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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Neo Group founder acquires 5.2m shares in a married deal

FOR the five trading sessions spanning Feb 7 to 13, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.4 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 0.7 per cent gain.

This has brought the STI's 2020 total return through to Feb 13 to 0.1 per cent, following its 9.4 per cent total return in 2019.

Meanwhile, the iEdge S-Reit Index has generated a 5.7 per cent total return and iEdge SG All Healthcare Index has generated a 5.2 per cent total return in the 2020 year through to Feb 13.

Share buybacks

With earnings reports in full swing, there were three primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended Feb 13 with a total consideration of S$361,460, lower than the S$2.2 million in consideration for the preceding week.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

Likewise, the five sessions spanning Feb 7 to 13 again saw less filing activity.

There were 66 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for 27 primary-listed stocks.

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

Neo Group

On Feb 13, Neo Group founder, chairman and CEO Neo Kah Kiat increased his direct interest in the Catalist-listed stock via a married deal.

Mr Neo acquired 5.2 million shares of Neo Group for a consideration of S$1.56 million, at S$0.30 per share.

The acquisition saw the industry veteran, with over two decades of leadership experience in catering and F&B management, increase his total interest in Neo Group from 74.096 per cent to 77.625 per cent.

As the spouse of Mr Neo, executive director, Liew Oi Peng also increased her deemed interest in the stock with the acquisition.

Ms Liew maintains a 5.473 per cent direct interest in Neo Group.

She has been instrumental in growing the group's Food Catering business and helms Deli Hub Catering, and with the deemed interests, maintains a 77.625 per cent total interest in Neo Group.

MeGroup

On Feb 7, JCWW Holdings Pte Ltd (JCWW) acquired 555,000 shares of MeGroup from Crimson Cloud Sdn Bhd for a consideration of S$117,277.

This increased the total interest of MeGroup executive chairman and CEO Wong Cheong Chee in the Catalist-listed company from 51.20 per cent to 51.23 per cent.

Mr Wong has more than 40 years of experience in the manufacturing industry.

Prior to his involvement with the Group, he was one of the founders of Paragon Union Berhad, a company listed on Bursa Malaysia in the business of manufacturing and distributing automotive components.

Lian Beng Group

Between Feb 10 and 12, Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd acquired 190,300 shares of Lian Beng Group.

The consideration for the acquisitions was S$93,916 at an average price of S$0.4935 per share.

This took the total interest of Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd in the homegrown construction group from 30.00 per cent to 30.04 per cent.

This total interest has gradually increased from 29.62 per cent on Aug 1, 2019.

Lian Beng Group chairman and managing director, Ong Pang Aik, and Ms Ong Lay Huan maintain deemed interests in Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd.

As at Sept 5, Mr Ong Pang Aik maintained a 35.71 per cent total interest in Lian Beng Group, with Ms Ong Lay Huan maintaining a total interest of 33.25 per cent.

Hwa Hong Corporation

On Feb 11, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong from 6.000 per cent to 6.002 per cent.

Dr Ong acquired 11,300 shares of the property rental investor and developer for a consideration of S$3,792 at an average price of S$0.336 per share.

He has gradually increased his total interest in Hwa Hong from 5.316 per cent at the end of 2018.

The acquisition also increased the deemed and hence total Hwa Hong interest of Dr Ong's father, Steven Ong Kay Eng, to 15.888 per cent.

Hiap Tong Corporation

On Feb 7, Hiap Tong Corporation executive director Alvin Ong Boon Tat acquired 89,800 shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$6,106 at S$0.068 per share.

This increased his total interest in the leading provider of crane lifting and haulage services from 0.819 per cent to 0.850 per cent.

Mr Ong has more than 15 years' experience in the crane industry.

He assists his father, Ong Teck Meng, the executive chairman and CEO of the company, in the day-to-day management of the group, as well as managing the group's strategic planning functions.

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