SG Market Updates

UOB Leads Buybacks; PropNex’s Kelvin Fong Adds to Stake

MQ Trader
Publish date: Mon, 29 May 2023, 06:05 PM
Share buybacks by primary listed companies 19 - 25 May 2023

For the trading sessions that spanned May 19 to 25, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.8 per cent while the Hang Seng Index fell 4.6 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI declined 3.2 per cent.

Institutions were net buyers of Singapore stocks over the five sessions with S$4 million of net inflow following the preceding five sessions which recorded S$270 million of net outflow.

DBS, UOB, Singapore Airlines, Jardine Matheson Holdings, and ST Engineering led the net institutional inflow for the five sessions.

Meanwhile, Thai Beverage, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings), City Developments, OCBC and Seatrium led the institutional outflow over the five sessions.

Share buybacks

There were 18 companies conducting share buybacks over the five trading sessions through to May 25, with a total consideration of S$22.1 million, following the S$40.6 million filed for the preceding five sessions.

UOB led the five-session consideration tally, buying back 360,000 shares acquired at an average price of S$27.92 per share.

Between May 8 and 25, UOB has bought back 1,008,000 shares, representing 0.06 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares).

UOB noted in March that its buyback mandate provides it the flexibility to undertake the purchase or acquisition of its issued shares as and when appropriate to help achieve three objectives.

Firstly, the buybacks provide a means to assist the management of the capital structure of the company, with a view to achieving an efficient capital mix.

Secondly, the mandate enables UOB to manage surplus capital, such that the surplus capital and funds which are more than the company’s requirements may be returned to shareholders in an expedient and cost-efficient manner.

Thirdly, the buybacks also provide a means to improve return on equity, which is also one of the key objectives of the company.

UOB also operates share-based compensation plans.

The bank added that the purchase mandate would be exercised by the directors only in circumstances that are in the best interests of the company and no purchase or acquisition of shares would be made in circumstances which would or are likely to have a material adverse effect on the financial position of the company and its subsidiaries.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions saw close to 80 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for fewer than 30 primary-listed stocks.

This included seven company director acquisitions with two disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed seven acquisitions and four disposals.


Between May 19 and 22, PropNex executive director Kelvin Fong Keng Seong acquired 748,200 shares at an average price of S$1.02 per share. This increased his direct and deemed interest in Singapore’s largest listed real estate group from 8.75 per cent to 8.85 per cent.

His preceding acquisitions were in July 2022, with 72,100 shares acquired at S$1.52 per share.

Fong oversees the group’s training development curriculum and also administers the development of IT strategies and technology innovations to improve the group’s competitive edge in the industry.

Prior to joining the management team, Fong was one of the top team leaders and his team of salespersons has a strong track record for outstanding sales performance and excellent customer service.

Fong also spearheads the sales and leadership training programmes.

In a presentation on Apr 6, Fong noted that with its regional reach, PropNex maintained a salesforce of close to 15,000 salespersons.

In 2022, PropNex launched its fifth overseas brand presence in Australia. PropNex’s real estate brokerage services are operated by its wholly owned flagship subsidiary PropNex Realty Pte Ltd. PropNex Realty derives commission-based fees through the provision of property brokerage.

In Singapore, the group maintains a substantial market share in the residential segments of new project launches, private resale, HDB resale and rental including commercial and industrial properties.

On the recent round of cooling measures directed at the Singapore property market, PropNex maintained that the government is moving early to rein in any exuberance that may be building up in the residential property market, seeing that overall private home prices rose by 3.3 per cent in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022, as shown by the URA property price index flash estimates.

LY Corporation

On May 22, LY Corporation founder and executive director Tan Kwee Chai acquired 490,000 shares of the Catalist-listed company via an off-market transaction. At an average price of 6.0 cents per share, the consideration of the acquisition was S$29,400.

This took his total interest in the manufacturer and exporter of wooden bedroom furniture from 73.17 per cent to 73.27 per cent.

His preceding acquisition was on Nov 29, with 200,000 shares acquired at 7.8 cents per share.

Tan, who started furniture making in 1976, has been a director of LY Furniture since its incorporation and has been instrumental in the group’s growth, leading to the expansion of its business and operations.

Tan is responsible for the group’s overall management and operations, including formulating the group’s strategic directions and expansion plans.

In FY22 (ended Dec 31), the group reported a net profit of RM12.4 million (S$3.6 million), a significant improvement from the RM7.2 million loss in the previous year.

This performance was primarily driven by a 23.9 per cent increase in revenue to RM234.5 million, due to changes in the product mix and a stronger US dollar to ringgit exchange rate.

The group operates from 25 factories and warehouses, occupying a combined built-up area of approximately 1.9 million square feet.

Its products are sold mainly to overseas dealers such as furniture wholesalers and retailers who generally resell the products to end-users through their respective retail networks and domestic customers who are primarily third-party agents who typically export and resell its products outside Malaysia, such as to the United States.

Enviro-Hub Holdings

On May 22, Enviro-Hub Holdings executive chairman Raymond Ng acquired 550,600 shares of the company at S$0.032 cents per share. This took his total interest in the environmental management solutions group from 28.42 per cent to 28.46 per cent.

Ng is responsible for the group’s overall management, business development, investment decisions as well as strategic direction and planning.

He has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the recycling and e-waste management & recovery business.

He is also a property developer with more than 20 years of industry experience.

Enviro-Hub Holdings maintains a diverse portfolio that includes trading, recycling, and refining of e-waste/metals, piling contracts, construction, rental and servicing of machinery, property investments and management, and the manufacturing and trading of health-care products.

For its FY22 (ended Dec 31), the group’s revenue grew 9 per cent from FY21, reaching S$44.1 million. This was primarily due to growth in its e-waste recycling business and contributions from the health-care segment following the completion of the acquisition of Pastel Glove in October 2021.

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


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