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INSIDE INSIGHTS

STI rebounds 2% with 26 director acquisitions filed

FOR the 2018 year through to Nov 29, the Straits Times Index (STI) has generated a 5.4 per cent decline in total return, amid regional mixed moves that have ranged from a 1.4 per cent gain for the Nikkei 225 Index to a 23.5 per cent decline for China's CSI 300 Index.

For the five trading sessions ended Nov 29, the STI was one of the strongest benchmarks across the region, gaining 2.2 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index, Nikkei 225 index and S&P/ASX 200 averaged a 1.9 per cent gain.

Share buybacks

There were 20 stocks conducting buybacks over the five sessions ended Nov 29, similar to the preceding week. The consideration totalled S$16.2 million, down from the S$20.5 million filed for the preceding week.

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United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Stamford Land Corporation, Sembcorp Industries and Tuan Sing Holdings led the consideration tally.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five sessions spanning Nov 23 to 29 saw close to 45 primary-listed stocks lodge more than 140 changes in director interests or substantial shareholdings. There were 26 company director acquisitions and no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 23 acquisitions and one disposal.

Q & M Dental

Q & M Dental Group - Singapore (Q & M) founder and group CEO Ng Chin Siau continued to increase his total stake in stock, which is now 53.01 per cent. Between Nov 22 and 28, Dr Ng acquired 1,210,500 shares of the group for a consideration of S$609,091.

Dr Ng began 2018 with a 49.88 total per cent stake in Q & M. He 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.

Centurion Corporation

On Nov 22, Centurion Corporation non-executive director Han Seng Juan increased his total stake in Centurion Corporation from 57.238 per cent to 57.253 per cent. The transaction saw him acquire 130,100 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$52,691.

Mr Han has gradually increased his stake in the owner, developer and manager of purpose-built workers and student accommodation assets, from 55.004 per cent at the end of 2017. He has been a principal and director of Centurion Global Ltd, the controlling shareholder of the company, since 2008.

Mr Han is also the maternal cousin of David Loh Kim Kang, non-executive director and controlling shareholder of the company. Mr Loh acquired 883,100 shares of Centurion Corporation between Nov 26 and 27 for a consideration of S$366,487. This took Mr Loh's total stake in Centurion Corporation to 56.548 per cent.

Noel Gifts International

On Nov 27, via a married deal, Noel Gifts International managing director Alfred Wong Siu Hong acquired 500,000 shares of the leading hampers, flowers and gifts company for a consideration of S$150,000.

This took his total stake in Noel Gifts International to 45.24 per cent. This was the second filed acquisition of Noel Gifts International shares for Mr Wong in 2018 and follows an acquisition of 314,600 shares on Nov 9.

On the other side of the transaction Woon Koon Hong reduced his total interest in Noel Gifts International below the substantial shareholder threshold, from 5.25 per cent to 4.76 per cent.

Mr Wong is the founder of Noel Gifts International, and has been its managing director since its commencement.

With over 42 years of experience in the hampers, flowers & gifts business, he is in charge of the strategic planning, overall financial management and growth of the group.

Since 1997, he has also been spearheading the property division, overseeing property investment and development.

Oxley Holdings

Between Nov 22 and 23, Oxley Holdings deputy CEO & executive director Eric Low See Chin acquired 500,000 shares of Oxley for a consideration of S$147,500. This increased his direct stake in the home-grown property developer to 27.80 per cent.

Mr Low is responsible for business development, and assists in the formulation of corporate strategies and future direction of the group. He is also a non-executive director of Hafary Holdings where he previously served as CEO.

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings

Between Nov 22 and 28, UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao increased his total stake in UOBKH which now stands at 27.82 per cent.

Mr Wee acquired 98,400 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$119,870. The UOBKH chairman has gradually increased his total stake in UOBKH from 26.51 per cent at the end of 2017.

PropNex

On Nov 27, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 100,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$53,600. The acquisition took his total interest in PropNex to 63.74 per cent. The majority of Mr Mohamed Ismail's deemed stake is via his 62 per cent ownership of P&N Holdings Pte Ltd.

The executive chairman highlighted in the prospectus for the July 2 IPO that service excellence has been one of the core values of PropNex for the past 17 years, and it will continue to drive the business for years to come.

Lian Beng Group

On Nov 21, Lian Beng Group chairman and managing director, Ong Pang Aik increased his deemed interest in the stock by 108,700 shares at S$0.46 per share. The consideration of the transaction was S$50,002.

This took his total stake in the stock from 35.02 per cent to 35.04 per cent. This was the second filed acquisition of Lian Beng Group shares for Mr Ong in 2018 and follows an acquisition of 2.2 million in shares via a married deal in May.

Mr Ong joined Lian Beng Group in 1978 and was instrumental in growing the business from its early days as a subcontractor into an A1-graded building construction enterprise registered with BCA today.

The group is one of Singapore's major home-grown main contractors with integrated civil engineering and construction support service capabilities, and has been listed on the SGX Mainboard since 1999.

Union Steel Holdings

On Nov 27, Union Steel Holdings executive director Ang Yew Chye acquired 60,000 shares of the stock for a consideration of S$35,100. This took his stake in the one-stop supply service for recycled ferrous and non-ferrous metals needs to 8.64 per cent.

Mr Ang is the co-founder of the group and was appointed as executive director on Aug 12, 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.

Secura Group

On Nov 26, Kestrel Investments Pte Ltd acquired 394,800 shares of Secura Group for a consideration of S$29,610. This took its direct stake in the premium security agency to 40.05 per cent.

This was the second filed acquisition of Secura Group shares for Kestrel Investments Pte Ltd in 2018 and follows an acquisition of 3.9 million shares in April. Kestrel Investments Pte Ltd is wholly owned by Peter Lim.

Uni-Asia Group

On Nov 22, Uni-Asia Group executive director Masahiro Iwabuchi acquired 12,000 shares of the alternative investment integrated service provider for a consideration of S$14,400. This took his stake in the stock to 0.15 per cent.

Mr Iwabuchi joined the group when it was established in 1997 and was appointed as senior managing director on April 30, 2014 and now heads the property investment department.

He is also currently a director of Uni-Asia Guangzhou Property Management Co Ltd, UNI SALA Capital Investment Ltd, Uni-Asia Hotels Limited, Uni-Asia Capital (Japan) Ltd, Vista Hotel Management Co Ltd and some asset holding companies in which the company invests.

On Nov 29, Uni-Asia Group executive director Kenji Fukuyado acquired 10,000 shares of Uni-Asia Group for a consideration of S$12,185. This took his stake in the stock to 0.89 per cent.

Mr Fukuyado was appointed an executive director of the company on March 1, 2018 and has over 30 years of experience in the finance industry, including structured finance such as tax lease, asset finance, loan syndication, corporate finance and asset management.

Hwa Hong Corporation

David Ong Eng Hui, the son of Ong Kay Eng increased his direct stake in Hwa Hong Corporation to 5.308 per cent between Nov 23 and 28 with the acquisition of 61,100 shares for a consideration of S$17,900.

Mr Steven Ong Kay Eng also continued to increase his total stake in Hwa Hong Corporation with the acquisition of 50,000 shares on Nov 22 with a consideration of S$14,875, increasing his total stake in Hwa Hong Corporation to 14.807 per cent. He 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.

Shinvest Holding

Between Nov 22 and 28, Shinvest Holding managing director Teo Teck Leong acquired 16,700 shares of the specialist manufacturer for a consideration of S$12,571. This took his deemed stake in the stock to 8.647 per cent.

He is the CEO of the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Sin Hong and has been a director of GD Tech since March 28, 2011.

Mr Teo also sits on the boards of all of Sin Hong's subsidiaries and one of the subsidiaries of GD Tech, and oversees the businesses of Sin Hong and its subsidiaries and GD Tech and its subsidiaries.

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