Singapore share buybacks strengthen, hitting $116.5m in August

The Singapore Exchange Centre along Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre along Shenton Way. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) have continued their momentum in share buybacks this month, with 23 stocks reporting buybacks totalling more than $100 million in the first 12 sessions of August, SGX market strategist Geoff Howie said in a Monday (Aug 20) market update.

Led by DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank and CapitaLand, the companies have bought back 17.7 million shares for a consideration of $116.5 million in the month to date, compared with last month's buyback consideration of $109.0 million and August 2017's consideration of $59.7 million.

Mr Howie noted that this is the seventh successive month the $100 million threshold has been crossed. In the year to date, buyback consideration has exceeded $1 billion.

The five largest buyback considerations in August so far were made by DBS, UOB, CapitaLand, City Developments and OCBC Bank - all stocks on the Straits Times Index (STI). Hi-P International's buyback of 1.39 million shares for $1.47 million was the largest buyback consideration by a non-STI stock in the month to date.

Seven stocks commenced new mandates in August's first 12 sessions. They are City Developments, Hi-P International, Singapore Shipping Corporation, Ban Leong Technologies, Japan Foods Holding, Maxi-Cash Financial Services Corporation and Star Pharmaceutical.

In share buyback transactions, share issuers repurchase some of their outstanding shares from shareholders through the open market, for reasons including a move to align stock valuations with balance sheet objectives. Once bought back, the shares are converted into treasury shares and no longer categorised as outstanding shares.