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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Neo chairman continues to build interest

FOR the five local trading sessions that spanned Aug 14 to 20, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 2.6 per cent, with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.8 per cent decline. This has brought the STI's decline in total return for the 2020 year to Aug 20 to 19.1 per cent.

Over the five sessions, the iEdge S-Reit Leaders Index declined 1.6 per cent, bringing its decline in total return for the 2020 year to Aug 20 to 7.4 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 10 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions with a total consideration of S$4.4 million, up significantly from the S$113,235 and S$54,917 from the preceding holiday-abbreviated weeks. Singapore Technologies Engineering led the consideration tally, and has bought back 4 million shares from the May 15 commencement date of the current mandate, through to Aug 20.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

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As the recent earnings season neared completion, the five trading sessions again saw more than 120 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings, filed for approximately 40 primary-listed stocks. This included 15 company director acquisitions, with seven disposals filed, and substantial shareholders filing 14 acquisitions and eight disposals.

Large married deals were also booked for Thai Beverage PCL and Wilmar International.

SingHaiyi Group

On Aug 13, Haiyi Holdings Pte Ltd (Haiyi) acquired 44,949,850 shares of SingHaiyi Group for a consideration of S$3,236,389 at 7.2 cents per share. The married deal increased its direct stake in SingHaiyi Group from 63.17 per cent to 64.24 per cent. With a further acquisition of 3.73 million shares on Aug 19, SingHaiyi Group managing director Celine Tang maintains a 64.33 per cent total interest in the listed company.

She is also the managing director of Haiyi where she oversees its daily operations and decision-making. Mrs Tang also serves as the non-executive chairman of Chip Eng Seng Corporation and OKH Global.

Neo Group

On Aug 14, Neo Group founder, chairman and CEO Neo Kah Kiat acquired 2.85 million shares of the Catalist-listed stock for a consideration of S$1,197,000. At 42.0 cents per share, this increased his total interest in the stock to 81.59 per cent.

This followed his acquisition of 232,000 shares at 39.1 cents per share on July 30, 100,000 shares at 38.5 cents per share on July 29 and 2,653,300 shares at 42.0 cents per share on July 24.

Prior to his acquisition of 5.2 million shares of Neo Group at 30 cents per share on Feb 13, he maintained a 74.10 per cent interest.

The spouse of Mr Neo, executive director Sally Liew Oi Peng, also increased her deemed interest in Neo Group with the Aug 14 acquisition to 81.59 per cent.

The company reported on July 23 that despite industry headwinds, the group maintained its stable business momentum with a 2.7 per cent increase in FY20 (ended March 31) revenue to S$185.9 million, compared to S$181.0 million in FY19.

Ho Bee Land

On Aug 19, Ho Bee Holdings Pte Ltd acquired 185,800 shares of Ho Bee Land for a consideration of S$394,338 at an average price of S$2.12 per share. This took the total interest of Chua Thian Poh, the founder of Ho Bee Group, from 75.20 per cent to 75.23 per cent.

Appointed the chairman and CEO of the group in 1999, Mr Chua is responsible for its strategic planning and direction, as well as its financial and investment decisions.

Centurion Corporation

Between Aug 13 and 17, Centurion Corporation non-executive director Han Seng Juan increased his interest in Centurion Corporation from 55.50 per cent to 55.61 per cent. The acquisitions saw him acquire 975,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$344,225 at an average price of 35.31 cents per share.

This followed his acquisition of 550,000 shares at an average price of 35 cents per share on Aug 12.

Indofood Agri Resources

On Aug 18, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk (PT ISM) filed that it had acquired 211,200 shares of Indofood Agri Resources during the period of Aug 5 to 18, 2020.

Acquired for a consideration of S$61,528, the average price paid of the 211,200 shares was 29.13 cents per share. PT ISM is a holding company of Indofood Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd (ISHPL) with an interest of approximately 83.84 per cent of the total number of issued shares in ISHPL.

The acquisition increased the total interest of PT ISM in Indofood Agri Resources from 82.92 per cent to 82.94 per cent.

The preceding acquisitions saw PT ISM acquiring 871,000 shares of Indofood Agri Resources at an average price of 30.14 cents per share during the period of June 16 to Aug 4, 2020, excluding the blackout period on July 14 to 29, 2020.

Roxy-Pacific Holdings

Between Aug 12 and 18, Roxy-Pacific Holdings independent director Winston Tan Tien Hin acquired 142,200 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$46,215.

Mr Tan's preceding acquisitions were in May, with 209,800 shares also acquired at 32.5 cents per share between May 14 and 20, and 150,000 shares acquired between May 4 and 13 at 32.3 cents per share.

Mr Tan maintains a 0.78 per cent interest in Roxy-Pacific Holdings. He has been a non-executive director since December 2006.

He is also executive chairman of Serrano and non-executive director of Plastoform Holdings.

He is also currently the managing director for Winmark Investments Pte Ltd, Corporate Brokers International Pte Ltd and ZhenXing Commercial Consultancy (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

Medtecs International Corporation

On Aug 13, Medtecs International Corporation lead independent director Lim Tai Toon took a deemed interest in the stock, with his spouse, acquiring 10,000 shares at S$1.50 per share.

On Aug 11, the listed company reported that group revenue increased by 390.5 per cent from US$33.2 million in H1FY19 to US$162.6 million in H1FY20.

This was attributed to an increase in demand of personal protective apparel due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, and management noted that this raised awareness of its healthcare products and led to increase in sales from existing customers.

Medtecs International Corporation's FY19 Annual Report noted that chairman Clement Yang Ker-Cheng maintained a direct interest in the listed company of 4.49 per cent and a deemed interest of 6.02 per cent as at March 27.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Between Aug 13 and 19, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui acquired 45,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$13,186 at an average price of 29.30 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 6.27 per cent as at Aug 19.

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 16.16 per cent.

VibroPower Corporation

Also between Aug 13 and 19, VibroPower Corporation substantial shareholder Chng Beng Hock increased his total interest in the stock from 10.46 per cent to 10.64 per cent. The 95,700 shares were acquired at an average price of 13.35 cents per share, with a consideration of S$12,775.

This followed Mr Chng's acquisition of 76,700 shares at an average price of 14.14 cents per share between Aug 11 and 12, and 48,200 shares at 14.37 cents per share on Aug 4.

Mr Chng has gradually increased his substantial shareholding in VibroPower from 5.24 per cent on June 15.

  • 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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