Share buyback reached $43 million in first half of July

A file picture of the Singapore Exchange. Listed companies here bought back shares worth millions, the Exchange said in a report released on Wednesday. PHOTO: SPH

SINGAPORE - Listed companies here bought back some S$43 million of shares in just the first half of this month, a report released Wednesday by the Singapore Exchange said.

Between July 1 and July 15, a total of 63,339,500 shares were repurchased by 22 stocks, with a total consideration of S$42.8 million. This was almost double the $23.3 million outlay of share buybacks in the same period last year.

Companies typically conduct share buybacks to reduce the number of share on the market to sustain or drive up their share value. They are carried out either to reward shareholders or to bolster falling stock prices.

Top movers this month were Genting Singapore, Pacific Century Regional Developments, and Noble Group.

In the first half of July, Genting Singapore - which in April received the shareholder approval for share buyback - repurchased 18,822,600 shares worth over S$16.8 million. The gaming operator has thus far bought back 0.31 per cent of its issued shares since April.

A buyback resolution was also passed for Pacific Century in April. Since then the property firm has bought back 1.7 per cent of the company's issued share. In the first half of July, the company repurchased 19,047,000 shares for a total consideration of S$8.6 million.

Noble Group bought back 11,488,500 shares worth S$8.4 million in the same period, pushing the total volume of its buyback to 2.16 per cent of its issued shares. The embattled commodity firm has conducted a total of nine rounds of buybacks since June, which market watchers saw as a move to stabilise its free-falling share prices.

In an interview with the Straits Times this week, Noble chief executive Yusuf Alireza stressed that the buybacks were to deliver shareholder value, as the company has ample cash to invest on its own shares at a low book value.

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