In March 2021, 26 SGX primary-listed stocks bought back 58 million shares for a total consideration of S$71.8 million. This was up from 17 stocks conducting buybacks in February 2021 for a total consideration of S$49.7 million, and significantly less than the 65 stocks filing S$501.5 million amid the considerable market volatility in March 2020.
For 1Q21, there were 37 SGX primary-listed stocks that conducted buybacks over the quarter, with consideration totaling S$134 million. Over the quarter, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 11.3%, and the buyback consideration represented 0.01 per cent of the S$943.8 billion in market capitalisation of all stocks listed on SGX as of 31 March.
Wilmar International led the 1Q21 consideration tally, buying back 8,141,700 shares in the quarter at an average price of S$5.29. As of March 31, the leading agribusiness group had purchased 0.83 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) on the current mandate.
Total share buyback consideration for month of March 2021 totaled S$71.8 million, up from S$49.7 million in February (click here for more details), which in turn had also increased from from $12.4 million for January 2021 (click here for more details). The March 2021 buyback consideration was much lower year-on-year, with S$501.5 million in consideration reported for March 2020 amidst broad marklet volatility (click here for more details).
During March 2021, the Straits Times Index (“STI”) gained 7.3%, moving to 3,165.34 from 2,949.04 at the end of February. This brought the STI’s 1Q21 price gain to 11.3%, with dividends boosting the total return to 11.8%. This was the STI's strongest first quarter of a calendar year since 2012, and among 18 of the biggest regional and global benchmarks, the STI was the second best performer, closely following the Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index as discussed here.
The combined AUM of the SPDR® Straits Times Index ETF and the Nikko AM Singapore STI ETF ended March at S$2.28 billion compared to S$2.19 billion at the end of February 2021, and compared to S$1.11 billion at the end of March 2020, with the unit creations and redemptions generating S$691 million of net inflows into the two ETFs over the last 12 months.
There were 26 primary-listed stocks that bought back shares in March. Like in February and January, of the stocks conducting buybacks in March, Global Investments has bought back the largest percentage of its issued shares on the current mandate. Global Investments’ current buyback mandate has seen it purchase 4.71% of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) as of 31 March, with the preceding share buyback mandate seeing Global Investments buy back 8.52% of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares).
Wilmar International led the 1Q21 buyback consideration tally, buying back 8,141,700 shares in the quarter at an average price of S$5.29 as discussed here. As of March 31, the leading agribusiness group had purchased 0.83 per cent of its issued shares (excluding treasury shares) on the current mandate. As Wilmar International noted in its FY20 (ended Dec 31) Annual Report, during the 2020 year the company re-purchased 44.7 million of its ordinary shares for a consideration of S$190 million, at an average price of S$4.25 per share. The company also lodged the second highest buyback consideration for Singapore's primary listed stocks in the 2020 year, after DBS Group Holdings.
The table below summarises the buyback considerations in March 2021. 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.
|SGX Primary Listed Stocks
that Conducted Buybacks in March 2021
for Purchase in
|Total Number of
in March 2021
stamp duties, clearing
paid or payable
for the shares
|Cumulative Number of
in Mandate to date
(Excl. Treasury) purchased
in Mandate to date
|OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION||220,250,626||3,000,000||$35,133,870||$11.711||3,000,000||0.068|
|SIIC ENVIRONMENT HOLDINGS||260,281,772||11,524,000||$4,534,927||$0.394||23,303,000||0.895|
|MEDTECS INTERNATIONAL CORP||54,941,124||3,000,000||$2,850,142||$0.950||3,000,000||0.550|
|SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES ENGINEERING||62,429,441||545,000||$2,115,460||$3.882||7,950,000||0.255|
|STAMFORD LAND CORPORATION||78,296,238||905,900||$320,937||$0.354||1,033,600||0.132|
|FOOD EMPIRE HOLDINGS||53,597,249||279,200||$255,183||$0.914||3,762,800||0.702|
|HC SURGICAL SPECIALISTS||15,104,573||176,900||$76,146||$0.430||2,010,700||1.330|
|TREK 2000 INTERNATIONAL||31,945,342||673,800||$72,462||$0.108||4,610,400||1.440|
|GLOBAL PALM RESOURCES HOLDINGS||19,589,830||224,700||$32,509||$0.145||264,000||0.135|
|TUAN SING HOLDINGS||118,414,021||60,000||$19,588||$0.326||1,488,400||0.126|
|CHOO CHIANG HOLDINGS||20,800,000||70,000||$16,869||$0.241||197,600||0.095|
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.
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 semi-annual financial statements and one month immediately before the full-year financial statements.