Monday, December 27, 2010

Director trades flat and buyback activity is down

THE trading among directors was flat last week based on filings on the exchange from Dec 20-24 with 21 companies that recorded 45 purchases worth $5.5 million versus eight firms with 12 disposals worth $6.2 million. The number of companies and trades on the buying side were not far off from the previous week's 18 firms and 49 acquisitions. The buy value, however, was sharply down from the previous week's purchases worth $11.4 million. The sales, on the other hand, were consistent with the previous week's 10 companies, 13 trades, and $8.9 million.


The buyback activity among listed firms fell with only nine firms that posted 23 repurchases worth $5.7 million. The figures were down from the previous week's 13 companies, 30 trades, and $20.9 million.


There were several significant trades in the local market last week. On the buying side, there were insider buys in Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments, Chuan Hup Holdings, and Mann Seng Metal International. On the substantial shareholders' front, there was a rare buy in Tung Lok Restaurants while The Capital Group Companies acquired more shares of recently-listed Amtek Engineering at a higher price last week. The Capital Group Companies was not entirely positive as the fund manager unloaded more shares of CapitaMalls Asia Limited at a lower price. Lastly, there have been conflicting trades in Hotung Investment since October.


Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments


Chairman and CEO Choo Yeow Ming resumed buying shares of the memorial parks and columbariums operator at lower than his acquisition prices earlier this year with 250,000 shares purchased on Dec 20 at $1.60 each. The trade increased his direct holdings to 11.915 million shares, or 20.08 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 1.06 million shares from June 18-30 at an average of $1.99 each. Another shareholder that resumed buying at a lower price this quarter is The Nassim Fund with 604,000 shares purchased on Oct 25 at an estimated price of $1.65 each. The trade boosted its deemed stake by 9 per cent to 7.724 million shares, or 13.02 per cent. The group previously acquired 245,000 shares from April 20-29 at an estimated average price of $2.18 each. Prior to its acquisitions this year, the fund manager acquired 1.37 million shares from April 2008 to February 2009 at estimated prices of $1.45-2.95 each. The stock closed at $1.60 last Friday.


Chuan Hup Holdings


Executive director Peh Kwee Chim acquired more shares of the marine transport equipment services provider with 172,000 shares purchased on Dec 24 at 23 cents each. The trade increased his direct holdings to 317.83 million shares, or 34.05 per cent. He also has deemed interest of 151.83 million shares, or 16.26 per cent. He previously acquired 835,000 shares from Dec 1-2 at 23 cents each. The purchases by Mr Peh this month are significant as those are his first on-market trades since 2007. The rare acquisitions were made on the back of the 34 per cent drop in the share price since January from 35 cents. Prior to his trades this month, Mr Peh acquired 177.74 million shares from January to May 2007 at an average of 33 cents each. There were also buybacks by the company earlier this year with 11.54 million shares purchased from Jan 4 to Aug 16 at 26-35 cents each or an average of 34 cents each. The stock closed at 23.5 cents last Friday.


Mann Seng Metal International


Executive chairman Chan Kee Sieng and executive director Chan Kit Moi recorded the first on-market trades in the OEM contract manufacturer since the stock was listed on May 7 with a combined 215,000 shares purchased from Dec 22-23 at 19 cents each. The purchase price was below the IPO price of 25 cents. The chairman acquired an initial 85,000 shares, or 0.09 per cent of the issued capital (direct interest) on Dec 23 while the director purchased an initial 130,000 shares, or 0.14 per cent (direct interest) on Dec 22. The stock last closed at 19 cents.


Tung Lok Restaurants


Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing recorded its first on-market trade in the restaurant chain operator since subscribing for an initial 20 million shares in April 2004 at 13.5 cents each with 1.23 million shares purchased on Dec 17 at an estimated price of 22.5 cents each. The trade increased its direct holdings to 21.23 million shares, or 15.17 per cent. Also positive earlier this year were chairman Tjioe Ka Men, Goodview Properties Pte Ltd, and Antica Capital Pte Ltd. The chairman purchased 234,000 shares on Aug 6 via married deal at 19 cents each, which boosted his holdings (direct and deemed) to 54.3 million shares or 38.8 per cent. He previously acquired 915,000 shares from July 2002 to December 2009 at 16 cents to 10 cents each or an average of 13.7 cents each. Goodview Properties, on the other hand, picked up 6.86 million shares on July 19 at an estimated price of 19 cents each, which increased its direct holdings to 26.86 million shares, or 19.19 per cent. The group previously acquired an initial 20 million shares or 14.29 per cent via married deal on May 17 at 19 cents each. Lastly, Antica Capital acquired an initial 12 million shares, or 8.57 per cent, on Aug 24 at 20 cents each. The stock closed at 21 cents last Friday.


Amtek Engineering


The Capital Group Companies, Inc acquired more shares of the recently-listed precision components designer and manufacturer at a higher price with 4.4 million shares purchased on Dec 17 at $1.12 each. The trade increased its deemed holdings to 34.41 million shares, or 6.3 per cent. The group previously acquired an initial 29.99 million shares, or 5.52 per cent, when the stock was listed on Dec 1 at an estimated price of $1.03 each. Also positive this month is Aranda Investments with an initial filing on Dec 2 of 2.9 million shares at $1.01 each, which increased its direct holdings to 29.3 million shares, or 5.39 per cent (Aranda Investments is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seletar Investments which is ultimately owned by Temasek Holdings). Investors should note that the purchase prices by The Capital Group Companies and Aranda Investments were below the IPO price of $1.30. The stock closed at $1.07 last Friday.


CapitaMalls Asia Limited


The Capital Group Companies, Inc unloaded more shares of the real estate investor and developer and mall operator at a lower price with 40.25 million shares sold on Dec 16 at an estimated price of $1.85 each. The trade reduced its deemed holdings to 383.16 million shares, or 9.87 per cent. The group previously sold 12.59 million shares on July 8 at an estimated price of $2.07 each. The disposals by The Capital Group Companies since July were made at below its purchase prices based on the 62.6 million shares that it acquired from Jan 26 to Feb 12 at estimated prices of $2.28 to $2.21 each. The Capital Group Companies reported an initial filing on Nov 25, 2009 of 34 million shares at $2.26 each, which raised its interest to 5.4 per cent. Investors should note that The Capital Group Companies' sale prices were lower than the IPO price in November 2009 of $2.12. The stock closed at $1.88 last Friday.


Hotung Investment Holdings


There are conflicting trades in the investment management firm this quarter with buybacks by the company and purchases by Tai Lung Capital Inc versus sales by Third Avenue Management LLC (TAM). Hotung Investment repurchased 20.3 million shares from Nov 18 to Dec 23 at an average of 10.5 US cents. The company previously acquired 13.5 million shares from April 27 to May 7 at an average of 13.5 US cents each. Prior to the repurchases this year, the company bought back 66.46 million shares from August 2006 to September 2009 at 7.6-12.2 US cents each. Tai Lung Capital, on the other hand, turned positive after selling 4.2 million shares from June 21 to July 16 at an average of 11.3 US cents each with 12.19 million shares purchased from Dec 17-24 at estimated prices of 11.5-13 US cents each, which increased its direct holdings to 155.849 million shares, or 14.5 per cent. The group also has deemed interest of 18.94 million shares, or 1.77 per cent. Prior to the trades since July, Tai Lung Capital acquired 5.4 million shares from March 12-18 at 12 US cents each. Investors should note that the buybacks by the company and purchases by Tai Lung Capital since November totalling 32.49 million shares accounted for 25 per cent of the stock's trading volume. TAM, on the other hand, sold 40.35 million shares from Oct 31 to Dec 17 at estimated prices of 10-11.5 US cents each, which lowered its deemed holdings to 83.2 million shares, or 7.7 per cent. The group also sold 21.17 million shares from June 29 to Sept 30 at an estimated average price of 10.4 US cents each. Overall, the fund manager's stake is down by 61.5 million shares since June. The stock closed at 13 US cents last Friday.

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