SGX Market Updates

Real Estate Directors Building Up Their Company Stakes

Publish date: Mon, 10 Jun 2024, 11:13 AM

Real estate directors building up their company stakes

Institutions were net sellers of Singapore stocks over the five trading sessions through to Jun 6, with S$106.8 million of net institutional outflow, as 17 primary-listed companies conducted buybacks with a total consideration of S$55.8 million.

Most of the net institutional outflow was on the back of MSCI Singapore rebalancing on May 31, with five deletions to the index. The remaining four trading sessions saw S$42.8 million of net institutional inflow. 

Leading the net institutional outflow over the five sessions were City Developments Ltd, Seatrium, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust, Genting Singapore , Jardine Cycle & Carriage, NetLink NBN Trust, Golden Agri-Resources, Venture Corporation and Raffles Medical Group.

Meanwhile UOB, Singtel, Sats, DBS, Singapore Exchange, CapitaLand Investment, Capitaland Ascendas Reit, Hongkong Land, Keppel, and OCBC led the net institutional inflow over the five sessions. 

The five trading sessions saw close to 100 director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for 50 primary-listed stocks. Directors or chief executives filed 28 acquisitions, and one disposal, while substantial shareholders filed 11 acquisitions and seven disposals. 

Raffles Medical Group

Between May 31 and Jun 5, Raffles Medical Group executive chairman Loo Choon Yong acquired 2.3 million shares at an average price of S$1.02 per share. This increased his total interest from 54.29 per cent to 54.41 per cent. Since, late February, Loo has been gradually increasing his total interest in the stock from 53.02 per cent. 

City Developments Ltd (CDL)

On Jun 3, CDL Independent non-executive director Chong Yoon Chou purchased 40,000 shares at S$5.62 per share.  

Chong began his career in the finance industry, as an analyst and fund manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments in 1994. He later transferred to Sydney in 2001 as head of Australian equities. He further expanded his role across various global markets, including Europe and the Americas, before returning to Singapore as investment director.

He also served as managing director of Aberdeen Asset Management Malaysia. Throughout his tenure with Aberdeen, he contributed to significant restructuring and M&A projects.

On May 31, CDL independent non-executive director Colin Ong Lian Jin acquired 100,000 shares at S$5.80 per share. Ong is the founder of Advisors’ Clique and executive senior director of Great Eastern Financial Advisers, a position he has held since 2011.

On May 21, CDL provided a first-quarter 2024 business update. The group highlighted that it achieved resilient performance across all its business segments, focusing on sales growth, asset enhancements, operational refinements, as well as acquisition and divestment initiatives.

The group also relayed its focus on capital management by accelerating the sale of long-held strata assets to extract latent value and recycle capital. This included the recent sales launch of strata units at various properties, with the aim of optimising the asset base and enhancing shareholder value. It remains committed to its growth-enhancement-transformation strategy, aiming to navigate the current economic landscape with resilience and adaptability, improving operational efficiencies, and pursuing growth opportunities.

Stamford Land Corporation

Stamford Land Corporation executive chairman Ow Chio Kiat increased his total interest in the company from 45.78 to 45.86 per cent, acquiring 1,257,300 shares at an average price of S$0.39 per share between May 27 and Jun 4.

Ow also increased his total interest in Singapore Shipping Corporation, where he also serves as executive chairman. He increased his interest in the shipping group from 42.97 per cent on May 27 to 43.04 per cent on Jun 5. 

Hiap Hoe

On Jun 4, Hiap Hoe executive chairman Teo Ho Beng acquired 500,000 shares at S$0.63 per share. With a consideration of S$315,000, this increased his total interest in the regional premium real estate group from 74.86 to 74.97 per cent. 

Teo was appointed director of Hiap Hoe Group in 1983. He was redesignated executive chairman and relinquished his role as CEO in Hiap Hoe Group in January 2024. He held the CEO position from 2006 and was previously the executive chairman of the board from May 2012 to May 2017.

He has more than 42 years of experience in the construction and property industries, and over 27 years of experience in the leisure industry.

He is responsible for the formulation of corporate strategies and policies for Hiap Hoe, and the implementation of these strategies by senior management at the operations level.

Teo also chairs the financial investment committee for the group’s investment portfolios and senior management meetings to monitor Hiap Hoe’s performances, including oversees management, budgeting, and forecasting processes to ensure there is prudent financial management.

In addition, he sits on the board of Ley Choon Group Holdings as non-executive director.

On Feb 29, Hiap Hoe reported a profit after tax of S$5.5 million in FY2023 (ended Dec 31) versus a loss after tax of S$22.1 million in FY2022.

The FY2023 revenue of S$111.9 million decreased S$7.5 million from S$119.4 million in FY2022, mainly due to the loss of revenue from its two Singapore hotels, which were closed for three months for refurbishment works for their rebranding as the new Aloft Singapore Novena.

The group recorded an increase in rental revenue from S$27.0 million in FY2022 to S$28.9 million in FY2023, mainly due to the higher occupancies in its properties. Its leisure business also fared well in FY2023, with revenue 11 per cent higher than that in FY2022, at S$11.2 million.

Centurion Corporation

Between Jun 3 and 4, Centurion Corporation executive director and joint chairman David Loh Kim Kang bought 538,600 shares at an average price of S$0.532 per share, which increased his direct stake from 5.43 to 5.49 per cent. His preceding acquisition was on Feb 29, when he bought 1.25 million shares at S$0.425 per share.

His total interest in the specialised accommodation developer and manager is now 56.15 per cent, with deemed interests mostly through his 50 per cent shareholding interest in Centurion Global.

Loh is responsible for the formulation of corporate and business strategies and leads the execution of strategic growth plans of the group. He has over 20 years of experience in the investment and brokerage industry.  

Centurion owns and manages a strong portfolio of 34 operational accommodation assets totalling about 67,347 beds as at Mar 31.

On May 9, it reported a 30 per cent increase in revenue for Q1 2024, reaching S$61.1 million, compared to S$47.1 million in Q1 2023. This growth was attributed to positive rental rate revisions and higher occupancy rates in its global purpose-built workers accommodation and purpose-built student accommodation portfolios. 

The group’s portfolio in Singapore saw an increase in financial occupancy from 98 per cent in Q1 2023, to 99 per cent in Q1 2024, indicating a strong and sustained demand.

This rise in occupancy, coupled with tenancies being renewed at higher rental rates in the last quarter of 2023, resulted in a significant increase in revenue from S$30.5 million in the first quarter of 2023 to S$41.6 million in the same period in 2024.

Malaysia saw an expansion in capacity and maintained strong occupancy, with 5 per cent growth in local currency revenue, which was reduced to a 2 per cent decline when reported in Singapore dollars.

The UK experienced robust growth in revenue, driven by a supply-demand imbalance in student accommodation and successful rental revisions. The financial occupancy rates for properties in Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia, saw a notable increase from 80 per cent in Q1 2023 to 90 per cent in Q1 2024.

On May 16, Centurion announced that Centurion-Lionrock (HK), a subsidiary of Centurion Overseas Investments, secured a lease for 15 floors in a Hong Kong building to create a student accommodation facility with 89 beds.

This project, near two universities, is a joint venture with LionRock Property owning 40 per cent. The facility is scheduled for operation in September 2024, under the “dwell” student accommodation brand.

Hong Lai Huat 

On May 30, Hong Lai Huat Group deputy chairman and CEO Ong Bee Huat acquired five million shares at an average price of S$0.04 per share. With a consideration of S$200,000 the married deal increased his total interest in the real estate and property developer from 42.33 to 43.30 per cent.

Ong is the founder of the group and responsible for overall strategic direction and planning as well as business development.

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

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