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INSIDE INSIGHTS

STI rebounds 1.8%, Vividthree debuts and buybacks tally declines

FOR the five trading sessions ended Sep 27, the Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 1.8 per cent, with the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 Indices averaging a 0.3 per cent gain.

For the 2018 year through to Sep 27, the STI generated a 1.7 per cent decline in total return, compared to the three benchmarks which have averaged a 2.1 per cent gain. While the Nikkei 225 has been Asia-Pacific's best-performing benchmark in the year to Sep 27 with a 7.8 per cent total return, the least-performing benchmark has been China's CSI 300 Index with a decline of 16.7 per cent in total return.

Share buybacks

There were 13 stocks conducting buybacks over the five sessions ended Sep 27. The consideration totalled S$6.7 million which was down from S$13 million for the five sessions ended Sep 20, which in turn was down from S$49.6 million for the five sessions ended Sep 13.

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The buyback tally was led by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Silverlake Axis and City Developments. The same three stocks led the tally the previous week.

The slowdown in consideration was also observed for the same week in 2017 with buyback consideration totalling S$5.8 million, which followed S$14.1 million in buyback consideration for the preceding five sessions.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Sep 21 to 27 saw more than 40 primary-listed stocks lodge more than 110 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings. There were 25 company director acquisitions and two disposals, while substantial shareholders filed 18 acquisitions and four disposals.

The same week in 2017 saw almost 40 primary-listed stocks lodge close to 130 changes in director interests and substantial shareholders.

Centurion Corporation non-executive director Han Seng Juan increased his total stake in Centurion Corporation from 56.650 per cent to 56.896 per cent (as at Sep 24). Mr Han has gradually increased his stake in the owner, developer and manager of quality, purpose-built workers and student accommodation assets, from 55.004 per cent at the end of 2017.

On Sep 24, Tan Gee Beng Private Ltd acquired 500,000 shares of Sing Holdings for a consideration of S$195,000.

This increased the deemed interest of independent director Tan Tong Guan in Sing Holdings to 2.1 per cent. Mr Tan is the chairman of Sing Holdings' audit committee and a member of its nominating committee and remuneration committee.

On Sep 25, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor increased his total interest in Singapore's largest listed real estate agency from 63.5 per cent to 63.58 per cent. Mr Mohamed Ismail acquired 276,400 shares for a consideration of S$150,088. The majority of his deemed stake is via his 62 per cent ownership of P&N Holdings Pte Ltd. He is responsible for the group's strategic direction and oversees business operations.

Vividthree Holdings

Vividthree Holdings (VVH), a virtual reality (VR), visual effects and computer-generated imagery studio was spun-off by mainboard-listed mm2 Asia for a listing on Catalist on Sep 25. VVH has two main business segments - post-production and content production.

As reported by The Business Times, VVH was 49.15 per cent owned by mainboard-listed mm2 Asia, with VVH's managing director, Charles Yeo having a 15.59 per cent stake, and VVH's visual effects director, Jay Hong owning 15.58 per cent. Following the placement, mm2 Asia is the sole controlling shareholder with a 41.53 per cent stake in VVH.

UEL

On Sep 25, United Engineers Ltd (UEL) substantial shareholder Ching Chiat Kwong acquired 1,296,400 shares of UEL for a consideration of S$3,475,126. This took his total stake in UEL from 19.99 per cent to 20.20 per cent. The majority of Mr Ching's UEL stake is deemed interest, due to his 41.13 per cent interest in Oxley Holdings.

Mr Ching is the executive chairman and CEO of Oxley Holdings where he is responsible for the overall performance, as well as for the formulation of corporate strategies and the future direction of the group.

Oxley Holdings noted in its FY17 annual report that the acquisition of UEL shares was in line with the investment objective of the group which is to invest in assets that generate steady income.

Sinostar Pec

Between Sep 21 and 26, Intelligent People Holdings Ltd acquired 3,069,500 shares of Sinostar Pec Holdings for a consideration of S$647,570.

This took the deemed interest of Sinostar non-executive chairman Li Xiang Ping from 53.356 per cent to 53.837 per cent. He has made multiple acquisitions of Sinostar shares in 2018, growing his stake via Intelligent People Holdings Ltd, from 52.19 per cent prior to Dec 27, 2017.

UOBKH

On Sep 25, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH which now stands at 27.73 per cent. He acquired 200,000 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$244,000.

The chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

MNACT

On Sep 21, Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust Management Ltd non-executive chairman and director Paul Ma Kah Woh acquired 200,000 units of Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) for a consideration of S$224,000. This increased his total stake in MNACT to 0.039 per cent.

Mr Ma is also a non-executive director of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, the sponsor of MNACT, in addition to being a member of its audit and risk committee, executive resource and compensation committee, and investment committee. Concurrently, Mr Ma is a director of StarHub and PACC Offshore Services Holdings.

Global Investments

Between Sep 20 and 21, Global Investments Ltd (GIL) manager nominated director Jason See Yong Kiat acquired one million shares of the mutual fund company for a consideration of S$129,675. This took his direct stake in GIL from 0.46 per cent to 0.52 per cent.

Mr See also is the managing director (fund management) and a member of the investment committee of ST Asset Management (STAM), and also director of several other STAM-affiliated companies. Prior to joining STAM in 2002, he spent 13 years with Overseas Union Bank Ltd group.

Hwa Hong Corporation

Steven Ong Kay Eng continued to increase his total stake in Hwa Hong Corporation with the acquisition of 252,000 shares. The transactions on Sep 19 and 25 had a total consideration value of S$79,101, and increased his stake in Hwa Hong Corporation to 13.873 per cent.

Mr Ong has gradually grown his stake in the company from 10.8 per cent on Nov 28, 2016, and 7.38 per cent at the end of 2014.

Hai Leck Holdings

Between Sep 21 and 25, Hai Leck Holdings (Hai Leck) founder and executive chairman, Cheng Buck Poh acquired 71,700 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$41,578. This took his total interest in the integrated services provider to 83.75 per cent. Mr Cheng is responsible for charting corporate directions and strategies for the group.

This brings the number of filed acquisitions in Hai Leck by Mr Cheng, from Sep 3 to 25, to eight, which has seen his stake increase from 83.34 per cent. Prior to this, Mr Cheng's two most recent filed acquisitions were in April 2017 and September 2016.

Cache Logistics Trust

On Sep 27, ARA Trust Management (Cache) Ltd chairman and non-executive director, Lim How Teck, acquired 51,200 units of Cache Logistics Trust at S$0.735 per unit. The consideration of the acquisition totalled S$37,632 and took his stake in Cache Logistics Trust to 0.1073 per cent. Mr Lim is also the chairman of Heliconia Capital Management Pte Ltd and NauticAWT.

Avi-Tech Electronics

On Sep 20, Avi-Tech Electronics CEO Lim Eng Hong acquired a total of 110,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$37,400. This increased his total stake in the total solutions provider for the semiconductor, electronics and life sciences industries, to 35.7388 per cent. He had previously acquired approximately 700,000 shares between Aug 29 and Sep 5.

Mr Lim has more than 40 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and oversees the group's overall business activities. He has also been particularly involved in the development of the strategies behind the group's diversification into other related business areas.

Samko Timber

On Sep 20, Samko Timber executive director and CEO Riko Setyabudhy Handoko acquired 159,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$4,134. He has served on the Samko Timber Board since June 2016 and maintains a 0.201 per cent direct stake of the stock.

Enviro-Hub Holdings

On Sep 21, Enviro-Hub Holdings executive chairman Raymond Ng acquired 90,000 shares of the environmental management solutions group for a consideration of S$3,375. This took his total stake in the stock to 40.13 per cent.

Mr Ng is responsible for the group's overall management, business development, investment decisions as well as strategic direction and planning. He has gradually increased his stake in Enviro-Hub Holdings from 39.15 per cent prior to March 7.

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