FOR the five local trading sessions that spanned Jan 15 to 21, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.6 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index averaging 1.8 per cent gains.

This has brought the STI’s total return for the 2021 year to Jan 21 to 6.5 per cent.

Within the STI, DBS Group Holdings, OCBC and Wilmar International have seen the highest net institutional inflows in the 2021 year to Jan 21, while outside the STI, the highest net institutional inflows were logged by technology trio Fu Yu Corporation, AEM Holdings and UMS Holdings.

Over the five sessions, the iEdge S-Reit Leaders Index gained 1.3 per cent, bringing its total return for the 2021 year to Jan 21 to 4.0 per cent.

Among the business trusts, stapled trusts and Reits of the S-Reit sector, Keppel Reit, Ascendas India Trust and Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust were recipients of the highest net institutional inflow in the 2020 year to Jan 21.

Share buybacks

There were 10 primary-listed stocks conducting share buybacks over the five sessions with a total consideration of S$2.0 million.

With a significant number of companies reporting full-year results this earnings season, there is an evident slowdown in buyback activity, with the declining trend reflected by the S$4.1 million filed the week before, and S$6.1 million filed the week before that.

OUE bought back 1,100,800 shares for a consideration of S$1.3 million at an average price of S$1.18 per share.

As of Jan 21, the current buyback mandate has seen OUE purchase 2.1 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) as of the date of the current share buyback resolution.

This compared to OUE buying back just 0.1 per cent of its shares in the previous buyback mandate.

Global Investments bought back 2.9 million shares for a consideration of S$421,048, at an average price of 14.52 cents per share.

As of Jan 21, its current buyback mandate had seen it purchase 3.73 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) on the current mandate.

The preceding share buyback mandate saw Global Investments buy back 8.52 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares).

Director and substantial shareholder transactions

The five trading sessions saw over 80 changes in director interests and substantial shareholdings filed for more than 30 primary-listed stocks.

This included nine company director acquisitions, with 11 disposals filed, and substantial shareholders filing as many as 21 acquisitions and 11 disposals.

Grand Venture Technology

On Jan 14, Metalbank Singapore (Metalbank) entered into a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) to sell 7.52 million ordinary shares of Grand Venture Technology (GVT) to Sunshine Ventures (Sunshine).

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With a consideration of S$2,481,600, Sunshine bought the 7.52 million shares at 33 cents per share. Completion under the SPA occurred on the same day.

Under the SPA, Sunshine has provided an undertaking that it shall not sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of the sale shares (save to its related corporations) for a period of 12 months from the date of completion of the sale.

GVT executive chairman Ricky Lee Tiam Nam, CEO Julian Ng Wai Yuen and COO Tan Chun Siong collectively own approximately 66.9 per cent of total share capital of Metalbank.

GVT noted that the two directors and Mr Tan would not be receiving any part of the sale proceeds (whether directly or indirectly, in cash or otherwise) in their capacity as shareholders of Metalbank.

Following the transaction, Mr Lee’s total interest in GVT stood at 45.74 per cent.

The SPA on Jan 14 followed the announcement of a conditional placement agreement with NT SPV 12 for the allotment and issue of an aggregate of 71,527,000 new ordinary shares in the capital of GVT on Jan 12.

The aggregate consideration of the placement is S$23,603,910 (also at 33 cents per share), representing 23.4 per cent of the enlarged share capital of GVT.

NT SPV 12 is a limited liability company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and is a wholly owned subsidiary of private equity fund Novo Tellus PE Fund 2, LP.

Grand Venture Technology is a manufacturing solutions and service provider for the semiconductor, analytical life sciences, electronics and other industries, with operations in Singapore, Malaysia (Penang) and China (Suzhou).

As highlighted in a 10 in 10 interview with the Singapore Exchange Research Team in December, GVT has enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years with its products progressing from incubation stage to mass production, revenue in FY19 (ended Dec 30) more than doubled and net assets grew nearly tenfold.

Excluding share issuances, net assets grew approximately fivefold since FY16.

Lian Beng Group

Between Jan 18 and 20, Ong Sek Chong & Sons acquired 902,000 shares of Lian Beng Group.

The consideration of the three acquisition filings was S$403,899 at an average price of 44.8 cents per share.

This took the total interest of Ong Sek Chong & Sons in the homegrown construction group from 31.27 per cent to 31.45 per cent.

It followed acquisitions of 1,264,600 shares at an average price of 39.92 cents per share between Oct 1 and 7 last year.

Ong Sek Chong & Sons’ total interest in Lian Beng Group has gradually increased from 29.62 per cent in August 2019.

Lian Beng Group chairman and managing director, Ong Pang Aik, and executive director, Ong Lay Huan maintain deemed interests in Ong Sek Chong & Sons.

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Mr Ong Pang Aik now maintains a 37.18 per cent total interest in Lian Beng, while Ms Ong Lay Huan maintains a 34.66 total interest.

Mr Ong joined the group in 1978 and was instrumental in growing the business from its early days as a subcontractor into an A1-graded building construction enterprise registered with BCA today.

On Jan 15, Lian Beng Group announced that Lian Beng Consortium would be acquiring BreadTalk IHQ for S$118 million in a sale-and-leaseback deal.

Located at 30 Tai Seng Street, the 10-storey BreadTalk IHQ Building is a single-user industrial development with a retail component located in the Tai Seng industrial precinct. It has a gross floor area of approximately 248,902 square feet, including the commercial retail units.

Mr Ong noted that the acquisition will extend the group’s investment footprint in industrial real estate and help to diversify its property portfolio.

PropNex

Both the PropNex executive chairman and an executive director filed acquisitions in the stock over the five trading sessions.

Between Jan 14 and 15, PropNex co-founder, executive chairman and CEO Mohamed Ismail Gafoor acquired 500,000 shares of the listed company for a consideration of S$387,345.

At an average price of 77.5 cents per share, the acquisition took his total interest in Singapore’s largest listed real estate agency from 64.68 per cent to 64.82 per cent.

The majority of Mr Ismail’s deemed stake is via his 62 per cent ownership of P&N Holdings and this followed his preceding acquisition of 400,000 shares at 52.5 cents per share on July 22.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the real estate industry, he has an intimate understanding of the industry.

He is responsible for the group’s strategic direction and oversees business operations of the group, including functions such as compliance, finance, human resources, legal, and marketing, operations, sales and information technology.

Between Jan 18 and 20, PropNex executive director Kelvin Fong Keng Seong acquired 422,800 shares of the company, for a consideration of S$348,098, at an average price of 82.3 cents per share.

This took his total interest in PropNex from 8.30 per cent to 8.42 per cent.

The transactions followed Mr Fong’s acquisition of 167,500 shares at 72.5 cents per share on Dec 2 and 112,800 shares acquired at 63.1 cents per share on Oct 22.

Mr Fong oversees the group’s training development curriculum, and administers the development of IT strategies and technology innovations to improve the group’s competitive edge in the industry.

While PropNex adapted its marketing approach quickly to safe distancing measures when the Covid-19 pandemic first struck, it was also a first mover in adopting digital technology to engage consumers and salespersons. These included online consumer seminars and virtual property expos.

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Back in November, PropNex reported its 9MFY20 (ended Sept 30) revenue grew 24.6 per cent year on year to S$360.0 million, with a 78.7 per cent growth in NPAT to S$23.2 million over the same comparative period.

Mr Ismail noted that PropNex saw 1,329 new private homes (excluding executive condos) transacted in September, marking the highest monthly sale in more than two years.

He added that this was also the fifth straight month of increase in terms of transactions in the new launches segment.

In 2020, the PropNex share price rallied 51 per cent, ending the year at 78 cents.

Over the course of the calendar year, the stock also paid 3.75 cents in dividends. The group is due to report FY20 results at the end of February.

Enviro-Hub Holdings

Between Jan 14 and 18, Enviro-Hub Holdings executive chairman Raymond Ng acquired 1.2 million shares of the environmental management solutions group for a consideration of S$114,800.

This took his total stake in the stock from 33.71 per cent to 33.81 per cent.

Mr Ng is responsible for the group’s overall management, business development, investment decisions as well as strategic direction and planning.

He has also been instrumental in spearheading the group’s new business transformation into an environmental hub and has accumulated over 33 years of experience in the recycling and e-waste management & recovery business.

He is also a property developer with more than 18 years of industry experience.

Ban Leong Technologies

Between Jan 14 and 15, Ban Leong Technologies managing director Ronald Teng Woo Boon acquired 163,000 shares of the company for a consideration of S$39,120 at 24.0 cents per share.

This took his total interest in Ban Leong Technologies from 25.73 per cent to 25.88 per cent.

His preceding acquisition was on Sept 22 with 29,000 shares bought at 22 cents per share.

Mr Teng is the founder of the group and plays an important role in managing the overall business operations.

His responsibilities include formulating and executing the group’s business strategies and policies as well as charting its growth. He also spearheads the sales and marketing function of the group.

On Nov 6, the group reported a 17.3 per cent year-on-year increase in H1FY21 (ended Sept 30) revenue and 153.3 per cent increase in profit after taxation.

Attributing this to stronger demand for video collaboration tools mainly driven by the rising work from home and learn from home trends, the group also noted that the demand for gaming accessories also improved due to the popularity of online video games amid the pandemic-led stay at home environment.

  • 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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