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SGX share buyback sustains momentum, exceeds S$100m in August

COMPANIES listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) have continued their momentum in share buybacks this month, with 23 stocks reporting buybacks totalling more than S$100 million in the first 12 sessions of August, SGX market strategist Geoff Howie said in a Monday market update.

Led by DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank and CapitaLand, the companies have bought back 17.7 million shares for a consideration of S$116.5 million in the month-to-date, compared with last month's buyback consideration of S$109.0 million and August 2017's consideration of S$59.7 million.

Mr Howie noted that this is the seventh successive month the S$100 million threshold has been crossed. In the year-to-date, buyback consideration has exceeded S$1 billion.

The five largest buyback considerations in August so far were made by DBS, UOB, CapitaLand, City Developments and OCBC Bank - all stocks on the Straits Times Index (STI). Hi-P International's buyback of 1.39 million shares for S$1.47 million was the largest buyback consideration by a non-STI stock in the month-to-date.

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Seven stocks commenced new mandates in August's first 12 sessions. They are City Developments, Hi-P International, Singapore Shipping Corporation, Ban Leong Technologies, Japan Foods Holding, Maxi-Cash Financial Services Corporation and Star Pharmaceutical.

In share buyback transactions, share issuers repurchase some of their outstanding shares from shareholders through the open market, for reasons including a move to align stock valuations with balance sheet objectives. Once bought back, the shares are converted into treasury shares and no longer categorised as outstanding shares.