SG Market Updates

Sembcorp Leads Buyback Tally for Second Consecutive Week

MQ Trader
Publish date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 04:39 PM
Share buybacks by primary-listed companies 17 - 23 Mar, 2023

For the five trading sessions that spanned Mar 17 to 23, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 2.0 per cent with the Hang Seng Index rising 4.4 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI adding 1.4 per cent.

Institutions were net sellers of Singapore stocks over the five sessions with S$109 million of net outflow. DBS, OCBC, Suntec Reit, Singtel, and Haw Par Corporation led the net institutional outflow for the five sessions. Meanwhile, UOB, Genting Singapore, Golden Agri-Resources Wilmar International and Sembcorp Industries led the net institutional inflow for the five sessions.

Share buybacks

There were 22 primary-listed companies conducting share buybacks over the five trading sessions through to Mar 23, with a total consideration of S$32.4 million, up from S$23.5 million for the preceding week. Sembcorp Industries again led the buyback consideration tally for the five sessions, buying more than 3.4 million shares at an average price of S$4.09 per share. Keppel Reit Management bought back 8.5 million units of Keppel Reit at S$0.86 per unit. OCBC again bought back 400,000 shares over the five sessions, with the average price paid at S$12.25.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions saw more than 60 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for 30 primary-listed stocks.

This included 11 company director acquisitions with one disposal filed, while substantial shareholders filed five acquisitions and no disposals.

Fortress Minerals

On March 22, Fortress Minerals executive director and chief executive officer Chee Yew Fei acquired two million shares at 45 cents per share in married deals.

This increased his total interest in the high-grade iron ore concentrate producer from 50.25 per cent to 50.65 per cent.

Executive director and chief operating officer Ng Mun Fey also acquired one million shares in a married deal on Mar 22, increasing his deemed interest in the Catalist listed stock from 7.12 per cent to 7.32 per cent.

Fortress Minerals produces high grade iron ore mined from its Bukit Besi mine and Cermat Aman mine in Malaysia and sells its iron ore primarily to steel mills in Malaysia and trading companies in China.

Bonvests Holdings

On Mar 22, Bonvests Holdings executive chairman Henry Ngo acquired 200,000 shares at an average price of S$0.960 per share.

The acquisition was made through Allsland, which is wholly owned by him.

This increased his total interest in Bonvests from 84.22 per cent to 84.27 per cent.

In February, the group reported FY22 (ended Dec 31) revenue of S$209.02 million, an increase of 55.5 per cent from S$134.41 million in FY21.

While the hotel division’s revenue increased by 111 per cent as countries relaxed their border controls and travel restrictions, Bonvests Holdings noted that the operating environment in the countries in which the division operates are expected to remain challenging.

Construction of the hotels in Douz, Tunisia and Medina of Tunis, Tunisia are ongoing and barring any unforeseen circumstances, both hotels are scheduled for operational completion in the second half of 2023 and 2024 respectively.

Asian Pay Television Trust

Between Mar 16 and 17, the non-executive director of the trustee-manager of Asian Pay Television Trust, Dai Yung Huei, increased his deemed interest from 19.28 per cent to 19.32 per cent.

This saw 700,000 units of APTT acquired by Araedis Investment at S$0.11 per unit.

Dai has gradually increased his total interest in APTT from 18.27 per cent in September 2022.

He is also the chairman of Da Da Digital Convergence and the founder of Dafeng TV, the first publicly traded cable TV provider in Taiwan, which operates in domestic markets including New Taipei City and Kaohsiung City.

During the question & answer session of the Asian Pay Television Trust Q4 2022 results briefing via Zoom on Feb 24, the manager of APTT highlighted that a big draw for its higher speed plans has been the Android gateway.

The manager added that subscribers get over-the-top content on this Android gateway, which also enables the upselling of additional services with some examples including healthcare, security and gaming applications using IoT smart home devices that tap into the high-speed connection.


Between Mar 15 and 16, GRP executive director Kwan Chee Seng acquired 406,100 shares at an average price of S$0.09.

With a consideration of S$36,605, this increased his total interest in the group from 35.62 per cent to 35.84 per cent.

The principal activities of the group are property development, sales of hose and marine products, and sales of measuring instruments/metrology.

Kwan was appointed as an executive director in March 2013 and is responsible for the group’s business development.

He has extensive experience in management and investment, particularly in the field of mergers and acquisitions.

Besides being the chairman of Van der Horst Holdings, his investment holding company, Kwan has been a non-executive director and substantial shareholder of ASX-listed Variscan Mines since 2008.

He is also a non-executive director of Starland Holdings, a 99.56 per cent indirect-owned subsidiary of GRP.

In 2009, Kwan began his fund management business with Luminor Capital, a manager of private equity funds, as a founding director.

In February, GRP noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely impacted all the business segments of the group, and the hose & marine segment continued to face shortages in hose supplies due to supply chain disruptions, because of Covid-19.

The group said its business outlook for the next 12 months was still expected to remain challenging although supply-chain improvements and replenished inventories may have positive impact and the group will continue to focus on cost containment and operation efficiency to mitigate global inflation pressure and to improve workflow and processes to minimise the supply chain disruptions.

GRP reported its group revenue of S$10.08 million for H1FY23 (ended Dec 31), was 46 per cent higher than the S$6.90 million revenue for H1FY22, resulting in a narrower loss before tax of S$0.75 million in H1FY23) compared to a loss before tax of S$1.43 million in H1FY22.

Broadway Industrial Group

On Mar 17 Broadway Industrial Group (BIGL) non-independent non-executive chairman Lew Syn Pau acquired 100,000 shares at S$0.095 per share.

This increased his total interest in the manufacturer of precision components and assemblies from 9.83 per cent to 9.85 per cent.

Lew was appointed as independent director in November 2011 and re-designated as non-independent non-executive chairman in January 2019.

As a Singapore government scholar, Lew began his career with the Singapore government administrative service.

He was a Member of Parliament from 1988 to 2001 and the president of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation from July 2002 to June 2006.

His prior work experience included being general manager and senior country officer of Banque Indosuez, Singapore branch; executive director of NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd; managing director of NTUC Comfort Co-operative Ltd and assistant secretary-general of NTUC.

On Feb 28, BIGL reported an FY22 (ended Dec 31) net attributable profit of S$6.3 million on the back of S$352.4 million in revenue.

BIGL CEO Tan Choon Huang noted that the FY22 performance was in line with the overall industry performance which was impacted by macroeconomic headwinds that affected both business and consumer sentiments, especially in the second half of 2022.

Tan added that this led to significantly lower demand for hard disk drives which has had a good run for two years led by pandemic demand for greater cloud storage as more businesses took to remote working arrangements.

BIGL expects near-term HDD demand in the first half of 2023 to remain weak, weighed down by macroeconomic uncertainties and geopolitical tensions.

However, the group is cautiously optimistic that the recent easing of China’s Covid-19 restrictions will lead to improvements towards the second half as the country’s manufacturing prowess kicks into full gear.

In the longer term, the group expects demand for high performance enterprise and nearline HDD products to grow in line with rising demand for mass storage.

Inside Insights is a weekly column on The Business Times, read the original version.


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