Share buybacks in May this year totalled $137.9 million in value, up 18 per cent from the $116.8 million recorded in April, says a Singapore Exchange report.
May's share buybacks comprised 45.1 million shares repurchased by 20 companies.
The sum was also significantly higher than the $48.6 million value seen in May last year.
Buybacks - which involve the repurchases of some outstanding shares on the open mark - likely rose as the Straits Times Index (STI) fell 5.1 per cent in May, after a 5.4 per cent price gain in April. The three local banks averaged a 6.3 per cent decline in total return over the month, bringing their average total return over the five months to 10 per cent.
The FTSE ST Small Cap Index, in comparison, generated a 1.2 per cent decline in total return over the month of May.
For the first five months this year, the STI has generated a 2.5 per cent total return, compared to 0.3 per cent gain for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.
45.1m Number of shares involved in share buybacks by 20 companies for the month of May.
The 20 stocks that saw buybacks last month were CapitaLand, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank (UOB), Venture, Silverlake Axis, Yangzijiang, Hi-jP International, HRnetGroup, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singtel, CSE Global, ST Engineering, Best World International, Straco Corp, Bonvests Holdings, New Silkroutes Group, PEC, Sarine Technologies, Spackman Entertainment and Zhongmin Baihui Retail.
Share buybacks from CapitaLand, OCBC Bank, UOB, Venture and Silverlake Axis made up 85 per cent of the $137.9 million share buyback value.
The STI constituents that conducted the share buybacks were CapitaLand, OCBC, UOB and Venture, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, SPH, Singtel and ST Engineering.