SGX Market Updates

SGX Share Buyback Activity Normalised in April as STI Rebounded 6%


04 May 2020

  • In April, almost 40 SGX primary-listed stocks bought back shares for a total consideration of S$36 million. This was lower than the S$501 million in consideration for March 2020, and in-line with the S$36 million consideration filed for April 2019.

  • OCBC, Hong Fok Corporation, SPH, Silverlake Axis and Global Investments led the April consideration tally, accounting for 72% of the total consideration. Global Investments has bought back 6.7% of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) on the current mandate.

  • 5 stocks commenced buyback mandates in April: SATS, Chuan Hup Holdings, Ellipsiz, Chip Eng Seng Corporation and Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group. SATS bought back 535,000 shares in April at an average price of S$2.934 per share. 

Total share buyback consideration for month of April 2020 totaled S$36.3 million, down from S$501.5 million in March 2020 (see Market Declines Saw 65 Stocks Conduct Share Buybacks in March 2020) and similar to S$35.5 million in April 2019. This has brought the total consideration of share buybacks for SGX primary-listed stocks to S$635 million for the first four months of 2020, up from the S$590 million in consideration for the entire calendar year of 2019 (see SGX Primary-Listed Stocks Bought Back S$590 Million in Shares in 2019).

SGX Monthly Share Buybacks

The Straits Times Index (STI) gained 5.8% in April, rising to 2,624.23 as its 10-day historical volatility declined to 18%, from 80% at the end of March. This brought the STI’s decline in total return for the first four months of 2020 to 18.1%, with the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index declining 19.8%.

Together, the SPDR® STI ETF and Nikko AM STI ETF garnered net creations of S$320 million over the first four months of 2020 as investors accumulated units amidst the market declines. The S$320 million was is up 82% from the total net creations of S$176 million for the entire 2019 year.

Singapore Exchange has been the strongest of the STI constituents over the four months with 9.9% total return, whilst SATS has seen the biggest decline in total return, with a decline of 35.2% over the four months. SATS decline over the four months trimmed its 10-year annualised total return to 6.5%. 

SATS was also one of five stocks to commence new share buyback mandates in April. The company bought its shares back over five sessions spanning 1 April to 7 April, buying back a total of 535,000 shares at an average price of S$2.93 per share (including stamp duties, clearing changes etc.). According to filings, Chuan Hup Holdings, Ellipsiz, Chip Eng Seng Corporation and Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group also commenced new buyback mandates.

April 2020 Buybacks Consideration Normalises to S$36 Million

A total of 38 primary-listed stocks conducted buybacks in Singapore in April, down from 65 in March, and up from 17 stocks in February.

Global Investments’ current mandate has seen the company buy back 6.67% of its issued shares excluding treasury shares as of the date of the approved buy back resolution on 25 April 2019. The company has seen its share price decline by 9.3% in the first four months of 2020, and has also proposed the renewal of the Share Buyback Mandate at the AGM currently scheduled for 29 June 2020.

The table below summarises the buyback considerations in April 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. The five companies that commenced buyback mandates are in bold.

Stocks that
conducted Share
buybacks in
April 2020
Number of
Authorised for
Purchase in
Current Mandate
Total Number of
Purchased in
April 2020
Total Buyback
Consideration (including
stamp duties, clearing
changes etc.) paid
or payable for the
shares in April 2020
Average Share Price
Paid (including stamp
duties, clearing
changes etc.)
Cumulative Number
of Shares/units purchased
in Mandate to
30 April 2020
OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION 212,257,935 1,930,000 $16,700,436 8.653 17,225,800
HONG FOK CORPORATION 86,147,124 4,865,200 $3,365,461 0.692 13,087,000
SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS 159,456,338 1,567,600 $2,297,446 1.466 2,617,600
SILVERLAKE AXIS 264,505,273 7,406,500 $1,848,543 0.250 55,695,800
GLOBAL INVESTMENTS 168,741,864 14,629,600 $1,835,463 0.125 112,518,400
SATS 22,363,142 535,000 $1,569,768 2.934 535,000
SINGAPORE EXCHANGE 107,164,240 150,200 $1,469,168 9.781 1,106,100
KEPPEL INFRASTRUCTURE TRUST 249,707,588 3,300,000 $1,351,012 0.409 4,750,000
HRNETGROUP 100,581,957 2,849,400 $1,229,762 0.432 7,758,600
LUM CHANG HOLDINGS 38,048,630 2,892,300 $957,233 0.331 3,798,200
SINGAPORE REINSURANCE CORPORATION 60,521,978 2,292,900 $619,766 0.270 7,748,600
Q & M DENTAL GROUP (SINGAPORE) 78,562,192 1,375,000 $507,662 0.369 4,153,200
OUE 90,151,586 460,000 $460,008 1.000 904,200
CHUAN HUP HOLDINGS 92,827,285 1,974,800 $387,771 0.196 1,974,800
IFAST CORPORATION 26,812,292 250,000 $196,201 0.785 600,000
BUMITAMA AGRI 173,749,704 500,000 $194,545 0.389 3,353,000
CHINA SUNSINE CHEMICAL HOLDINGS 98,262,340 612,300 $181,001 0.296 10,361,800
GSH CORPORATION 195,893,335 783,200 $155,589 0.199 1,999,800
SARINE TECHNOLOGIES 35,059,572 563,800 $116,308 0.206 613,800
PEC 25,496,522 273,100 $112,673 0.413 321,400
TUAN SING HOLDINGS 118,620,496 489,000 $107,973 0.221 5,813,200
ELLIPSIZ 16,712,818 399,800 $106,830 0.267 399,800
NORDIC GROUP 39,251,910 421,900 $87,171 0.207 2,328,100
OKP HOLDINGS 30,843,059 425,400 $71,371 0.168 801,200
KOUFU GROUP 55,516,300 100,000 $56,084 0.561 546,600
GKE CORPORATION 78,853,189 938,000 $51,068 0.054 4,050,300
CHIP ENG SENG CORPORATION 62,601,406 92,800 $46,479 0.501 92,800
SINARMAS LAND 425,586,249 300,000 $45,348 0.151 703,100
KODA 8,251,362 90,000 $36,774 0.409 160,000
EUROSPORTS GLOBAL 26,220,160 275,000 $30,430 0.111 964,000
KSH HOLDINGS 56,813,564 100,000 $29,600 0.296 3,373,400
ZHONGMIN BAIHUI RETAIL GROUP 19,182,570 30,000 $18,949 0.632 30,000
BOUSTEAD SINGAPORE 48,968,653 30,000 $17,436 0.581 7,624,700
JAPAN FOODS HOLDING 17,360,290 50,000 $14,584 0.292 135,700
ST GROUP FOOD INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS 24,600,000 45,000 $10,169 0.226 3,296,500
STAMFORD LAND CORPORATION 81,973,408 20,000 $6,019 0.301 36,771,700
STARBURST HOLDINGS 12,114,546 9,700 $3,327 0.343 777,500
EXCELPOINT TECHNOLOGY 11,919,284 5,000 $1,944 0.389 19,400
Total   53,032,500 $36,297,370    

>Source: Bloomberg, SGX (Data as of 30 April 2020)

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 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 is 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.

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