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INSIDE INSIGHTS

MIT completes private placement; Singtel commences buyback mandate

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Ron Sim holds 64,166,600 shares in Jumbo Group, representing approximately 10 per cent of the total number of its issued shares.

FOR the five trading sessions through to Feb 21, the STI gained 0.8 per cent, in line with the regional financial centres, with the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 averaging a 0.7 per cent gain.

Singapore's real estate investment sector (Reit) saw the iEdge S-Reit Index generate slightly higher gains of 1.1 per cent over the five sessions, with dividend distributions boosting the Index return to 1.3 per cent.

Mapletree Industrial Trust

On Feb 20, Mapletree Industrial Trust Management Ltd, the manager of Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT), announced that from the aggregate gross proceeds of S$201 million from a private placement, it had arranged for S$197.8 million to partly refinance the acquisition of 18 Tai Seng Street, Singapore 539775.

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The S$197.8 million was equivalent to 98.4 per cent of the gross proceeds of the private placement.

The remaining gross proceeds from the private placement of approximately S$3.2 million (equivalent to 1.6 per cent of the gross proceeds of the private placement) will be used to pay the estimated fees and expenses incurred or to be incurred by MIT in connection with the private placement.

The manager also noted that any gross proceeds left will be used to further refinance the acquisition of 18 Tai Seng Street.

Following the issuance of 103,360,000 new units in MIT on Feb 20 pursuant to the private placement, the direct interest of Mapletree Dextra Pte Ltd in MIT resulted in a change in the percentage level of its MIT unitholdings from 32.54 per cent to 30.86 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were nine stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended Feb 21. The consideration totalled S$10 million, which was more than double the total consideration of the preceding 10 sessions.

Singapore Technologies Engineering, Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), and Keppel Reit led the tally.

Singtel commenced its share buyback mandate on Feb 15, buying back 370,672 shares for a consideration of S$1.11 million. Its previous buyback was conducted on the preceding year's mandate on May 25, 2018.

Singtel reported its Q3FY18 (for the period ended Dec 31, 2018) financial results on Feb 14.

ECOWISE Holdings also commenced its buyback mandate, approved back on Feb 28, 2018, with the repurchasing of 500,000 shares on Feb 19. It is scheduled to hold its FY18 annual general meeting on Feb 28, 2019.

Over a 12-month period, companies can buy back up to 10 per cent of the total number of issued shares as at the date shareholders' approval was obtained for the share buyback mandate.

Companies buying back shares must not pay more than 105 per cent of the average closing market price of the security over the last five straight active trading days of the stock.

As best practice, companies should also refrain from buying back their shares during the two weeks immediately before their quarterly financial statements and one month immediately before the full-year financial statements.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Feb 15 to 21 saw 37 primary-listed stocks lodge more than 80 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings.

There were 10 company director acquisitions and no disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing seven acquisitions and seven disposals.

Parkway Life Reit

On Feb 13, Cohen & Steers, Inc exceeded the 6 per cent substantial unitholder threshold interest in Parkway Life Reit (PLife Reit).

This was due to its wholly owned subsidiary, Cohen & Steers Capital Management, Inc purchasing 373,600 units in PLife Reit.

Note that neither Cohen & Steers, Inc nor any of its affiliates is the registered holder of any units of PLife Reit.

The consideration of the transaction totalled S$1,050,672. As a result of the acquisition, Cohen & Steers, Inc's deemed interest in PLife Reit increased from 5.95 per cent to 6.01 per cent.

Back on Jan 23, Cohen & Steers, Inc exceeded the 5 per cent substantial unitholder threshold interest in PLife Reit.

PLife Reit owns a well-diversified portfolio of 50 properties with a total portfolio size of approximately S$1.86 billion (based on appraised values) as at Dec 31,2018.

Cortina Holdings

On Feb 19, Ming Yaw Pte Ltd acquired 430,000 shares of Cortina Holdings for a consideration of S$481,600.

This took the substantial shareholder's direct stake in the listed company from 10.256 per cent to 10.515 per cent.

The transaction increased the deemed interests of Cortina Holdings chairman and CEO Anthony Lim Keen Ban and executive director Jeremy Lim Jit Yaw to 42.317 per cent.

Mr Anthony Lim is one of the founders of the group and is responsible for its overall management, strategic planning and business development.

In addition, he also heads the distribution business and was instrumental in building up the distribution business over the last 20 years.

He has over 45 years of experience in the business of watch retailing and distribution.

Hai Leck Holdings

On Feb 14, Hai Leck Holdings (Hai Leck) founder and executive chairman, Cheng Buck Poh acquired 180,400 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$92,795.

This took his total interest in the integrated services provider from 83.95 per cent to 84.04 per cent.

He is responsible for charting corporate directions and strategies for Hai Leck.

Mr Cheng's total interest in Hai Lek was 83.34 per cent at the end of August 2018.

He started Hai Leck Engineering as a sole proprietorship in 1971.

Lum Chang Holdings

On Feb 15, Lum Chang Investments Pte Ltd acquired 115,200 shares of Lum Chang Holdings for a consideration of S$41,323.

This took its direct stake in the listed company to 15.757 per cent.

The transaction also increased the total interest of Lum Chang Holdings executive chairman Raymond Lum Kwan Sung in the listed company to 19.838 per cent.

Mr Lum has been at the helm of the business since its listing on SGX in 1984.

The business was founded in the 1940s with origins in construction, by the late Mr Lum Chang.

The company has evolved and grown to include businesses in property development and investment with offices in both Singapore and Malaysia.

Oxley Holdings

On Feb 19, Oxley Holdings (Oxley) deputy CEO & executive director Eric Low See Ching acquired 100,000 shares of Oxley for a consideration of S$32,500.

Mr Low's direct stake in the home-grown property developer stands at 27.99 per cent as at Feb 19. Mr Low is responsible for the operations of the group including sales and marketing, project development, business development and financial management.

Mr Low also assists the CEO in charting and executing the strategic plans for the group.

Vibrant Group

On Feb 15, Vibrant Group executive director and CEO Eric Khua Kian Keong acquired 118,700 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$17,093.

This took his interest in the integrated logistic services provider to 51.54 per cent.

Mr Khua has been the CEO of the listed company (formerly known as Freight Links Express Holdings) since Nov 2003.

He is also an alternate director of Freight Management Holdings Berhad, an associated company listed on Bursa Malaysia.

Jumbo Group

Following a recommendation by the nominating committee, the board of directors of Jumbo Group appointed Rachel Sim as the alternative director to Ron Sim Chye Hock.

Ms Sim is the daughter of Mr Sim, who is a non-executive director and substantial shareholder of the company.

Mr Sim holds 64,166,600 shares in the company, representing approximately 10 per cent of the total number of issued shares in the listed company (excluding treasury shares).

Ms Sim holds 200,000 shares in the company, representing approximately 0.03 per cent of the total number of issued shares in the listed company (excluding treasury shares).

Ms Sim is also a non-executive director of V3 Group Pte Ltd and the senior marketing manager of TWG Tea Co Pte Ltd.

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