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INSIDE INSIGHTS

Wee Investments up UOL, Haw Par stakes

FOR the five trading sessions spanning March 20 to 26, the Straits Times Index (STI) rebounded 7.6 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging a 9.6 per cent gain. This has brought the STI's decline in total return for 2020 through to March 26 to 22.4 per cent.

Share buybacks

There were 44 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions ended March 26 with a total consideration of S$66.2 million, following the S$208.3 million and S$169.6 million in consideration for the preceding two weeks. Four-fifths of the week's S$66.2 million buyback consideration took place on March 20 and 23, prior to the preceding partial STI rebound.

DBS Group Holdings led the consideration tally, with 2.2 million shares bought back at an average price of S$17.31 per share. OCBC bought back 1.24 million shares at an average price of S$8.37 per share and United Overseas Bank bought back 273,300 shares at an average price of S$18.49.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

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The five sessions spanning March 20 to 26 saw almost 250 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings, filed for more than 80 primary-listed stocks. There were 100 company director acquisitions with nine disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 34 acquisitions and 14 disposals.

UOL Group, Haw Par, UOBKH

Between March 20 and 23, Wee Investments (Pte) Ltd acquired 1,003,000 shares of UOL Group for a consideration of S$6,245,560 at an average price of S$6.23 per share.

The transactions increased the total interest of UOL Group's chairman Wee Cho Yaw in UOL Group to 37.45 per cent.

Likewise, UOL Group deputy chairman Wee Ee Lim and director Wee Ee Chao saw their interests in UOL Group increase to 14.82 per cent.

Mr Wee Chow Yaw also serves as the non-executive and non-independent chairman of Haw Par Corporation with Mr Wee Ee Chao the non-executive and non-independent deputy chairman, and Mr Wee Ee Lim the executive and non-independent director, president and CEO.

Between March 18 and 24, the three directors increased their total interest in Haw Par Corporation with Wee Investments (Pte) Ltd acquiring 1,154,500 shares for S$12,239,961, at an average price of S$10.61 per share. Mr Wee Chow Yaw's total interest in Haw Par Corporation increased from 35.71 per cent to 36.23 per cent.

Mr Wee Ee Chao also serves as UOB-Kay Hian Holdings (UOBKH) chairman and managing director. He increased his total stake in UOBKH between March 19 and 25, which is now at 29.85 per cent. He acquired 867,700 UOBKH shares for a consideration of S$963,781 at S$1.11 per share.

Penguin International

On March 20, Penguin International executive chairman Jeffrey Hing Yih Peir acquired 3,459,300 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$1,245,348.

At S$0.36 per share, the married deal increased Mr Hing's deemed interest in the designer, builder, owner and operator of aluminium high-speed craft from 19.68 per cent to 21.25 per cent.

Olam International

A number of acquisitions for Olam International were filed over the five sessions ended March 26.

On March 18, Olam International executive director, co-founder and group CEO Sunny Verghese acquired 615,500 shares of the leading food and agri-business for a consideration of S$917,526. At S$1.49 per share, this increased Mr Verghese's direct interest in Olam International from 4.25 per cent to 4.27 per cent.

On March 24, Olam International substantial shareholder Kewalram Singapore acquired 500,000 shares for a consideration of S$687,456, at S$1.37 per share, increasing its total interest in the listed company from 7.02 per cent to 7.04 per cent.

On March 20, independent non-executive director Jean-Paul Pinard acquired 300,000 shares of Olam International for a consideration of S$412,860. At S$1.38 per share, Mr Pinard increased his total interest in the listed company from 0.03 per cent to 0.04 per cent.

On March 24, executive director, and CEO of Olam Food Ingredients, Shekhar Anantharaman acquired 100,000 shares for a consideration of S$128,800. Mr Anantharaman maintains a 0.51 direct interest in Olam International.

  • 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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