SGX Market Updates

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


IFast Chairman Lim Chung Chun Increases Stake

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Share buybacks by primary listed companies 5 May - 11 May 2023

For the trading sessions that spanned May 5 to May 11, the Straits Times Index declined 1.2 per cent while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.6 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI declined 0.5 per cent.

Institutions were net sellers of Singapore stocks over the five sessions with S$155 million of net outflow. DBS Group Holdings, Venture Corporation, United Overseas Bank (UOB), Thai Beverage, and City Developments Ltd led the net institutional outflow for the five sessions. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines, CapitaLand Ascendas Reit, Jardine Matheson Holdings, Wilmar International, and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) led the institutional inflow over the five sessions.

Share buybacks

There were 15 companies conducting share buybacks over the five trading sessions through to May 11, with a total consideration of S$22.2 million. OCBC and UOB led the five-day consideration tally, buying back 800,000 shares at an average price of S$12.34 and 288,000 shares at an average price of S$28.19, respectively.

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions saw 80 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for close to 40 primary-listed stocks. This included 12 company director acquisitions with no disposals filed, while substantial shareholders filed seven acquisitions and four disposals.

Acquisitions saw filings for directors of Bonvests Holdings, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings, Darco Water Technologies, mDR, Tai Sin Electric, UOB and Yanlord Land Group, in addition to Oxley Holdings, iFast Corporation and YKGI.

Oxley Holdings

On May 5, Oxley Holdings executive chairman and chief executive officer Ching Chiat Kwong acquired 20 million shares at S$0.140 per share. This followed his acquisition of 20 million shares on Apr 28 and increased his direct interest in the home-grown property developer from 43.12 per cent to 43.59 per cent.

iFast Corporation

Between May 5 and May 8, iFast chairman and CEO Lim Chung Chun acquired 22,700 shares at an average price of S$4.29 per share. With a consideration of S$97,461, this increased his total interest in the global digital banking and wealth management platform from 20.14 per cent to 20.15 per cent. His preceding acquisition on the open market was on Jul 26, 2022, with 34,100 shares acquired at an average price of S$3.80 per share.

Lim co-founded iFast with the launch of its business-to-consumer division Fundsupermart.com in Singapore in 2000, following which the business-to-consumer division iFast Financial was launched in 2001. He subsequently led the company’s regional expansion efforts, extending iFast’s presence beyond Singapore to Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and the United Kingdom, building a well-established fintech ecosystem across the five markets.

Lim also led iFast’s successful listing on the SGX mainboard in December 2014. Lim has maintained that following the initial public offering, the group decided that it needed to evolve from being a “unit trust platform” to being a “wealth management platform”.

Since the end of 2014, iFast has also grown its overall assets under administration (AUA) from S$5.4 billion to S$18.1 billion as of Mar 31, 2023. Lim maintained back in 2016 that iFast would grow its overall AUA by broadening the range and depth of its offerings, and adding revenue streams from new geographical markets. On the product side, as of the end of its Q1 FY23 (ended Mar 31), the group offered access to over 17,500 investment products including over 11,800 funds from over 300 fund houses, over 2,000 bonds, stocks and exchange-traded funds listed on the Singapore, Hong Kong, US, Malaysia and China A stock exchanges as well as services including online discretionary portfolio management services, research and investment seminars, fintech solutions, and investment administration and transaction services.

At the end of its Q1 FY23, iFast’s AUA had declined 2.6 per cent from Q1 FY22, but rose 4.2 per cent from Q4 FY22. This saw the group’s profitability in Q1 FY23 better than the previous three quarters (Q2 FY22 to Q4 FY22), while Q1 FY23 group profit before tax was down 17.1 per cent from Q1 FY22, to S$6.1 million.

On the platform side, the main business divisions of the group includes the B2C division, the B2B division and the fintech solutions/B2B2C model. The B2C platform, FSMOne.com (formerly known as Fundsupermart.com), is a multi-products transactional platform that caters to investors who prefer to do their own investments online.

The B2B platforms cater to the specialised needs of more than 600 financial advisory companies, financial institutions, banks and Internet companies with over 12,200 wealth advisers.

iFast Fintech Solutions, the fintech solutions/B2B2C model, was launched in recent years to provide innovative and customisable fintech solutions for B2B clients and business partners, to empower them with their own B2C fintech capabilities.

The iFast Global Bank, a licenced UK bank that aspires to provide global banking connectivity to customers, corporates and financial institutions, on Apr 24 launched its Digital Personal Banking platform.

The group expects to enter a period of high growth in revenue and profitability between 2023 and 2025 as it executes its fourfold, three-year plan. Firstly, the group intends to make its core platform business bigger, better and more profitable. Secondly the group intends to accelerate the growth of its overall Hong Kong business and effectively delivering on the ePension services. Lim has recently maintained that the Hong Kong ePension division will help to drive iFast’s overall group profitability substantially, as can be seen in its guidance of targeted gross revenue of over HKD 1.6 billion (S$272.2 million) and profit before tax of over HKD 500 million by 2025, for its overall Hong Kong business. Thirdly the group intends to effectively develop iFast Global Bank’s digital banking services and other adjacent capabilities, while fourthly, making tangible progress towards having a truly global business model.

Lim believes the next three years present a very good timing for the group to execute its plans, adding that while the financial results grow more strongly, because of the contributions from the ePension Division, the group will take the chance to evolve into a strong global digital banking and wealth management player.


Between May 4 and May 10, YKGI executive chairman and executive director Seah Boon Lock acquired 350,000 shares at an average price of S$0.144 per share. With a consideration of S$50,245, this increased his deemed interest in the F&B player from 76.83 per cent to 76.91 per cent. Seah has more than 30 years of relevant experience in the F&B industry and was a founder the group. YKGI listed on the Catalist board on Feb 6.

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

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Labels: UOB, OCBC Bank

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