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INSIDE INSIGHTS

STI leads benchmarks into 2019, Sam Goi ups GSH Corp stake

FOR the first seven sessions of 2019, the Straits Times Index (STI) generated a 3.7 per cent gain, compared to average gains of 2.4 per cent for the Hang Seng Index, Nikkei 225 Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index.

For the five trading sessions ended Jan 10, the STI rallied 5.7 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index, Nikkei 225 index and S&P/ASX 200 climbed 4.0 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 14 stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended Jan 10.

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The consideration totalled S$10.6 million, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Silverlake Axis, Singapore Post, Sunpower Group and AEM Holdings leading the consideration tally.

The number of stocks conducting buybacks for the five sessions was double that of the seven stocks that conducted buybacks for the corresponding week in 2018.

On Jan 9, ISEC Healthcare commenced its buyback mandate which was approved in April 2018.

This was the first ever share buyback conducted by ISEC Healthcare which listed on Catalist in 2014.

The company is a comprehensive medical eye care service provider with ambulatory surgical centres in Malaysia and Singapore.

The total buyback consideration for SGX primary-listed stocks in 2018 amounted to S$1.53 billion (up from S$426 million in 2017), with 100 stocks conducting buybacks.

The 2018 buyback consideration tally was led by STI stocks CapitaLand, DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, United Overseas Bank and Keppel Corporation.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Jan 4 to 10 Jan saw more than 40 primary-listed stocks lodge more than 100 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings.

This was a very similar tally to the corresponding week in 2018. There were 16 company director acquisitions and five disposals filed, with substantial shareholders filing the same ratio of acquisitions to disposals.

GSH Corporation

On Jan 10, GSH Corporation executive chairman Sam Goi Seng Hui acquired 22,509,300 shares of the stock via a married deal for a consideration of S$6,977,883.

This took Mr Goi's stake in GSH Corporation from 50.01 per cent to 51.16 per cent.

He also serves as a director of Envictus International Holdings, JB Foods and Tung Lok Restaurants (2000).

Mr Goi has gradually increased his stake in the property developer from 47.32 per cent at the end of 2014.

GSH Corporation is a growing property developer in South-east Asia, with four properties under development in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

It also owns the Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, comprising two five-star hotels - the Pacific Sutera and Magellan Sutera Resort, a 104-berth marina and 27-hole championship golf course.

Delfi

On Jan 8, Colonial First State Group's deemed interest in chocolate confectionery company Delfi increased above the 11.00 per cent level, from 10.96 per cent to 11.06 per cent.

The purchase of the securities for client funds saw the substantial shareholder file an acquisition of 600,600 shares for a consideration of S$807,807.

Colonial First State Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and its deemed interest in Delfi has more than doubled since November 2016.

TIH

TIH (formerly known as Transpac Industrial Holdings) is an SGX-listed closed-end fund set up in 1994, managed by an established private equity investment team in Asia.

On Jan 4, deemed executive director and CEO of TIH Investment Management Pte Ltd, Allen Wang Ya Lun increased his interest in TIH.

Mr Wang acquired 1.2 million shares of the stock for a consideration of S$300,000. This increased his stake in TIH from 0.05 per cent to 0.55 per cent.

Mr Wang has been the CEO of the investment manager since June 2014. Prior to that, Mr Wang held management positions in Argyle Street Management Ltd and Credit Asia Capital for seven years, and was responsible for deal origination, structuring and the execution of special situations investments in South-east Asia and China covering a variety of industries.

Mr Wang began his career in analyst and associate positions with The Transportation Group, Seabury Group and DB Zwirn Asia Partners.

Q & M Dental

Q & M Dental Group - Singapore (Q & M) founder and group CEO Ng Chin Siau continued to increase his total stake in the stock, which is now 53.65 per cent.

Between Jan 3 and 4, Dr Ng acquired 464,800 shares of the group for a consideration of S$235,124.

At the beginning of 2018, he maintained a 49.88 total per cent stake in Q & M.

Dr Ng is responsible for the corporate direction of the group, leading it in all aspects of its business strategies, policy planning and business development in Singapore and overseas.

Hong Lai Huat Group

On Jan 7, Hong Lai Huat Group deputy chairman and CEO Ong Bee Huat acquired 357,400 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$78,478.

This followed on from an acquisition of 281,000 shares on Dec 31 and increased his direct interest in the stock to 16.152 per cent.

Dr Ong is the founder of the group and is responsible for its overall strategic direction and planning as well as business development.

Dr Ong has gradually increased his direct interest in Hong Lai Huat Group from 15.02 per cent in early May 2018.

PropNex

On Jan 4, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 150,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$69,326.

The acquisition took his total interest in PropNex to 64.00 per cent. The majority of Mr Mohamed Ismail's deemed stake is via his 62 per cent ownership of P&N Holdings Pte Ltd.

His total interest in PropNex has gradually increased from 62.14 per cent in July 2018.

GL

On Jan 3, GL substantial shareholder Quek Leng Chan increased his deemed interest in the stock with the acquisition of 85,200 shares for a consideration of S$63,048.

This took his total interest in GL to 68.04 per cent.

Mr Quek was previously a director and chairman of GL before stepping down from the role in September 2016.

GuocoLand

Mr Quek is also the chairman and CEO of Hong Leong Company (Malaysia) Berhad and non-independent executive director of GuocoLand.

On Jan 3, he also acquired 5,500 shares of GuocoLand for a consideration of S$9,680, taking his total interest in the stock to 70.37 per cent.

Vibrant Group

Between Jan 4 and 9, Vibrant Group executive director and CEO Eric Khua Kian Keong acquired 461,200 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$69,971.

This took Mr Khua's interest in the integrated logistic services provider to 51.467 per cent and followed on from his acquisition of 100,000 shares on Dec 28.

Mr Khua has been the CEO of the company which was 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.

Singapore eDevelopment

On Jan 8, Singapore eDevelopment (SeD) executive chairman and CEO Chan Heng Fai acquired 1,323,800 shares of SeD for a consideration of S$44,559.

Mr Chan, who has restructured over 35 companies in various industries and countries in the past 40 years, maintains a total stake in SeD of 70.0 per cent.

The global business veteran has gradually increased his interest in SED from 68.74 per cent in March 2018.

Del Monte Pacific

Del Monte Pacific executive chairman Rolando Gapud has filed multiple acquisitions in the stock since Dec 28.

Over this period, Mr Gapud has taken his stake in Del Monte Pacific from 0.117 per cent to 0.136 per cent with the acquisition of 359,300 shares for a consideration of S$43,391.

Mr Gapud has over 35 years of experience in banking, finance and general management, having worked as CEO of several Philippine companies, notably Security Bank and Trust Company, Oriental Petroleum and Minerals Corp and Greenfield Development Corp. He was also the COO of the joint venture operations of Bankers Trust and American Express in the Philippines.

No Signboard

Between Jan 3 and 4, GuGong Pte Ltd acquired 302,000 shares of No Signboard Holdings for a consideration of S$40,338.

No Signboard Holdings executive chairman and CEO Sam Lim Yong Sim maintains a 93.64 per cent stake of GuGong Pte Ltd.

Mr Lim's acquisitions over the past 11 months have seen his total interest in No Signboard Holdings gradually increase from 72.97 per cent in mid-March 2018 to 74.85 per cent.

He joined the group in 1998 and has spearheaded its development and expansion over the past two decades.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Substantial shareholder David Ong Eng Hui increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong Corporation to 5.325 per cent on 9 Jan with the acquisition of 59,000 shares for a consideration of S$15,980.

This took the total interest in Hwa Hong Corporation held by Dr Ong's father, Steven Ong Kay Eng, to 14.825 per cent.

Mr Steven Ong has gradually grown his stake in the company from 10.80 per cent on Nov 28, 2016 and 7.38 per cent at the end of 2014.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

Between Jan 3 and 4, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH, which stands at 27.99 per cent as at Jan 10.

Mr Wee acquired 6,100 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$7,096. The UOBKH chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

  • The writer is the market strategist at Singapore Exchange (SGX). To subscribe to SGX Market Updates, email research@sgx.com.