SGX Market Updates

Jardine C&C MD Ben Birks Acquires More Shares Following H1 FY23 Earnings Report

Publish date: Mon, 07 Aug 2023, 09:47 AM
Share buybacks by primary listed companies 28 Jul - 3 Aug 2023

For the five trading sessions that spanned Jul 28 to Aug 3, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 1 per cent while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.4 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI declined 0.6 per cent.

Institutions were net sellers of Singapore stocks over the five sessions with S$73 million of net outflow. Stocks that booked the highest net institutional outflow over the five sessions included Singapore Airlines, Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust, Genting Singapore, Jardine Matheson, CapitaLand Investment, Venture Corporation, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust, Suntec Reit and Sheng Siong Group. Meanwhile United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, iFast Corporation, ComfortDelGro Corporation, Thai Beverage, DBS Group Holdings, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Keppel Corporation and Seatrium booked the highest net institutional inflow over the five sessions.

On the new Thailand blue-chip Singapore Depository Receipt (SDR) front, all three SDRs, comprising Airports of Thailand (AOT), CP All and PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) attracted net buying interest from individual investors for the second consecutive month in July. The largest inflows for the month were booked by CP All SDR while PTTEP generated the most price gains of the trio, on the back of the crude oil price gains. PTTEP reported on Jul 31 that its Q2 FY23 profit increased 2.1 per cent from Q2 FY22, with the company announcing an interim dividend of 4.25 baht payable in August 2023. PTTEP SDR holders on SGX will be entitled to the distribution and will receive the proceeds in Singapore dollars. CP All and AOT are slated to announce earnings on Aug 10 and Aug 11, respectively.

Share buybacks

There were four primary-listed companies conducting share buybacks over the five trading sessions through to Aug 3 with a total consideration of S$11.4 million.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage

On Aug 2, Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) group managing director Benjamin Birks acquired 19,000 shares at S$33.90 per share. This increased his direct interest in the South-east Asia investment holding company of the Jardine Matheson Group from 25,000 shares to 44,000 shares. This represents a 0.01 per cent direct interest in the company. His previous 25,000 shares were acquired on Mar 19, 2021, at S$22.77 per share.

Birks was appointed group MD in October 2019, and leads the long-term portfolio strategy of the group. This includes having direct oversight over its sustainability strategy. He joined Jardine Matheson in 2000 and has held senior positions within the retail, automotive, business outsourcing and IT businesses of Jardines. Prior to his current appointment, he was the chief executive of Jardine International Motors, Zung Fu Group and Jardine Pacific between 2012 to 2019. Birks is a commissioner of Astra and United Tractors, and a director of Thaco. He is also the chairman of Mindset, a registered charity of Jardine Matheson in Singapore, and was previously a director of Siam City Cement and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation.

On Jul 28, Jardine C&C reported its H1 FY23 results, which saw higher contributions from its Astra and Direct Motor Interests. After accounting for non-trading items, which mainly comprised gains from the sale and leaseback arrangement in respect of Jardine C&C Singapore’s properties, and unrealised amounts arising from the revaluation of the group’s equity investments, the group’s H1 FY23 profit attributable to shareholders was US$648 million, compared to US$487 million in H1 FY22.

At the 2023 annual general meeting on Apr 28, Jardine C&C was asked about its positioning with regard to the vehicle electrification trend. Birks highlighted that Jardine C&C was focused on the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). He added that the Indonesian market is still in the early days of the EV journey, and Toyota is committed and working closely with Astra to deliver the right product. In Singapore, Birks maintained that Mercedes-Benz is committed to purely EVs for the luxury segment, which presents an opportunity. Jardine C&C maintains its interests are closely aligned with the dynamic development of the region, where it maintains market-leading businesses in six countries across eight sectors, aligned to its investment themes of urbanisation and the emerging consumer class.

iFast Corporation

On Jul 26, iFast Corporation independent director David Toh Teng Peow acquired 9,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$44,785.

He maintains a 0.09 per cent total interest in the wealth management and fintech business. Toh is also a director and chief technology officer at NTUitive, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. NTUitive is responsible for commercialising the university’s scientific research and incubating startups.

Prior to his current role at NTUitive, Toh spent 11 years working in investment banks such as ING Barings and Lehman Brothers, where he was a top-rated Asia-Pacific technology sector analyst.

On Jul 25, iFast reported its H1 FY23 (ended Dec 31) net profit increased by 115.9 per cent from H1 FY22, to S$6.57 million. The group expects its overall revenue and profitability to show marked improvements, starting with H2 FY23, and expects profitability in FY23 to be substantially better than in FY22. The wealth management fintech platform maintains assets under administration of S$18.81 billion as of Jun 30.


On Jul 28, Temasek reduced its deemed substantial shareholding of Seatrium below the 38 per cent threshold. The disposal of 50 million Seatrium shares at S$0.145 per share reduced Temasek’s deemed interest in Seatrium from 38.02 per cent to 37.95 per cent. This followed Temasek reducing its deemed substantial shareholding in Seatrium below the 39 per cent threshold on Jun 5, and below the 40 per cent threshold on May 2.

Seatrium and Keppel were the STI’s two strongest-performing constituents in July. As of Aug 3, Seatrium and Keppel maintained respective Refinitiv consensus target prices of S$0.178 and S$7.97, respectively, while ranking as the sixth and 11th-most traded stocks in Singapore by trading turnover so far this year. Refinitiv consensus estimates represents the average of individual estimates provided by analysts covering the company, and estimates typically represent an analyst’s opinion of the company’s performance over the next 18 months.

Formerly Sembcorp Marine and renamed as Seatrium following its merger with Keppel Offshore & Marine, Seatrium’s key business divisions include oil and gas newbuilds and conversions, renewables and new energies, specialised shipbuilding, and repairs and upgrades, with a growing focus on sustainable solutions to advance the global energy transition and maritime decarbonisation. Seatrium maintains that amid the ongoing energy transition and heightened concerns for energy security, the industry outlook for oil and gas, offshore renewables and other green solutions continues to improve and strengthen.

Seatrium’s strong order wins of S$4.3 billion in H1 FY23 (ended Jun 30) were mainly from the renewables space. Seatrium’s net order book stands at S$19.7 billion, of which 40 per cent is from renewables and cleaner/green solutions, with progressive deliveries till 2030. Seatrium reported a net loss of S$264 million in H1 FY23 due to provision for contracts and merger expenses, and expects to make a net loss for FY23.

On Jul 27, Keppel reported its highest profit on record in the company’s 55-year history, which was underpinned by the S$3.3 billion disposal gain from the divestment of the offshore and marine business to Seatrium.

Under Vision 2030, Keppel is strategically transforming its business into a global alternative real asset manager, with deep operating capabilities in infrastructure, real estate and connectivity. On its asset monetisation programme, Keppel maintains that since the start of its asset monetisation initiative in October 2020, it has announced more than S$4.8 billion of transactions. These monetised assets have released some S$3.8 billion of cash, which can be used both to seek new opportunities as well as to reward shareholders. Keppel expects the pace of asset monetisation to increase over time as market sentiments improve, and intends to push ahead with its target to monetise S$10 billion to S$12 billion of assets by 2026, and S$17.5 billion eventually.

Keppel’s H1 FY23 (ended Jun 30) revenue of S$3.7 billion was up 11 per cent from H1 FY22, comprised of S$2.5 billion from infrastructure, S$0.5 billion from real estate and S$0.7 billion from connectivity. The infrastructure division runs an integrated power business as well as a decarbonisation and sustainability solutions business. In H1 FY23, Keppel’s renewable energy portfolio grew to 3 gigawatts (GW), making up over 60 per cent of its total energy portfolio of 4.9 GW, with projects across the spectrum of solar, wind and hydro power. The 4.9 GW portfolio is on a gross basis and includes projects under development with 64 per cent of capacity operational, while 36 per cent is under development. In the real estate division, Keppel is also expanding its sustainable urban renewal offerings across Asia-Pacific.

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

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