FOR the five trading sessions that spanned March 12 to 18, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 1.0 per cent while the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaged a 1.4 per cent gain.
This has brought the STI's total return for the 2021 year to March 18 to 10.5 per cent.
Within the STI, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings, UOB, Venture Corporation, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and Genting Singapore received the highest net institutional inflows from March 12 to 18.
Outside the STI, GL, Keppel Reit, Suntec Reit, Japfa and Oceanus saw the highest net institutional inflows for the five sessions.
Over the five sessions, the iEdge S-Reit Leaders Index gained 4.2 per cent, with the total return for the 2021 year to March 18 at 2.1 per cent.
There were 13 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions with a total consideration of S$17,753,822, double the S$8,734,531 for the preceding five sessions.
Wilmar International led the buyback consideration tally over the five sessions, buying back 2,242,500 shares at an average price of S$5.30 per share.
It accounted for two-thirds of the weekly consideration tally and, as at March 18, had purchased 0.83 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) on the current mandate.
Director and substantial shareholder transactions
The five trading sessions saw 120 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for more than 50 primary-listed stocks.
This included 17 company director acquisitions and two company director disposals, with substantial shareholders filing 26 acquisitions and eight disposals.
On March 10, Hanwell Holdings non-executive chairman and non-independent director Sam Goi Seng Hui acquired 1,085,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$408,752.
At an average price of 37.7 cents per share, this took his total interest in the leading provider of consumer essentials from 22.36 per cent to 22.55 per cent.
Two days prior, on March 8, Hanwell Holdings had appointed Mr Goi non-executive chairman and non-independent director.
On Feb 25, the group reported FY20 (ended Dec 31) total revenue of S$471.4 million, an increase of 2.2 per cent from FY19.
Mainly attributed to higher revenue achieved by its Singapore consumer business, the group observed higher demand for its products such as rice and tofu during the year.
The group's net profit after tax for FY20 was S$33.1 million compared to S$11.8 million reported for FY19.
In its outlook for FY21, the group noted that its consumer business foresees challenges due to increase in the cost of raw materials and shortage of containers affecting ports in Asia, and the former may also impact the packaging business results.
In view of this, the group reiterated that the packaging business has been proactive in controlling costs and conserving cash to mitigate any potential adverse impact from the crisis posed by Covid-19.
Mr Goi is also the executive chairman of Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing and Mainboard-listed GSH Corporation. He is also the vice-chairman of other Mainboard-listed companies, namely Envictus International Holdings, JB Foods and a non-executive and non-independent director of Catalist-listed company, Tung Lok Group Restaurants (2000).
Between March 11 and 15, Top Global executive director and controlling shareholder, Sukmawati Widjaja, acquired 824,300 shares of the company for a consideration of S$290,774.
At an average price of 35.3 cents per share, this increased her total interest in Top Global from 85.50 per cent to 87.76 per cent.
This followed her acquisition of 26,023,193 shares at 39.0 cents per share on March 10.
On March 15, LHN executive director and group deputy managing director Jess Lim Bee Choo acquired 4 million shares of the company through the Hong Kong listing for a consideration of HK$4,001,700 (approximately S$700,000).
This took the total interest of Ms Lim, and her brother Kelvin Lim Lung Tieng who is group executive chairman and group managing director in the company from 54.91 per cent to 55.90 per cent.
Ms Lim is responsible for corporate development as well as overall administration and oversees the group's finance, human resource, information systems and contracts administration functions.
Back on Nov 27, 2020, the Catalist-listed stock reported FY20 (ended Sept 30) revenue of S$134.2 million, an increase of 20.8 per cent compared to FY19, achieving a record net profit after tax of S$24.7 million in FY20 compared to S$8.7 million in FY2019.
More recently, on Feb 23, the group provided further details of the acquisition of right-of-use assets for the operation and management of 33 JTC carparks in Singapore.
On March 11, iFAST Corporation chairman and CEO Lim Chung Chun acquired 50,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$281,600.
At an average price of S$5.63 per share, the acquisition took Mr Lim's total interest in the wealth management Fintech platform from 22.01 per cent to 22.03 per cent.
This followed his acquisition of 40,500 shares at S$5.64 a share on Feb 24.
Mr Lim co-founded the company with the launch of its B2C division Fundsupermart.com in Singapore in 2000, following which the B2B division iFAST Financial was launched in 2001.
He subsequently led the company's regional expansion efforts, extending iFAST's presence beyond Singapore to Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and India, building a well-established Fintech ecosystem across the five markets.
Southern Alliance Mining
On March 17, Southern Alliance Mining CEO and executive director Pek Kok Sam acquired 65,000 shares of the Catalist-listed stock for a consideration of S$39,000.
At 60.0 cents per share, this took his direct interest in the company from 70.30 per cent to 70.32 per cent.
Mr Pek has over 18 years of experience in the mining and exploration of iron ore, tin and limestone industry, with early roots in limestone quarrying activities in Malaysia from 1993 to 2005.
He is responsible for the group's business operations, including quality analysis and control, safety and environment, and site management aspects.
On March 13, the group reported H1FY21 (ended Jan 31) net profit of RM51.4 million (S$16.8 million), a 47.0 per cent increase from H1FY19.
The company noted that it expects iron ore prices to remain high, driven by the rising demand for steel from China, and supply disruptions from Brazil.
With the results, Mr Pek noted that the rising iron ore prices coupled with this rising demand and falling supply has enabled the group to expand its market reach considerably, and it will continue to focus on enhancing its exploration activities at its Chaah Mine.
The Chaah Mine is the group's primary mining asset, an open mine pit consisting of two mining leases and covering an aggregate area of 225.7 hectares.
He added that with the Covid-19 pandemic still evolving, the group's outlook remains cautiously optimistic.
The company debuted on the Catalist board on June 26, 2020 with an initial offer price of 25.0 cents.
Union Steel Holdings
On March 17, Union Steel Holdings executive director Ang Yew Chye acquired 54,300 shares of the company for a consideration of S$21,052.
At an average price of 38.8 cents per share, this took his direct interest in the one-stop supply service for recycled ferrous and non-ferrous metals needs from 9.06 per cent to 9.19 per cent.
Mr Ang is the co-founder of the group and was appointed executive director in August 2004.
He is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the companies and has almost 30 years of experience in the scrap metal recycling business.
On Feb 9, Union Steel Holdings announced its H1FY21 (ended Dec 31) revenue inched up one per cent from H1FY20, due principally to higher contribution from marine deck equipment within the engineering sector, offsetting lower sales from the scaffolding business and mechanical engineering sector.
Aztech Global, the technology unit of Aztech Group, listed on the Mainboard on March 12.
The company provides one-stop design and manufacturing services, with core strengths in research and development, design, engineering and manufacturing.
Its key products include IoT devices, data-communication and LED lighting.
Aztech Global noted strong support from institutional, high net worth and retail investors with the public offer and placement being approximately 18.4 times and 16.4 times subscribed respectively.
Together, the 18 cornerstone investors subscribed to an aggregate of 163.880 million shares, which is approximately 21.2 per cent of the total number of issued shares.
UOB, the stabilising manager of the IPO, has purchased to date 13.6 million shares to stabilise the stock under its mandate.
UOB noted that as the total number of shares which had been over-allotted has been fully covered by the purchases made under the price stabilising action, the over-allotment option granted will not be exercised.
Aztech Global was formed in 2009 as a holding company for Aztech Group's electronics and LED manufacturing businesses.
Aztech Group was founded in 1986 by executive chairman and CEO, Michael Mun.
Mr Mun has more than 40 years of experience in the electronics industry. He began his career in 1975 with the Singapore office of Rank O'Connors, a British consumer electronics distributor.
Mr Mun has a 70 per cent deemed interest in Aztech Global. He is the sole shareholder of AVS Investments, which in turn holds approximately 84.09 per cent of the shares in Aztech Global's controlling shareholder, Aztech Group.
The group's product range has since expanded to include electronic products to its current focus of IoT devices, data-communication products as well as LED lighting products.
- The writer is the market strategist at Singapore Exchange (SGX). To read SGX's market research reports, visit sgx.com/research.