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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Lian Beng increases its stake in SLB

FOR the five trading sessions that spanned June 5 to 11, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.1 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.5 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's decline in total return for the 2020 year to June 11 to 14.5 per cent.

Over these five sessions, the iEdge S-Reit Index declined 0.8 per cent, bringing its decline in total return for the 2020 year to June 11 to 7.3 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were nine primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions that spanned June 5 to 11 with a total consideration of S$2.3 million, up from S$1.5 million for the preceding week.

TeleChoice International commenced a new buyback mandate, buying 350,000 shares on June 11 at an average price of 19.32 cents per share.

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The previous mandate saw the diversified provider and enabler of innovative info-communications products and services buy back 4.45 million shares or 0.98 per cent of its issued shares excluding treasury shares as of the date of the previous year's share buyback resolution.

TeleChoice is a subsidiary of ST Telemedia, an active investor in the communications and media, data centres, and infrastructure technology businesses.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions spanning June 5 to 11 again saw approximately 120 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings, filed for close to 50 primary-listed stocks. This included 21 company director acquisitions, with six disposals filed, and substantial shareholders filing nine acquisitions with 13 disposals.

SLB Development

On June 8, controlling shareholding Lian Beng Group acquired 3,936,500 shares of SLB Development (SLB) for a consideration of S$468,444. At 11.9 cents per share, this took its total interest in SLB, its Catalist-listed property developer spin-off, from 75.81 per cent to 76.24 per cent.

Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd, Ong Pang Aik and Ong Lay Huan are the controlling shareholders of Lian Beng Group.

Back on Jan 13, SLB reported a net profit attributable to the owners of the company of S$3.6 million on the back of a significant 55.5 per cent year on year (yoy) growth in revenue to S$12.1 million for its Q2 FY20 (ended Nov 30). The net profit was a turnaround from a net loss of S$0.7 million in its Q2 FY19.

During Q2 FY20, the group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SLBF Pte Ltd, also entered into a joint venture with 32 Holdings Pte Ltd and Jeremy Choy Chun Min, to establish a fund management company, 32 Real Estate Pte Ltd.

Goodland Group

On June 5, Goodland Group executive chairman Ben Tan Chee Beng acquired 2,764,400 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$428,482, at 15.5 cents per share. This took his direct interest in Goodland Group from 7.72 per cent to 8.49 per cent.

He also maintains a considerable deemed interest in the group, and combined with the direct interests, brings his total interest to 79.49 per cent.

Mr Tan is primarily responsible for overseeing the group's strategic direction and investment. Prior to joining the group, he worked as a civil engineer with the Housing and Development Board, Singapore.

July 1994 saw Mr Tan appointed as a director of Goodland Development Pte Ltd, which commenced operations as a building and civil engineering company undertaking both private projects and public infrastructure works.

Together with the other co-founder, Alvin Tan, they expanded the company's business operations to include property development.

Goodland listed on Catalist on Oct 8, 2009 and transferred to the Mainboard on June 25, 2013. In its H1 FY20 (ending 31 March) financial statements, the group maintained that it expected the next 12 months to be very challenging.

While monitoring the development of the Covid-19 outbreak and exercising prudence with a focus on taking necessary initiatives to moderate the impact, the group noted that it would continue to look for development and investment opportunities, both locally and regionally, while exercising caution.

iFAST Corporation

On June 8, iFAST Corporation chairman and CEO Lim Chung Chun acquired 100,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$110,000. At an average price of S$1.10 per share, the acquisition took his total interest from 22.36 per cent to 22.40 per cent.

Mr Lim is also the co-founder of iFAST Corporation and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the group together with the board, overseeing the entire overall management.

From 1991 to 1998, Mr Lim was an investment analyst with two securities companies in Singapore and eventually rose to become the head of research at ING Barings Securities Pte Ltd.

He co-founded Fundsupermart.com in 2000.

Between June 8 and 9, iFAST Corporation non-executive director Lim Wee Kian disposed of 230,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$258,500. At an average price of S$1.12 per share, this reduced his total interest in iFAST Corporation from 7.49 per cent to 7.41 per cent.

Back on April 23, iFAST Corporation reported a record quarterly net profit of S$3.64 million in its Q1 FY20 (ended March 31), an increase of 126.8 per cent compared to Q1 FY19.

The result was attributed to a 25.3 per cent yoy increase in net revenue, despite a major selloff in financial markets globally during the quarter.

iFAST Corporation shares have generated a 9.4 per cent total return in the 2020 year to June 11, with close to S$1 million of net institutional inflows.

Heeton Holdings

On June 11, Heeton Holdings deputy chairman and executive director Toh Giap Eng acquired 500,000 shares of the real estate conglomerate for a consideration of S$105,000.

At a price of 21 cents per share, the married deal took his total interest in Heeton Holdings from 40.52 per cent to 40.62 per cent.

Mr Toh's role at Heeton Holdings is to identify and secure investment and development properties in new markets, explore and develop related or new businesses as well as assist the chairman in the overall stewardship and governance of the group.

Heeton Holdings is a real estate company focused on property development, investment and management.

Mr Toh's preceding acquisition was also a married deal, with one million shares acquired at 24 cents per share on March 17.

JEP Holdings

Between June 5 and 8, JEP Holdings executive director Zee Hoong Huay acquired 258,600 shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$49,932.

At an average price of 19.31 cents per share, the acquisitions increased his total interest in JEP Holdings from 15.49 per cent to 15.55 per cent.

Mr Zee's previous acquisitions were on June 3, with 50,000 shares acquired at 19.60 cents per share and between May 21 and 27, with 100,400 shares acquired at 18.5 cents per share.

Mr Zee is a veteran in the metal tooling and precision engineering industries with over 30 years of industrial experience and capabilities.

Mr Zee, the co-founder and managing director of JEP Industrades Pte Ltd, joined the company as executive director on Aug 27, 2015.

He has gradually increased his total interest in JEP Holdings from 14.77 per cent on July 7, 2019.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Between June 5 and 8, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui acquired 36,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$10,925 at 30.35 cents per share.

Dr Ong has gradually increased his total interest in Hwa Hong from 5.32 per cent at the end of 2018, to 6.24 per cent as at June 8.

The acquisitions also increased the deemed and hence total Hwa Hong interest of Dr Ong's father, Steven Ong Kay Eng, whose total interest stands at 16.12 per cent.

  • 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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