In March, 65 SGX primary-listed stocks bought back shares for a total consideration of S$502 million. This was the highest monthly consideration since S$544 million in consideration was reported for the month of August 2015.
The $502 million in buyback consideration was equivalent to 0.07% of Singapore’s total market capitalisation at the end of March. DBS, OCBC and UOB led the consideration tally, accounting for 88% of the total consideration.
As many as 34 stocks commenced buyback mandates in March, with UOB, Golden-Agri, Oxley Holdings, First Resources, UMS Holdings, Singapore Reinsurance Corporation, Bumitama Agri and Q & M Dental Group buying back more than S$1 million in consideration.
Total share buyback consideration for month of March surged to S$502 million, which represents a 55 month high since S$544 million was reported for buyback consideration in August 2015. This has brought the total consideration of share buybacks for SGX primary-listed stocks to S$600 million in 1Q20, eclipsing the more than S$590 million in consideration for the entire calendar year of 2019 (see 16 Companies Stocks Bought Back S$30 Million in Shares in January 2020 for more details).
The Straits Times Index (STI) declined 17.6% in the month to 2,481.23. The STI 30 day volatility also climbed to 51.7% on 31 March, the highest level it has seen since December 2008. This brought the STI’s price decline to 23.0% for 1Q20, with the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index declining 27.2%.
March 2020 Buybacks at S$502 Million
A total of 65 primary-listed stocks conducted buybacks in Singapore in March, up significantly from 16 stocks in January and 17 stocks in February. Share buyback transactions involve share issuers repurchasing some of their outstanding shares from shareholders through the open market. Once the shares are bought back, they can be converted into treasury shares, which means they are no longer categorised as shares outstanding. Motivations for share buybacks can include employee compensation plans (such as share option schemes or employee share purchase plans) or long term capital management. Buybacks can pick up amidst market declines that are driven by broader moves on international macroeconomic developments.
The table below summarises the buyback considerations in March 2020. The table is sorted by the value of the total consideration amount for the month, which combines the amount of shares or units purchased and the purchasing price of the transactions. Companies that commenced buyback mandates are in bold.
|Primary-listed Stocks that conducted Share buybacks in March 2020||Number of
stamp duties, clearing
changes etc.) paid
or payable for
the shares in
Share Price Paid
Mandate to 31 March
|DBS GROUP HOLDINGS||51,165,438||19,650,000||$388,382,465||$19.765||25,550,000|
|OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION||212,257,935||3,915,800||$34,662,535||$8.852||15,295,800|
|UNITED OVERSEAS BANK||83,287,115||993,300||$19,954,908||$20.090||993,300|
|SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES ENGINEERING||62,432,801||1,000,000||$3,451,977||$3.452||8,299,100|
|HONG FOK CORPORATION||86,147,124||5,866,500||$3,231,873||$0.551||8,221,800|
|SINGAPORE SHIPPING CORPORATION||42,417,689||6,692,400||$1,748,701||$0.261||24,186,600|
|KEPPEL REIT MANAGEMENT||170,210,715||1,813,500||$1,550,370||$0.855||63,118,472|
|SINGAPORE REINSURANCE CORPORATION||60,521,978||5,455,700||$1,476,351||$0.271||5,455,700|
|Q & M DENTAL GROUP (SINGAPORE)||78,562,192||2,778,200||$1,030,136||$0.371||2,778,200|
|CHINA SUNSINE CHEMICAL HOLDINGS||98,262,340||2,768,800||$813,890||$0.294||9,749,500|
|STAMFORD LAND CORPORATION||81,973,408||1,483,900||$609,392||$0.411||36,751,700|
|KEPPEL INFRASTRUCTURE TRUST||249,707,588||1,450,000||$595,263||$0.411||1,450,000|
|THE HOUR GLASS||70,501,188||1,000,000||$567,025||$0.567||1,030,000|
|NAM LEE PRESSED METAL INDUSTRIES||24,374,408||1,687,700||$531,544||$0.315||1,687,700|
|PACIFIC CENTURY REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS||264,974,030||1,590,100||$460,044||$0.289||1,590,100|
|ST GROUP FOOD INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS||24,600,000||1,805,700||$428,754||$0.237||3,251,500|
|THE STRAITS TRADING COMPANY||40,767,817||165,900||$307,302||$1.852||737,600|
|FOOD EMPIRE HOLDINGS||53,426,699||600,000||$306,950||$0.512||1,024,500|
|TIONG SENG HOLDINGS||45,962,384||2,233,100||$268,766||$0.120||2,233,100|
|LUM CHANG HOLDINGS||38,048,630||905,900||$267,733||$0.296||905,900|
|TUAN SING HOLDINGS||118,620,496||990,200||$236,995||$0.239||5,444,200|
|SINGAPORE MEDICAL GROUP||48,072,163||445,000||$84,486||$0.190||584,000|
|JAPAN FOODS HOLDING||17,360,290||85,700||$24,997||$0.292||85,700|
|KIM HENG OFFSHORE & MARINE HOLDINGS||70,883,230||475,000||$10,729||$0.023||625,000|
According to information in the company filings, new mandates were commenced for United Overseas Bank, Golden Agri-Resources, Oxley Holdings, First Resources, UMS Holdings, Singapore Reinsurance Corporation, Bumitama Agri, Q & M Dental Group (Singapore), KSH Holdings, GRP, Keppel Infrastructure Trust, OUE, Nam Lee Pressed Metal Industries, Pacific Century Regional Developments, ComfortDelGro Corporation, GSH Corporation, iFAST Corporation, Tiong Seng Holdings, Lum Chang Holdings, GKE Corporation, Jumbo Group, Amplefield, Kimly, ISOteam, Sinarmas Land, OKP Holdings, Koda, Japan Foods Holding, PEC, Sarine Technologies, SHS Holdings , MTQ Corporation and Excelpoint Technology.
The date of the relevant share buyback mandate is also provided in the table above, in addition to the amount of shares authorised to be bought back under the mandate. The total number of shares purchased under the mandate and the percentage of the companies that issued shares that have been repurchased under the mandate are also provided.
Share buyback information can be found on the company disclosure page on the SGX website, using the Announcement category and sub-category of Share Buy Back-On Market. As best practice, companies should refrain from buying back their shares during the two weeks immediately before its quarterly financial statements and one month immediately before the full-year financial statements.