Share buyback Date of purchase No. of shares purchased Value/share (S$) Total value (S$)
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding 16 Sept 11,896,000  0.535 - 0.555 ~ 6.5 m
15 Sept    6,000,000 0.555 ~3.3 m

DBS Holdings
17 Sept 100,000 16.06-16.70 ~1.6 m
16 Sept 100,000 15.94 – 16.46 ~1.6 m
15 Sept    100,000 16.46 – 16.78 ~1.6 m
SIA 15 Sept 100,000 15.0138 ~1.5 m
16 Sept 100,000 14.9156 ~1.5 m

15 Sept 119,000  1.2302 ~146,000
17 Sept 251,000 1.1573 ~291,000
Tai Sin 16 Sept 1,000,000 0.20 ~ 200,000

16 Sept 558,000  0.87304 ~ 488,000
17 Sept 315,000 0.87173 ~275,000
Tat Hong 16 Sept 100,000 1.106 ~110,000
15 Sept    200,000 1.179 ~236,000
HLN Technologies 17 Sept 940,000  0.15 ~141,000

Wing Tai

17 Sept 100,000 1.1373 ~113,000
Longcheer Holdings 17 Sept 429,000  0.30-0.305 ~129,000

Peter Lynch

TWO QUOTES from one of the best investors of all time, Peter Lynch, may be inspiring during these tough times.

The first: “
There are substantial rewards for adopting a regular routine of investing and following it no matter what, and additional rewards for buying more shares when most investors are scared into selling.”

The second:
"Insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise."
Dr Ng Cher Yew bought 1 m shares of Oceanus for around $222,000 in all. Photo by Sim Kih

Most value investors would readily agree with both quotes. However, as to the question of whether they apply right now at the current market level, it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’ and ‘to each his own’.

In the last couple of days, as the market continued to slump, corporate insiders and corporates themselves sprang into action to mop up some of the shares.

Our compilation in the two tables on this page capture the bigger transactions. Not included are dozens more purchases on a smaller scale. 

Of particular note is Yangzijiang Shipbuilding’s massive share buyback. We have a recent article on the business outlook of Yangzijiang and why it can afford to buy massively.

Such actions are usually, but not always, a positive sign. In particular, insider buying in large spadefuls is, most people would agree, a positive sign. The tricky part is that  the level at which nsider buying takes place is no indication of the support for the stock price, which can continue to head south – very deep south.

If it’s any consolation, CEOs and directors know the strength of the fundamentals of their company. The rest of the market can be whipsawed by rumour and sentiment. The following quote from a recent news story illustrates the point:

``This is a market that's not looking at fundamentals,'' said Quincy Krosby, who helps manage US$380 billion as chief investment strategist at the Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut. ``It's going back and forth based on rumor and headlines and it has temporarily divorced itself from fundamental analysis.”

And here’s one more Peter Lynch nugget of wisdom: “
When stocks are attractive, you buy them. Sure, they can go lower. I've bought stocks at $12 that went to $2, but then they later went to $30. You just don't know when you can find the bottom.”

Buyer; Stock Date of purchase No. of shares purchased Value/share (S$) Total value (S$)
Seow Bao Shuen, director, Enviro Hub 17 Sept 1,050,000 0.17286   ~181,000
Edenlia Pte Ltd, SC Global  16 Sept 7,788,710   0.75   ~5.8 m
David Tsang, director, SC Global 16 Sept 500,000 0.75   ~375,000
Zhao Libin, director, China Essence 16 Sept 500,000 0.382   ~191,000
Heng Long Holdings 15 Sept    487,000 0.2662   ~126,000
Wee Ee Chao, chairman, UOB Kayhian 16 Sept 126,000   1.33   ~167,000
15 Sept 292,000   1.28 ~373,000
Dr Ng Cher Yew, chairman, Oceanus 15 Sept 1,000,000 0.21-0.23 ~ 222,000
Tan Tin Nam, director, Yongnam Holdings) 15 Sept    2,500,000 0.115 ~ 287,500
Lexdale International, Noble Group 12 Sept 1,000,000 1.4908 ~ 1.5 m
16 Sept 500,000 1.3677   ~683,000
Maxtop Management, Thai Beverage 17 Sept 5,000,000 0.225 ~337,000

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China Aviation Oil (S)0.8700.005
China Sunsine0.4000.010
Delfi Limited0.875-
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Fortress Minerals0.295-0.015
Geo Energy Res0.3050.005
Hong Leong Finance2.4400.020
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ISDN Holdings0.3050.005
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KSH Holdings0.2500.005
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Ley Choon0.054-0.001
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Oxley Holdings0.087-0.003
REX International0.1260.002
Southern Alliance Mining0.4850.005
Straco Corp.0.480-0.010
Sunpower Group0.220-0.010
The Trendlines0.063-
Totm Technologies0.0200.001
Uni-Asia Group0.810-
Wilmar Intl3.130-0.030
Yangzijiang Shipbldg1.740-0.010

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