SINGAPORE - THE buying was flat for the second straight week while selling among directors remained low, based on Singapore Exchange filings in the second week of December.
A total of 13 companies recorded 31 purchases worth $21.9 million versus three firms with six disposals worth $523,700. The buy figures were not far off from the previous week's 16 companies, 27 purchases, and $26.08 million.
On the negative side, the number of firms and trades were consistent with the previous week's three companies and four disposals while the value was sharply down from the previous week's sales worth $43.3 million.
Meanwhile, buyback activity by listed firms was high for the second straight week with 14 companies that posted 44 repurchases worth $8.99 million. The number of firms and trades were consistent with the previous week's 14 firms and 40 transactions while the value was sharply up from previous week's turnover of $4.98 million.
There were several significant corporate shareholder trades last week, the bulk of which were repurchases with buybacks in Duty Free International, Saizen Reit, Cheung Woh Technologies, Singapore Press Holdings and Ho Bee Investment.
On the directors' front, there were insider buys in Best World International and Singapore Reinsurance Corp. There were also substantial shareholder purchases in Indofood Agri Resources and Teckwah Industrial Corporation.
Duty Free International Ltd
Duty-free retail shops operator Duty Free International bought back shares for the first time, since the company changed its name from Esmart Holdings Ltd in May 2011, with 326,000 shares purchased from Dec 12 to 14 at 33 cents each. The trades, which accounted for 30 per cent of the stock's trading volume, were made after the stock surged by 22 per cent from 27 cents on Oct 23.
The stock is also sharply up since October 2011, from 17 cents. Despite the rebound in the price, the counter is still down since October 2010 from 60 cents.
Investors should note that independent director Chew Soo Lin purchased 350,000 shares from March 29 to 30 at 22 cents each, which increased his holdings (direct and deemed) by 26 per cent to 1.692 million shares or 0.15 per cent of the issued capital. Those were his first trades since his appointment in August 2011. The counter closed at 35 cents on Friday.