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INSIDE INSIGHTS

STI rebounds 2%; Elite Commercial Reit makes its debut

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Officials at the Elite Commercial Reit IPO Ceremony on Feb 6, 2020.

FOR the five trading sessions spanning Jan 31 to Feb 6, the Straits Times Index (STI) rebounded 1.9 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 4.2 per cent gain.

This has brought the STI's 2020 total return through to Feb 6 to 0.4 per cent, following its 9.4 per cent total return in 2019.

Sector wise, total returns of the iEdge S-Reit Index are 4.1 per cent total return and 3.1 per cent for the iEdge SG All Healthcare Index in the 2020 year through to Feb 6.

Share buybacks

There were four primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended Feb 6 with a total consideration of S$2.2 million, lower than the S$3.7 million in consideration for the preceding week. Singapore Press Holdings and Stamford Land Corporation led the consideration tally.

For the overall month of January 2020, 16 SGX primary-listed stocks bought back 37 million shares for a total consideration of S$30 million. This was down from S$70 million in consideration for December 2019, and similar to the S$26 million filed for January 2019.

The January buyback consideration tally was led by OCBC, Sembcorp Industries, Silverlake Axis, Singapore Technologies Engineering and Stamford Land Corporation.

Common motivations for share buybacks include employee compensation plans (such as share option schemes or employee share purchase plans) or long-term capital management.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

With the multitude of companies reporting full year results during this earnings season, the five sessions spanning Jan 31 to Feb 6 saw 68 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for 30 primary-listed stocks.

There were 10 company director acquisitions and one disposal filed, with substantial shareholders filing six acquisitions and six disposals.

Elite Commercial Reit

On Feb 6, Elite Commercial Reit, the first UK-focused Singapore Reit, listed on the Mainboard.

It has an initial portfolio of 97 commercial buildings located across the United Kingdom.

Almost all of its gross rental income is derived from leases with the UK government via The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Elite Commercial Reit is managed by Elite Commercial Reit Management Pte Ltd, which is 85.0 per cent owned by Elite Partners Holdings Pte Ltd, and 15.0 per cent owned by Sunway RE Capital Pte Ltd.

For Elite Commercial Reit, Sunway RE Capital Pte Ltd maintains an 8.85 per cent direct interest, Ho Lee Group Trust maintains an 11.07 per cent direct interest, and Kim Seng Holdings Pte Ltd maintains a 7.3 per cent direct interest. Its opening price was £0.705, 3.7 per cent higher than its IPO price of £0.68 per unit.

Resources Global Development

On Jan 31, Resources Global Development listed on the Catalist board.

The company is principally engaged in the coal trading and shipping services business within the Indonesian territories.

Deli International Resources Pte Ltd (DIR) is the controlling shareholder of Resources Global Development, with an 83.33 per cent direct interest. The shareholders of DIR are Arifin Tan (25.0 per cent), Djunaidi Hardi (25.0 per cent), Juhadi (20.0 per cent), Limas Ananto (15.0 per cent) and Arifin Ang (15.0 per cent).

At the listing ceremony, Resources Global Development CEO Francis Lee noted that over the years, with the depth and diversity of its technical and operational expertise, the company has established a reputation as a reliable coal trader and coal shipping company in Indonesia.

Mr Lee also highlighted that the company will tap its listing status to augment its operations and footprint, as it charts new growth.

Accordia Gold Trust

Asset manager Hibiki Path Advisors has continued to build its interest in Accordia Gold Trust. Hibiki Path Advisors gradually increased its deemed interest in the business trust from 6.20 per cent to 7.20 per cent, from Nov 30, 2018 to Jan 30, 2020.

Over the period, Hibiki Path Advisors acquired 11,003,000 units of Accordia Gold Trust on the open market for a consideration of S$6,953,308, at an average price of S$0.632 per unit.

Hibiki Path Advisors' gradual increase of its deemed stake in Accordia Gold Trust followed its injection of S$22.79 million (at S$0.43 per unit) into Accordia Golf Trust on Nov 29, 2018, which raised its interest in the trust from 1.38 per cent to 6.20 per cent. Accordia Golf Trust's financial results for its Q3FY20 (ended Dec 31) are scheduled for release on Thursday, after the market close.

Asiatic Group (Holdings)

On Feb 4, Asiatic Group (Holdings) executive director Tan Boon Siang acquired 70 million shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$560,000 at a price of S$0.008 per share. The married deal increased his direct interest in the energy and fire protection business from 4.51 per cent to 9.02 per cent.

Mr Tan's preceding acquisition was for 1.36 million shares at S$0.004 per share on Aug 6, 2019. He joined the group in 1993 and is responsible for the management and supervision of the land-based fire-fighting and protection business.

Also on Feb 4, Asiatic Group (Holdings) managing director George Tan Boon Kheng acquired 22 million shares of the company for a consideration of S$176,000 at a price of S$0.008 per share. The married deal increased his direct interest from 7.66 per cent to 9.07 per cent.

Mr George Tan joined the group in 1983 and his primary responsibilities are strategic planning and business development. He was also instrumental in the group's foray into overseas markets and expansion into the power generation business.

On the other side of the married deal, substantial shareholder Lim Chye Huat disposed of 92 million shares of Asiatic Group (Holdings) for a consideration of S$736,000. This reduced his direct interest in the listed company from 11.95 per cent to 6.04 per cent.

For its H1FY20 (ended Sept 30) Asiatic Group holdings reported that its group revenue increased 29.6 per cent from H1FY19.

The primary reason for the rise was the increase in revenue from the power related division due to higher revenue from its plants.

Kitchen Culture Holdings

On Jan 30, Kitchen Culture Holdings executive chairman and CEO Lim Wee Li sold 67 million shares in the Catalist-listed company, reducing his total interest from 77.34 per cent to 21.73 per cent.

Lim Han Li also ceased to be a substantial shareholder of Kitchen Culture Holdings with his disposal of 4,125,000 shares, reducing his total interest in the listed company from 6.85 per cent to 3.42 per cent.

The married deal also saw Chee Tuck Hong become a substantial shareholder, with his acquisition of 20 million shares representing a 16.60 per cent interest.

CEO Lim Wee Li oversees the sales, marketing and business development of the group. Kitchen Culture Holdings also noted that the share sale is not expected to result in a change in the management of the group for the foreseeable future.

UnUsUaL

On Jan 29, UnUsUaL executive director and CEO Leslie Ong Chin Soon acquired 800,000 shares of the Catalist-listed company for a consideration of S$183,640, at an average price of S$0.230 per share. This took his total interest in UnUsUaL from 79.02 per cent to 79.10 per cent.

His preceding acquisitions of UnUsUaL shares were in 2019, on March 5 at S$0.245 per share, Aug 30 at an average price of S$0.2613 and Sept 11 with 170,300 shares at an average price of S$0.2572.

With 20 years of experience in the production and promotion business, Mr Ong is responsible for the overall management operations, strategic planning and business development, and has been with the group since its inception in 1997.

Koufu Group

On Feb 5, Koufu Group executive chairman and CEO Pang Lim, and executive director Ng Hoon Tien reduced their deemed interest in the group, from 77.18 per cent to 77.15 per cent. Rather than a share disposal, this was on the occasion that their son, Pang Xue Rue, had turned 21 years old, hence their deemed interests were reduced by the 150,000 shares held by Pang Xue Ru.

Hwa Hong Corporation

On Feb 3, Hwa Hong Corporation (Hwa Hong) substantial shareholder Steven Ong Kay Eng increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong from 15.868 per cent to 15.887 per cent. He acquired 125,000 shares for a consideration of S$41,038 at an average price of S$0.3283 per share.

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

Lian Beng Group

On Feb 3, Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd acquired 50,000 shares of Lian Beng Group. The consideration for the acquisitions was S$24,500 at a price of S$0.490 per share.

This took the total interest of Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd in the homegrown construction group from 29.99 per cent to 30.00 per cent, which has gradually increased from 29.62 per cent on Aug 1, 2019.

Lian Beng Group chairman and managing director, Ong Pang Aik, and Ong Lay Huan maintain deemed interests in Ong Sek Chong & Sons Pte Ltd. As at Sept 5, Mr Ong Pang Aik maintained a 35.67 per cent total interest in Lian Beng Group, with Ms Ong Lay Huan maintaining a total interest of 33.21 per cent.

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