Share buybacks here hit 3-month high in June

The SGX cemtre along Shenton Way.
The SGX cemtre along Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

Listed companies piled into share buybacks last month to send levels to a three-month high, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) reported yesterday.

It noted that 33 firms bought 74.6 million of their shares for a total outlay of $174 million - up from the 45.1 million shares worth $137.9 million that 20 companies repurchased in May.

The jump last month came amid a softer share market, with the benchmark Straits Times Index slipping 4.7 per cent in the month.

Blue chips dominated the scene, said the SGX's My Gateway investor education portal, with 81 per cent of buyback value coming from just five stocks - CapitaLand, United Overseas Bank, Keppel Corporation, OCBC Bank and Sats.

CapitaLand topped the chart, with $60.8 million in shares repurchased.

Mun Siong Engineering and CDW Holding were among those firms holding their first buybacks last month.

There is still room for more action.

ON THE RISE

Keeping to the downtrend in equity prices, buyback activities certainly remained on the rise and could find this sustaining into July, particularly with the anticipation for trade tensions to continue clouding the market outlook.

IG ASIA ANALYST PAN JINGYI

IG Asia analyst Pan Jingyi said: "Keeping to the downtrend in equity prices, buyback activities certainly remained on the rise and could find this sustaining into July, particularly with the anticipation for trade tensions to continue clouding the market outlook."

She noted that the sell-off has come on the back of weaker sentiment, "with little profound impact on economic fundamentals yet".

CMC Markets Singapore analyst Margaret Yang said more buybacks "doesn't mean that the market has come to the bottom".

She called the rise a sign that companies still have healthy cash flow and plenty of cash in hand.

"Buybacks help to support their share prices as well," Ms Yang said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline 'Share buybacks here hit 3-month high in June'. Print Edition | Subscribe