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INSIDE INSIGHTS

STI rebounds; 37 director acquisitions filed

FOR the five sessions ended April 12, the Straits Times Index (STI) rebounded 1.9 per cent, in line with 1.8 per cent average gains for the benchmarks of Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

The STI has continued to be the most resilient of these benchmarks in the 2018 year through to April 12, with 2.3 per cent total returns, compared to the three benchmarks averaging a 1.7 per cent decline, while the Dow Jones has declined 2.2 per cent.

For the five sessions ended April 12, share buyback consideration totalled S$53.8 million, similar momentum to the first four sessions of April at S$48.1 million. A total of 16 primary-listed companies bought back their SGX-listed shares over the five sessions.

CapitaLand continued to lead the buyback tally, and as at April 12, has bought back 1.31 per cent of its outstanding shares since Feb 20.

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Over the five sessions ended April 12, a total of 51 primary-listed stocks lodged 165 changes in director interests or substantial shareholders. There were 37 director acquisitions with no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 29 acquisitions and 12 disposals.

On April 9, Kingboard Laminates Limited acquired 40,279,700 shares of Kingboard Copper Foil Holdings (KBCF) increasing its total stake in the stock to 12.14 per cent. Kingboard Laminates Limited is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Kingboard Laminates Holdings, a controlling shareholder of KBCF. Kingboard Laminates Holdings now maintains a deemed stake of 87.90 per cent of KBCF.

UOBKH

UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director Wee Ee Chao acquired 431,400 shares of UOBKH at an average price of S$1.408 per share. The multiple transactions spanned April 5 to April 10 with a consideration of S$607,606.

This took Mr Wee's total stake in UOBKH to 26.71 per cent. He has gradually increased his stake from 25.64 per cent in mid-March 2017, when UOBKH was trading at S$1.35 per share.

UIC

On April 5, UOL Equity Investments Pte Ltd acquired 148,000 shares of United Industrial Corporation (UIC) at an average price of S$3.294 per share. This took the total stake in UIC held by its chairman, Wee Cho Yaw, to 49.84 per cent.

UOL Equity Investments Pte Ltd's preceding transactions in UIC were comparatively smaller acquisitions of 61,200 shares on March 8 at an average price of S$3.312 per share, and 27,181 shares on Nov 29 at an average price of S$3.307 per share.

Allied Technologies

Substantial shareholder Lim Tah Hwa acquired 60 million shares of Allied Technologies at S$0.05 per share, taking his stake in the stock from 25.43 per cent to 29.88 per cent. This followed Mr Lim's comparatively larger acquisition of 229.4 million shares of Allied Technologies for a consideration of S$18.4 million, at S$0.08 per share, on Feb 1.

Allied Technologies is a maker of precision stamped metal parts that reported in late February that its FY17 group revenue increased 11 per cent year on year (yoy) to S$94.80 million, with revenue increases contributed by the company's overseas subsidiaries located in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.

KrisEnergy

In a recent married deal, KrisEnergy Holdings Limited disposed of 272,007,669 shares of KrisEnergy Limited for a consideration of S$22,482,469, disposing of its entire 18.10 per cent stake in the stock. Serle Investments Limited acquired 136,003,833 shares taking its stake in KrisEnergy from 1.29 per cent to 10.34 per cent. Ng Kay Yip also became a substantial shareholder, acquiring the balance of 136,003,836 shares, and now maintains a 9.46 per cent stake in the stock.

KrisEnergy is an independent upstream company focused on the exploration for and the development and production of oil and gas in South-east Asia. The company holds working interests in four producing oil and/or gas fields, three in the Gulf of Thailand and one onshore Bangladesh field.

KrisEnergy chief executive officer & executive director Kelvin Tang highlighted in the FY17 Annual Report that KrisEnergy's financial and operational resources in 2018 and 2019 will be directed towards core Cambodian and Thai assets in the Gulf of Thailand. On April 9, KrisEnergy announced it entered into a cooperation agreement with Keppel FELS Limited and Keppel Shipyard Ltd. As at March 15, 2018, Keppel Oil & Gas Pte Ltd maintained a 38.81 per cent stake in KrisEnergy.

No Signboard Holdings

On April 6, GuGong Pte Ltd increased its substantial shareholding in No Signboard Holdings to 73.21 per cent. The company purchased 684,900 shares for a consideration of S$136,960, at an average price of 20 cents per share. No Signboard Holdings executive chairman and CEO Lim Yong Sim has a 93.64 per cent of the shareholding in his own name in GuGong Pte Ltd.

For its FY17 (ended Sept 30) No Signboard Holdings registered 7.3 per cent yoy revenue growth to S$24.4 million on the back of beer sales of S$3.1 million following the acquisition of the beer business, Danish Breweries, in June 2017. Within the FY17 Annual Report Mr Lim noted that the group experienced higher operational costs, some of which were necessary as it builds up the beer business. Mr Lim also expressed his confidence that the positive impact will outweigh the costs, once the beer business gains traction and economies of scale set in.

For its Q1FY18 (ended 31 Dec) the group reported net profit growth of 56.3 per cent yoy. Mr Lim joined the group in 1998 and spearheaded its development and expansion over the past two decades, leading the No Signboard Seafood business from its humble roots to the premium seafood restaurant chain it is today.

Frencken Group

Between April 5 and 6, Frencken Group chairman and non-executive non-independent director Gooi Soon Chai acquired 100,000 shares of the stock at an average price of S$0.595 per share. This has taken his total stake in the company to 23.07 per cent.

Frencken Group is a global integrated technology solutions company that serves multinational companies in the automotive, healthcare, industrial, life sciences and semiconductor industries.

In the FY17 Annual Report released recently, the group highlighted that FY17 revenue grew 10.4 per cent yoy to reach a record S$515.1 million. Mr Gooi noted that this was mainly lifted by the higher revenue contribution from the mechatronics division, as the IMS division posted lower revenue due to the absence of sales from Valeo Malaysia CDA Sdn Bhd which the group had divested on March 31, 2017.

Mr Gooi, who is also a board member of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority has been the chairman of Frencken Group since August 2016 and has gradually increased his total stake in the stock from 22.95 per cent in March 2016.

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