GuGong Pte Ltd acquired 1,944,200 shares of No Signboard Holdings for a consideration of S$347,263.

No Signboard Holdings executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim Yong Sim (Lin Rongsen) maintains a 93.64 per cent stake of GuGong Pte Ltd. This means Mr Lim's stake in No Signboard holdings has increased from 73.21 per cent to 73.63 per cent.

Mr Lim joined the group in 1998 and spearheaded its development and expansion over the past two decades, leading the No Signboard Seafood business from its humble roots to the premium seafood restaurant chain it is today.

Roxy Pacific

Kian Lam Investment Pte Ltd acquired 148,900 shares of Roxy-Pacific Holdings for a consideration of S$73,706 on June 13. This took the deemed interest of executive chairman and CEO Teo Hong Lim in the company to 61.79 per cent. Mr Teo has been a director of Roxy-Pacific Holdings since May 1993 and currently sets out the group's strategies and leads overall management.

The company also bought back 100,000 shares on June 18 and 100,000 shares on June 19.

Since the new buyback mandate began on April 6, Roxy Pacific Holdings has bought back 4.3 million shares, representing 0.36 per cent of issued shares (excluding treasury shares) as of the mandate.

Sinostar

Between June 14 and June 19, Intelligent People Holdings Limited acquired 3,969,000 shares of Sinostar Pec Holdings' (Sinostar) for a consideration of S$811,597. This took the deemed interest of Sinostar non-executive chairman Li Xiang Ping in the company to 53.32 per cent.

Mr Li has made multiple acquisitions of Sinostar shares in 2018, growing his stake via Intelligent People Holdings Limited, from 52.19 per cent prior to Dec 27, 2017.

Mr Li is also a people's representative in the annual National People's Congress of Shandong Province in addition to being a deputy chairman of the Dongming County Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Sinostar is a producer and supplier of downstream petrochemical products within a 400-km radius of its production facilities within the Dongming Petrochem Industrial Zone. The zone is located in the Dongming County of Shandong Province.

Management provided an update on the proposed acquisition of Dongming QianHai Petrochemical Co Ltd with its Q1FY18 (ended 31 March) results released in May noting that both parties have agreed to extend the Long Stop Date to complete the proposed acquisition to April 30, 2019.

UMS Holdings

On June 18, UMS Holdings (UMS) chairman and CEO Andy Luong acquired 500,000 shares of the precision engineering group at an average price of S$0.785 per share. With a consideration of S$392,500, this took Mr Luong's total stake in UMS up to 20.28 per cent.

Mr Luong's preceding acquisitions were between May 21 and 22, where he acquired 600,000 shares at an average price of S$0.951 per share.

As president and founder of the UMS Group, Mr Luong has more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing of front-end semiconductor components.

Suntec Reit

On June 14, ARA Trust Management (Suntec) Limited non-executive director John Lim Hwee Chiang acquired one million units of Suntec Reit at S$1.725 per unit. ARA Trust Management (Suntec) Limited is the manager of Suntec Reit.

The acquisition increased Mr Lim's total stake in the Reit from 0.07508 per cent to 0.11261 per cent. The consideration of the transaction totalled S$1.725 million.

Mr Lim has more than 30 years' experience in the real estate industry and is the group CEO and director of ARA Asset Management Holdings Pte Ltd - the ultimate holding company of ARA Asset Management Limited and its subsidiaries.

Suntec Reit invests in seven quality property assets strategically located in Singapore and Australia.

Katrina Group

On June 18, Katrina Group founder, executive chairman and CEO Alan Go Keng Chian acquired 400,000 shares at an average price of S$0.236857 per share.

The consideration of the transaction totalled S$94,743. This took Mr Go's total stake in the stock to 87.16 per cent.

He has increased this stake from 84.67 per cent with multiple acquisitions since the beginning of March 2018.

Mr Go 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.

Frencken Group

On June 13, Frencken Group's chairman and president both increased their respective stakes in the stock. Non-executive non-independent director Gooi Soon Chai acquired 100,000 shares for a consideration of S$49,500 which increased his total stake in the stock to 22.98 per cent.

President and executive director Dennis Au similarly acquired 100,000 shares for a consideration of S$49,500 which increased his total stake in the stock to 0.78 per cent.

Frencken Group is a global integrated technology solutions company. Its three largest business segments are semiconductor, life sciences and automotive markets.

Mr Gooi is also board member of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), which is the Malaysian government's principal agency for the promotion of the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia.

Mr Gooi has been the chairman of Frencken Group since August 2016.

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