SGX Market Updates

Raffles Medical Executive Chair Continues Acquisitions, CDL Leads Buyback Consideration

Publish date: Mon, 18 Mar 2024, 11:14 AM
Share buybacks by primary-listed companies Mar 8 - 14

Institutions were net sellers of Singapore stocks over the five trading sessions through to Mar 14, with S$156 million of net institutional outflow, as 24 primary-listed companies conducted buybacks with a total consideration of S$35.3 million, up from the S$24.4 million in buyback consideration for the preceding five sessions.

Following the buying back of 10 per cent of its preference shares in November, City Developments conducted its first buyback of ordinary shares since October 2018.

Between Mar 8 and 14, CityDev bought back 4,167,400 shares at an average price of S$5.92.

This represented 0.46 per cent of its total outstanding shares (excluding treasury shares). With the resumption of its buyback programme, CEO Sherman Kwek noted that CityDev shares were trading at a 70 per cent discount to its revalued net asset value (NAV). The revalued NAV is computed after factoring fair value gains on investment properties and revaluation surpluses of the group’s hotel portfolio (based on 2022/2023 internal and external valuations), which are accounted for as property, plant, and equipment. Kwek added that by acquiring its shares at value-accretive prices, it presents an attractive opportunity to deploy capital and signals commitment to strengthen alignment with shareholders. CityDev also noted that the current share buyback programme will be made in tranches “over a period of time, subject to market conditions and depending on the prices at which the ordinary shares are purchased”. The purchased ordinary shares will be held as treasury shares, and a portion of them may be deployed for the company’s long-term incentive plans.

Digital Core Reit Management also continued to buy back units of Digital Core Reit over each of the five sessions.

Leading the net institutional outflow were DBS, Singapore Airlines, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Sembcorp Industries, CapitaLand Ascendas Reit, Suntec Reit, CapitaLand Investment, OCBC, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and Mapletree Logistics Trust.

Meanwhile, Singtel, CityDev, UOB, Keppel, Frencken Group, Dyna-Mac Holdings, iFAST Corp, UOL Group, Aztech Global and DFI Retail Group Holdings led the net institutional inflow.

The five trading sessions saw close to 80 changes to director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for close to 40 primary-listed stocks. Directors or CEOs again filed 35 acquisitions, while no disposals were filed, and substantial shareholders filed nine acquisitions and five disposals.

Raffles Medical Group

Between Mar 7 and 13, Raffles Medical Group executive chairman Loo Choon Yong acquired 2.7 million shares at an average price of S$1.02 per share. This increased his total interest from 53.61 to 53.76 per cent. This followed his acquisition of 10.9 million shares between Feb 27 and Mar 6. Prior to the recent spate of acquisitions Dr Loo’s total stake in Raffles Medical Group was 53.02 per cent. On Feb 26, Raffles Medical Group reported FY23 (ended Dec 31) profit after tax and minority interests of S$90.2 million, 37.1 per cent lower than FY22, due to the discontinuance of Covid-19 related activities in FY23. The group added that its balance sheet remained strong with S$342.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. Dr Loo noted that the group is cautiously optimistic in its 2024 outlook and despite geopolitical and economic headwinds, it is seeing a growing demand for quality healthcare services in Singapore and the region. 

iFast Corp

Between Mar 8 and 11, iFast Corp non-executive non-independent director Lim Wee Kian acquired 25,000 shares at an average price of S$6.89 per share. With a consideration of S$172,250, this increased Lim’s total interest in the wealth management fintech platform from 6.61 to 6.62 per cent. His preceding acquisition on the open market was back in October 2022 with 57,000 shares acquired at an average price of S$3.79 per share. Lim is head of foreign exchange, treasury and markets at DBS Bank and has been with the bank since August 2004. Prior to joining DBS Bank, he was with various investment banks and was a member of the teams engaged in the trading of foreign exchange and interest rate products.

On Feb 21, iFast Corp reported the group’s assets under administration grew 13.8 per cent year on year to reach an end-of-quarter record high of S$19.83 billion as at Dec 31, 2023. This was driven by net inflows of S$2 billion during the year. The group’s FY23 (ended Dec 31) net profit also increased by 340 per cent from FY22 to S$28.3 million, on the back of a 23 per cent increase in total revenue to S$256.5 million. The group noted that the increase in profitability was driven by initial contributions from the ePension division, as well as improvements in its core wealth management platform business.

Boustead Singapore

On Mar 11, Boustead Singapore chairman and group CEO Wong Fong Fui acquired 103,400 shares for a consideration of S$94,405. At an average price of S$0.91 per share, this took Wong’s deemed interest in the listed company from 43.20 to 43.23 per cent. This followed his acquisition of 192,000 shares at an average price of S$0.89 per share between Mar 4 and 5. Back in November, Boustead Singapore reported that its 1HFY24 (ended Sep 30) revenue, at S$367.9 million, was 49 per cent higher than 1HFY23, mainly due to significantly better revenue contributions from the energy engineering, real estate, and geospatial divisions.

LHT Holdings

On Mar 11, LHT Holdings managing director, Yap Mui Kee, acquired 43,900 shares at an average price of S$1.05 per share. With a consideration of S$46,095, this took her direct interest in the homegrown pallet manufacturer from 16.64 to 16.72 per cent. Yap has gradually increased her direct interest in LHT Holdings from 14.12 per cent in August 2021. Her preceding acquisitions were back on Feb 26 with 61,000 shares acquired at the same price; and on Jan 11, 2024, with 1,400 shares acquired at S$0.865 per share; and in October 2023, with 238,500 shares acquired at an average price of S$0.819 per share. 

JB Foods

On Mar 11, JB Foods executive director Goh Lee Beng acquired 191,500 shares in a married deal at S$0.49 per share. With a consideration of S$93,835, the acquisition increased her total interest in the provider of premium cocoa ingredient products from 47.40 to 47.47 per cent. This followed her acquisition of 13,900 shares at an average price of S$0.48 per share on Mar 7. Goh was appointed to the board of JB Foods in May 2012 and is responsible for procurement of raw materials and managing the cocoa trading positions of the group, including sourcing of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients, managing the group’s cocoa hedging book, monitoring world cocoa trends, and the marketing of cocoa butter. 


On Mar 11, Intraco executive chairman Mak Lye Mun acquired 286,000 shares in a married deal for a consideration of S$84,542. At an average price of S$0.30 per share, this took his direct interest from 0.96 to 1.21 per cent. His preceding acquisition was on Feb 27 with 225,100 shares acquired at the same average price. Mak was appointed Intraco executive chairman in July 2022 and was previously the independent non-executive chairman of Intraco from April 2021. 

Zico Holdings

On Mar 12, Zico Holdings group CEO Ng Hock Heng acquired 1,050,198 shares at S$0.04 per share. With a consideration of S$42,010, this took his direct interest in the Catalist-listed stock from 2.92 to 3.20 per cent. Ng held the role of executive director at Zico Holdings from 2014 and was later redesignated as the group CEO in May 2023, in line with the group’s succession planning. He is primarily responsible for overseeing the overall business of the group, the management of the its advisory and transaction services segment, the management, support services and licensing services segment, as well as developing and managing new services.

For its FY23 (ended Dec 31), Zico Holdings reported a substantial net loss. This was partially due to significant downsizing activities in Myanmar, which involved substantial non-cash impairments and write-offs in FY23. The group noted these measures were needed to substantially reduce future losses from these activities as well as redeploying working capital to other business units which will facilitate corporate recovery. Its strategy is to expand the asset management business in Singapore, as well as the trust and fiduciary services, capital markets and corporate and investor services. The group added it is cautiously optimistic of its prospects in FY2024 barring any unforeseen circumstances. 

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

Enjoying this read?

  • Subscribe now to the weekly SGX My Gateway newsletter for a compilation of latest market news, sector performances, new product release updates, and research reports on SGX-listed companies.
  • Stay up-to-date with our SGX Invest Telegram channel.





Related Stocks
Market Buzz
Be the first to like this. Showing 0 of 0 comments

Post a Comment