SGX Market Updates

Author: SGX   |   Latest post: Thu, 28 Sep 2023, 9:14 AM


Comba Telecom Leads Buybacks; Recent Cortina Director Acquisitions

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Share buybacks by primary-listed companies 14 Apr - 20 Apr 2023

For the five trading sessions that spanned Apr 14 to 20, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.6 per cent with the Hang Seng Index adding 1.1 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI declining 0.9 per cent.

Institutions were net buyers of Singapore stocks over the five sessions with S$104 million of net inflow. Singtel, DBS, Keppel Corporation, Singapore Exchange, and Sembcorp Marine led the net institutional inflow for the five sessions.

Meanwhile, UOB, Wilmar International, Keppel Infrastructure Trust, Sats and Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust led the net institutional outflow for the five sessions.

Share buybacks

There were 16 companies conducting share buybacks over the five trading sessions through to Apr 20, with a total consideration of S$13.7 million, following the S$10.1 million filed for the preceding four sessions.

Comba Telecom Systems Holdings led the share buyback consideration tally, buying back 3,726,000 shares at an average price of S$1.62 per share. It noted on Mar 23 that any shares repurchased under the share repurchase plan will be cancelled, adding that the board is committed to optimising the company’s capital structure.

The board also noted on Mar 23 that it considered the trading price of the shares did not reflect the company’s performance, asset value and business prospects and that it was the appropriate time to repurchase the shares to enhance earnings per share and overall return to shareholders.

The board also relayed that the current financial position of the company was appropriate to implement the share repurchase plan and it reflects the confidence of the board and the management team in the long-term strategy and growth of the company.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions saw more than 50 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for more than 20 primary-listed stocks.

This included 14 company director acquisitions with no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed seven acquisitions and three disposals.

Cortina Holdings

On Apr 13, Cortina Holdings executive director Victor Yu Chuen Tek acquired 500,000 shares in a married deal at S$3.80 per share. With a consideration of S$1.9 million, this increased his total interest in the retailer and distributor of luxury timepieces from 9.82 per cent to 10.12 per cent.

Yu is also the chief corporate affairs officer of the group. His main portfolio includes overseeing all legal, secretarial, and public relations matters, investor relations and searching for and screening of potential M&A opportunities.

Yu’s acquisition followed Ming Yaw Pte Ltd, a substantial shareholder of Cortina Holdings, acquiring 1.6 million shares, also at S$3.80 per share, on April 12. This increased its direct interest in the company from 10.99 per cent to 11.96 per cent.

This also increased the deemed interests of executive chairman Anthony Lim Keen Ban, executive director and group CEO Raymond Lim Jit Ming and executive director Jeremy Lim Jit Yaw to 43.76 per cent.

Since Anthony Lim founded Cortina Watch in 1972, the group has grown from a humble store in Colombo Court, to a prominent retailer for fine luxury timepieces across Asia-Pacific.

Today, Cortina Holdings operates over 40 stores in markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia.

When asked last year who among the three leaders of the company make the decisions on how to grow the company, Anthony Lim maintained he is at the office daily, and has regular meetings to discuss everything from business development to potential opportunities.

He added that everyone can voice their ideas, concerns, and that very often, Raymond Lim and Jeremy Lim make suggestions on what’s next and they are both veterans in the industry, so their experience mitigates the amount of risk with each venture.

Back in November, Cortina Holdings maintained that it was proceeding with plans for both Cortina and Sincere to achieve significant growth, grow its customer base and improve customer experience.

The company added that Cortina would expand in Malaysia and had revived the Sincere Haute Horlogerie concept in Singapore, and plans are under way to expand this to Thailand.

The group recorded a profit after tax of S$41.3 million for its H1FY23 (ended Sep 30) largely attributable to higher revenue and better sales margin. This followed on from profit after tax of S$73.8 million for its FY22 and profit after tax of S$43.0 million for FY21.

Progen Holdings

Between Apr 17 and 18, Progen Holdings managing director Lee Ee acquired 3.27 million shares at an average price of S$0.049 per share. With a consideration of S$160,129 this increased his total interest in the Catalist-listed company from 50.03 per cent to 50.87 per cent.

Progen Holdings has more than four decades of experience in the design, supply, installation, and maintenance of air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems with subsidiaries in Singapore and Malaysia.

Lee is the founder of the group and was first appointed to the board of directors in July 1996 when the company was incorporated.

He has more than 50 years of experience in the air-conditioning, refrigeration, and climate control industry. He started his career in Amcol in 1970 and later served as engineering sales manager in Sime Darby (S) and as dealer development manager in York International. He also spent 10 years in private companies before setting up his own business, Progen Pte Ltd in 1981.

Progen Holdings’ group revenue for FY22 (ended Dec 31) increased by S$1.3 million or 32.7 per cent, to S$5.2 million from S$3.9 million for FY21. The group recorded a profit net of tax of S$1.6 million in FY22, compared to a loss of S$2.7 million in FY21, mainly due to recognition of share of results of an associated company. With the sale of the properties developed by the associated company picking up, the group recognised its proportionate share of the associated company’s earnings in FY22.

A-Sonic Aerospace

Between Apr 13 and 17, A-Sonic Aerospace CEO Janet LC Tan acquired 126,000 shares for a consideration of S$66,372 at an average price of S$0.527 per share. This took her direct interest in the company from 61.72 per cent to 61.84 per cent. Tan has gradually increased her total interest in A-Sonic Aerospace from 53.35 per cent at the end of 2018.


On Apr 18, GRP executive director Kwan Chee Seng acquired 299,100 shares at S$0.09 per share. With a consideration of S$26,919, this increased his total interest in the group from 35.84 per cent to 36.01 per cent. This followed his acquisition of 406,100 shares at S$0.09 per share between Mar 15 and 16.

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

Kwan was appointed 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 mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Besides being the chairman of Van der Horst Holdings, his investment holding company, Kwan has been a substantial shareholder of ASX-listed Variscan Mines since 2008. Kwan is also a non-executive director of Luminor Financial Holdings. In 2009, Kwan began his fund management business with Luminor Capital, a manager of private equity funds, as a founding director. As relayed in the annual report, Kwan brings to the board a unique set of skills with an M&A angle.


On Apr 19, Accrelist executive chairman and managing director Terence Tea Yeok Kian acquired 170,000 shares at S$0.06 per share. With a consideration of S$10,258, this increased his total interest in the Catalist-listed investment holding company from 23.10 per cent to 23.16 per cent.

Tea is responsible for the overall growth of the group, leading its strategic direction, including acquiring and nurturing new businesses.

AddValue Technologies

On April 20, AddValue Technologies independent and non-executive chairman Richard Denny acquired one million shares at an average price of S$0.01 per share. This increased his direct interest in the satellite communications company from 0.14 per cent to 0.17 per cent.

Denny, an Australian national, has had over 40 years of experience in the space and satellite sector.

Tai Sin Electric

On Apr 13, the spouse of Tai Sin Electric executive director and CEO Bernard Lim Boon Hock acquired 9,500 shares of the company.

The shares were acquired by Pang Yoke Chun at S$0.39 per share and marginally increased Lim’s total interest in the South-east Asia industrial group, which is 17.49 per cent.

Lim has gradually increased his total interest in Tai Sin Electric from 14.82 per cent at the end of 2019.

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 
Comba 0.192 0.00 (0.00%)
Progen 0.043 0.00 (0.00%)
Cortina 3.50 0.00 (0.00%)
A-Sonic Aero 0.405 0.00 (0.00%)
GRP^ 0.074 0.00 (0.00%)

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