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Author: SGX   |   Latest post: Mon, 5 Jun 2023, 8:55 AM


Hong Fok Continues Buybacks as Joint-CEO Raises Stake

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Share buyback

For the 5 trading sessions that spanned Apr 1 to 7, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 0.1 per cent, with the FTSE China A50 Index gaining 1.0 per cent, the Hang Seng Index declining 0.4 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI adding 1.0 per cent.

Overall, institutions were net sellers over the 5 sessions with S$124 million of net outflow. DBS Group Holdings, UOB, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, OCBC, and Singapore Press Holdings led the net institutional outflows for the 5 sessions through to Apr 7.

Meanwhile, City Developments, Mapletree North Commercial Asia Trust, Singapore Exchange, Singapore Telecommunications and Sembcorp Industries received the highest net institutional inflows for the 5 sessions. This brings total net institutional inflows in the 2022 year to Apr 7 to S$1.0 billion.

Share buybacks

There were 16 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the 5 sessions with a total consideration of S$13.2 million, up from S$11.9 million for the preceding week. OCBC, Hong Fok Corporation and Raffles Medical Group led the buyback consideration tally. The trio were also the 3 stocks which lodged the highest buyback consideration over the preceding 5 sessions.

OCBC paid an average price of S$12.34 per share, Hong Fok paid an average price of 88.1 cents per share, while Raffles Medical Group paid an average price of S$1.16 per share. As of Apr 7, Hong Fok had bought back 0.71 per cent of its shares (excluding treasury shares) on the current share buyback mandate. 

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The 5 trading sessions saw close to 90 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for more than 30 primary-listed stocks. This included 7 company director acquisitions with no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed 5 acquisitions and 4 disposals.

SinoCloud Group

On Apr 4, SinoCloud Group substantial shareholder Terence Joe Lam Cho Ying sold in aggregate 3,437,557,250 shares of the Catalist-listed company to Zhang Dai. Of the 3,437,557,250 shares, 2,209,952,100 shares were held directly by Lam and 1,227,605,150 shares were held by Alternus Capital, a company wholly-owned by Lam.

Dai increased his total interest in SinoCloud Group from 1.6 per cent to 23.3 per cent, while Lam reduced his total interest in the company from 27.0 per cent to 5.3 per cent.

SinoCloud announced on Apr 6, that the group had obtained continuing support from Lam and Alternus Capital, to enable the group to operate as a going concern and to meet its obligations as and when they fall due.

In view of this share disposal, the management of the company has also reached out to Zhang to engage in further discussions with him, in particular, whether he intends to furnish the financial support to the group. The company will provide updates to shareholders in due course, including but not limited to, the board's assessment of the going concern of the company.

Olam Group

On Apr 6, Olam Group non-executive and independent director Nihal Kaviratne acquired 152,800 shares of the company at S$1.77 per share and consideration of S$270,456. He maintains a 0.01 per cent direct interest in Olam Group. This followed his acquisition of 133,100 shares at S$1.79 per share on Mar 28.

Kaviratne was previously the chairman and CEO for the Unilever group across Asia, Europe and Latin America. His career with the Unilever Group spanned 40 years which also covered senior level management positions in sales, marketing, brand and strategic planning and development. Kaviratne is also a director of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and StarHub.

From March 15, Olam Group has replaced Olam International as the listed company. Olam Group directly holds Olam Food Ingredients, Olam Agri and Olam Global Holdco which owns Olam Ventures, and Olam Technology and Business Services as separate subsidiaries.

As maintained by the chairman non-executive and independent director, Lim Ah Doo, this structure allows the group to explore the sequential sale, spin-off or IPO of Olam Food Ingredients, Olam Agri and potentially the other businesses of the group.

Hong Fok Corporation

On Apr 1, Hong Fok Corporation executive director and joint-CEO Cheong Sim Eng acquired 80,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$70,400 at an average price of 88.0 cents per share. He maintains a 20.08 per cent total interest in Hong Fok, gradually increasing his total interest in the property developer from 19.06 per cent as at the end of 2018.

His preceding acquisitions were on March 1, with 42,000 shares acquired at 74.0 cents per share and November 20, 2020, with 64,500 shares acquired at an average price of 70.7 cents per share.

Cheong is principally involved in the group's overall operations and management with greater emphasis in Singapore. He has over 37 years of experience in the property development business.

Hong Fok is an investment holding company whose subsidiaries are primarily engaged in property investment, property development and construction, property management, investment trading and investment holding and management. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the group returned to profitability in FY21 (ended Dec 31).

With tourism arrivals and tourism receipts remaining weak in 2021, revenue from the group's hotel investment property, YOTEL Singapore Orchard Road made only a small contribution to the group's revenue.

However, the group reported an uptick in sales revenue from its residential units in Concourse Skyline. This saw Hong Fok report an attributable net profit of S$38.9 million in FY21 compared to a loss of S$8.7 million in FY20.

Amos Group

Between Mar 30 and 31, Amos Group AMOS Group : 49B 0% executive chairman Kyle Shaw acquired 237,400 shares of the company at an average price of 19.9 cents per share. With a consideration of S$47,156, this increased his deemed interest in the company from 80.77 per cent to 80.90 per cent. This followed his acquisition of 465,000 shares of at an average price of 17.2 cents per share between Mar 28 and 29.

Shaw is the founder and managing partner of ShawKwei & Partners, an international private equity fund manager investing in mid-market industrial and service businesses across Asia, the US, and Europe.

Huationg Global

On Mar 30, Huationg Global executive director and CEO, Patrick Ng Kian Ann acquired 200,000 shares of the Catalist-listed company at an average price of 9.7 cents per share. With a consideration of S$19,400, this increased his total interest in the company from 69.33 per cent to 69.44 per cent.

Ng has 20 years of experience in the civil engineering construction industry and is responsible for the overall management, strategic planning and oversees the business expansion of the group.

Huationg Global is principally engaged in the provision of civil engineering services for infrastructure projects and ancillary inland logistics support services.

On Mar 1, Huationg Global reported the group's FY21 (ended 31 Dec) revenue increased by approximately S$54.4 million or 47.0 per cent to S$170.4 million from S$116.0 million in FY20, mainly due to a higher level of business activities in its business segments after some easing measures from the Circuit Breaker.

The group is also involved in the sale of construction materials such as sand and granite aggregates, recycled concrete aggregate and liquefied soil stabiliser.

Hafary Holdings

On Mar 31, Hafary Holdings non-independent non-executive director Eric Low See Ching acquired 98,400 shares of the company at 19.0 cents per share. With a consideration of S$18,696, this further increased his direct interest in the company from 25.36 per cent to 25.38 per cent.

Mr Low was appointed as the non-independent non-executive director of Hafary Holdings in January 2014. Prior to this appointment, he served in the board as executive director and in the company as CEO. He joined the main subsidiary of the company, Hafary Pte Ltd, in 2000, and rose through the ranks from sales executive to CEO in 2005.

Low is also presently the executive director and deputy CEO of Oxley Holdings and an alternate director of Aspen (Group) Holdings.

Hafary Holdings is a leading building material supplier that has been defining living spaces with premium products. With over 5,000 products sourced from around the world, the group maintains it carries the largest collection of surfacing materials in Singapore.

One of the questions received in connection with the company's Annual Report 2021 pertained to whether the group had been affected by supply chain disruptions, particularly from shipping.

The group replied that as it sources its raw materials from various countries, some of its operations have been affected by such global supply change disruptions, and the group continues to monitor the situation and will make the appropriate announcements in the event that such disruptions are material.

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

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Related Stocks

Chart Stock Name Last Change Volume 
Hafary 0.255 0.00 (0.00%)
Huationg Global 0.099 -0.003 (2.94%) 31,000 
AMOS Group^ 0.119 0.00 (0.00%)
Hong Fok 0.98 -0.005 (0.51%) 357,000 
Olam Group 1.41 -0.01 (0.70%) 883,300 

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