SGX Market Updates

Director Filings and Buyback Momentum Return

Publish date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024, 04:59 PM
Director filings and buyback momentum return

INSTITUTIONS were net sellers of Singapore stocks over the five trading sessions until Feb 29 inclusive, with S$615 million of net institutional outflow, as 18 primary-listed companies conducted buybacks with a total consideration of S$6.3 million. This was double the buyback consideration of the preceding five sessions.

Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engg) led the buyback consideration tally, repurchasing 500,000 shares at an average price of S$3.97 each on Feb 29. This followed the release of its FY23 (ended Dec 31) results prior to the session’s open. Digital Core Reit Management also continued to buy back units of Digital Core Reit over the week.

Leading the net institutional outflow over the five sessions were UOB, DBS, UOL Group, OCBC, Singapore Airlines, Genting Singapore, City Developments Ltd, Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust, Sembcorp Industries and Mapletree Industrial Trust.

Meanwhile, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Venture Corp, Singtel, Hongkong Land Holdings, ST Engg, Frencken Group, Singapore Exchange (SGX), UMS Holdings, Dyna-Mac Holdings and Haw Par Corp led the net institutional inflow over the five sessions.

The five trading sessions had almost 80 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for close to 50 primary-listed stocks. Directors or chief executive officers filed 30 acquisitions and one disposal, while substantial shareholders filed four acquisitions and 11 disposals.

Raffles Medical Group

Between Feb 27 and 28, Raffles Medical Group executive chairman Loo Choon Yong acquired 4.5 million shares at an average price of S$1.03 apiece. This increased his total interest to 53.27 per cent, from 53.02 per cent.

With the release of the group’s FY23 (ended Dec 31) results on Feb 26, he noted the group is cautiously optimistic in its 2024 outlook. He also said that despite geopolitical and economic headwinds, the group sees a growing demand for quality healthcare services in Singapore and the region.

Wilmar International

Between Feb 27 and Feb 29, Wilmar International chairman and CEO Kuok Khoon Hong increased his deemed interest in the global agribusiness by 1,167,400 shares. This increased his total interest to 13.65 per cent from 13.63 per cent. HPRY Holdings, Longhlin Asia, Hong Lee Holdings and Jaygar Holdings each acquired 291,850 shares at an average price of S$3.32 per share.

Kuok’s previous acquisition was on Dec 15, with 500,000 shares purchased at an average price of S$3.41 apiece. He has been gradually increasing his total interest in Wilmar since October 2022, when he held 12.94 per cent.

On Feb 21, Wilmar reported that its second-half net profit for FY23 (ended Dec 31) declined 21 per cent to US$974 million. For the full financial year, net profit fell 37 per cent to US$1.5 billion. This result beat expectations, with the company’s stock price rallying to S$3.41 from S$3.26 over the subsequent Feb 22 session.

The group’s total revenue for FY23 came to US$67.16 billion. It noted that for H2 FY23, revenue declined by 7 per cent to US$34.62 billion, as most commodity prices decreased during the period. However, the group added that this was partially offset by higher sales volumes across all its core segments as well as higher sugar prices.

For FY23, its overall sales volume for the food products (consumer products, medium pack and bulk) segment increased by 6 per cent to 30.7 million tonnes. The overall sales volume for the feed and industrial products (tropical oils, oilseeds and grains, and sugar) segment increased also by 10 per cent to 61.3 million tonnes in the same period. Feed and industrial products again contributed the most to the full-year revenue, followed by the food products segment, and the plantation and sugar milling business.

Kuok highlighted that following an exceptional year in FY22, Wilmar recorded a satisfactory set of results in FY23, despite headwinds faced by various businesses during the year. He noted that the group expects the tough operating conditions to continue into FY24, with tropical oil margins expected to remain depressed, sugar-milling margins to be affected by lower sugar prices, and operating conditions in China to continue being challenging.

He also said that the group will continue to focus on improving its operational efficiency, reducing capital expenditure, and extracting benefits from its past expansion, especially the segments that began operations in the last few years.

ValueMax Group

Between Feb 21 and Feb 27, ValueMax Group executive chairman Yeah Hiang Nam acquired 2,447,200 shares at an average price of S$0.353 each. This increased his total interest in the business – which is principally engaged in pawnbroking, moneylending, and the retail and trading of gold and jewellery – to 83.88 per cent from 83.58 per cent.

On Feb 20, the group reported that its H2 FY23 (ended Dec 31) revenue increased to S$179.2 million, from S$133.6 million in H2 FY22. Revenue from its retail and trading of jewellery and gold, pawnbroking and moneylending businesses increased by S$31.1 million, S$4.9 million, and S$9.6 million, respectively. After the results announcement, the share price of ValueMax Group rallied to S$0.35 during the Feb 21 session, from S$0.315.

Yeah is the founder of the company and is responsible for leading the board and focusing it on strategic matters. He oversees the group’s business, sets the governance standards, and fosters the effectiveness of the board and individual directors. He has more than 50 years of experience dealing with gold and jewellery, and over 30 years in the pawnbroking industry. He started as a jewellery salesman in 1969, and in 1979 founded Golden Goldsmith Jewellers, which manufactured and wholesaled gold ornaments. In 1989, he also started Ban Soon Pawnshop with other business partners.

As a result of the revenue growth in FY23, ValueMax Group’s profit before tax increased to S$63.4 million, from S$53.3 million in FY22.

Wing Tai Holdings

Wing Tai Holdings chairman and managing director Cheng Wai Keung has continued to build his deemed interest in the company, through his spouse Helen Chow’s acquisition of shares, which began in September 2023.

Between Feb 23 and Feb 27, Cheng increased his deemed interest in the leading real estate developer and lifestyle retailer by 210,000 shares. He now maintains a 61.46 per cent total interest in the company, compared with 60.92 per cent previously.

As Wing Tai Holdings reported on Feb 6, the group expects buying sentiment for private residential property in Singapore to remain cautious until greater economic confidence returns, and, at the appropriate times, it will release more residential units for sale.

Beng Kuang Marine

On Feb 29, Beng Kuang Marine CEO Yong Jiunn Run acquired 1.1 million shares at an average price of S$0.07 per share. With a consideration of S$80,900, this took his direct interest in the company to 4.99 per cent from 4.44 per cent.

On Feb 27, the offshore and marine industries solutions provider reported a positive turnaround for FY23 (ended Dec 31), with a net profit of S$7.4 million. Yong noted that the period had been a transitional year, as the group’s turnaround plan gathered pace on restoring its profitability, deleveraging its balance sheet and simplifying its operations with profitable business divisions.


On Feb 27, Intraco executive chairman Mak Lye Mun acquired 225,100 shares for a consideration of S$67,260. At an average price of S$0.299 per share, this took his direct interest to 0.96 per cent from 0.76 per cent. He previously acquired 100,000 shares on Dec 12 at S$0.27 apiece. On Jan 12, he purchased 57,700 shares at S$0.272 each, and on Dec 28, he acquired 200,000 shares at S$0.26 per share.

Intraco is engaged in the distribution and trading of plastic resins and liquor, and the provision of mobile radio infrastructure management services. It is also a leading one-stop provider of passive fire-protection products and services in Singapore.

LHT Holdings

On Feb 26, LHT Holdings managing director Yap Mui Kee acquired 61,000 shares at an average price of S$1.05 per share. With a consideration of S$64,050, this took her direct interest in the home-grown pallet manufacturer to 16.64 per cent from 16.53 per cent.

Yap has been gradually increasing her direct interest in the company since August 2021, when it stood at 14.12 per cent. Her preceding acquisitions were on Jan 11 this year, with just 1,400 shares acquired at S$0.865 apiece, and in October 2023, with 238,500 shares acquired at an average price of S$0.819 per share.

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

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