Business

Kuok Khoon Hong and George Yeo boost Wilmar stakes


Institutions were net sellers of Singapore stocks in the five trading sessions up to Jun 13, with S$3.6 million of net institutional outflow, as 23 primary-listed companies conducted buybacks with a total consideration of S$88.8 million.

CapitaLand Investment (CLI) led the buyback consideration tally, purchasing close to 20 million shares at an average price of S$2.62 per share. Since Apr 25, CLI has bought back 1.2 per cent of the company’s issued shares (excluding treasury shares).

Leading the net institutional outflow over the five sessions were Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings, Singapore Airlines, CapitaLand Ascendas Reit, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Keppel, City Developments, Genting Singapore, Centurion Corp, ComfortDelGro Corp and Golden Agri-Resources.

Singtel, DBS, UOB, Seatrium, Jardine Cycle & Carriage, CLI, Great Eastern Holdings, Sats, Singapore Exchange and Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust led the net institutional inflow over the five sessions.

This brought the net institutional inflow in the second quarter of 2024 up to Jun 13 to S$264.5 million.

In the five trading sessions, 90 director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for close to 40 primary-listed stocks. Directors or chief executive officers filed 20 acquisitions and no disposals, while substantial shareholders filed six acquisitions and three disposals.

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Beng Kuang Marine

On Jun 6, a substantial shareholder of Beng Kuang Marine, Ginko-AGT Global Growth Fund, increased its direct interest in the company to above 7 per cent. The fund acquired 200,000 shares at an average price of S$0.18 per share.

AGT Partners is a local fund that adopts value-driven strategies, focusing on bottom-up stock picking with an emphasis on long-term growth appreciation. The Ginko-AGT Global Growth Fund emerged as a substantial shareholder of Beng Kuang on Apr 19, and increased its direct interest above the 6 per cent threshold on Apr 30.

Beng Kuang operates two core business divisions: infrastructure engineering (IE) and corrosion prevention (CP).

In the IE division, the group is focusing on growth opportunities within the marine and offshore energy market, as well as pursuing geographical diversification. In the CP segment, aside from the recurring CP services, the company has ventured into sales, leasing and rental activities of CP equipment across South-east Asia to generate new revenue streams.

Centurion Corp

On Jun 11, Centurion executive director and joint chairman David Loh acquired 20 million shares in a married deal at S$0.54 per share. This increased his direct stake from 5.49 per cent to 7.87 per cent.

His preceding acquisitions were between Jun 3 and 4, with 538,600 shares acquired at S$0.53 per share and on Feb 29, with 1.25 million shares acquired at S$0.425 per share. His total interest in the specialised accommodation developer and manager is now 58.53 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. 

Wilmar International

Between Jun 11 and 12, Wilmar International chairman and chief executive officer Kuok Khoon Hong grew his deemed interest in the global agribusiness by 1,278,300 shares at S$3.08 a share. This increased his total interest from 14.07 per cent to 14.09 per cent.

He has gradually increased his total interest in Wilmar from 12.94 per cent in October 2022.

He has served as the chairman of Wilmar since July 2006, and maintains more than 50 years of extensive experience in the agribusiness industry, with involvement in the grains, edible oils and oilseeds businesses.

The agribusiness industry has undergone significant changes since the 1970s, having come through various global trends and challenges. From the expansion of global trade and technological advancements to the increasing importance of sustainability and climate change impacts, the sector has had to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Today, agribusinesses are not only focused on production, but also on innovative practices that meet the demands of a growing population, even as they address environmental concerns.

Wilmar announced in its FY23 Annual Sustainability Report, released May 30, that it successfully secured an additional US$200 million sustainability-linked trade finance facility from Standard Chartered in January 2023. This brought the aggregate amount of sustainability-linked financing secured from various financial institutions, such as OCBC, UOB and The Bank of East Asia, to approximately US$3.4 billion as at December 2023. It bagged its first sustainability-linked loan in 2017.

The group also reiterated that it had made significant progress in analysing its emissions footprint, including completing the mapping of the group’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to determine its total GHG emissions for the new baseline year of 2022.

The group is also identifying the key categories in its Scope 3 GHG emissions for inclusion in its Science-Based Target initiative commitment, which it signed up to in 2022.

Wilmar also continues to be the only Singapore company under the Food Products category included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World Index.

On Jun 7, Wilmar non-executive and independent director George Yeo acquired 200,000 shares at an average price of S$3.11 a share. With a consideration of S$621,000, this increased his direct interest in the global agribusiness from 400,000 to 600,000 shares.

He was appointed to the board of Wilmar on Apr 19.

On Jun 10, he also acquired 15,000 shares of Creative Technology at S$1.26 a share. Yeo became a director of Creative in 2021, and the acquisition increased his direct interest in the company from 210,350 to 225,350 shares.  

Yeo is also an independent non-executive director of AIA Group, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and Pinduoduo, which is listed on Nasdaq. He is also adviser to Brunswick for its geopolitical initiative, Singapore’s V3 Group, Huawei International in Singapore, Winning International Group, Gurin Energy and Salim Group.  

Yeo was with Kerry Group in Hong Kong from 2012 to 2021. He was chairman and executive director of Kerry Logistics Network from 2012 to 2019. From September 1988 to May 2011, he served 23 years in the Singapore government, and was Minister for Information and the Arts, Minister for Health, Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Raffles Medical Group

Between Jun 6 and 12, Raffles Medical Group executive chairman Loo Choon Yong acquired 3.1 million shares at an average price of S$1.02 a share. This increased his total interest from 54.41 to 54.58 per cent.

Since late February, he has been gradually increasing his total interest in the stock from 53.02 per cent.

Stamford Land Corp

Stamford Land Corp executive chairman Ow Chio Kiat increased his total interest from 45.86 to 45.88 per cent, acquiring 246,800 shares at S$0.40 a share between Jun 6 and 11.

He also increased his total interest in Singapore Shipping Corp, where he is executive chairman. He raised his interest in the group from 43.04 to 43.05 per cent between Jun 6 and 12.

Guocoland

On Jun 10, Guocoland chairman and non-independent non-executive director Quek Leng Chan marginally increased his deemed interest, with a purchase on the open market by Associated Land Sendirian. He picked up 56,000 shares at an average price of S$1.50 a share.

He maintains a 71.85 per cent deemed interest in the leading real estate group, which is focused on its twin engines of growth in property investment and property development.

LHT Holdings

On Jun 7, LHT Holdings managing director Yap Mui Kee acquired 36,200 shares at an average price of S$1.21 a share. With a consideration of S$43,849, this took her direct interest in the home-grown pallet manufacturer from 18.20 to 18.26 per cent.

She has been increasing her direct interest in LHT from 14.12 per cent since August 2021.

The writer is the market strategist at Singapore Exchange (SGX). To read SGX’s market research reports, visit sgx.com/research.



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