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Jardine Matheson directors and Trans-China Automotive chairman raise respective stakes

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Jardine Matheson directors and Trans-China Automotive chairman raise respective stakes
Jardine Matheson, with its headquarters at Jardine House at Hong Kong’s Central, had a book value of US$101 as at June 30 / Photo: Cheung Yin via Unsplash
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Stephen Gore, group director of business development at Jardine Matheson Holdings, acquired 27,200 shares on the open market at more than US$1.25 million ($1.76 million) on Oct 28. Gore, a member of the board, paid between US$45.79 and US$46.37 for each unit.

Gore joined the company’s board on April 1, 2019, as the group finance director before taking on his current appointment on Aug 1. He joined the Jardine group in 2017 as the CFO. He was previously at Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2012 to 2017 as well as UBS.

Another director, David Hsu, also raised his stake in the company. On Oct 18, Hsu, a non-executive director, acquired 20,000 shares on the open market at US$49.31 each. Hsu, previously CEO of JP Morgan Asset Management in Asia Pacific, joined Jardine back in 2011. His last role was chairman of Jardine Matheson (China).

Separately, Jardine Matheson has been buying back its own shares. On Oct 26 and 27, it had acquired 50,000 shares at US$46.1269 each and 68,400 shares at US$46.0038 each respectively.

Shares of Jardine Matheson, which is based in Hong Kong based but listed in Singapore, is down about 13% year to date, amid worries by investors over the business prospects of the former British colony now back under China’s rule. A particular steep drop of more than 9% was seen between Oct 20 and Oct 25, amid China’s 20th National Party Congress at which President Xi Jinping cemented his rule.

Despite the regional nature of Jardine’s business, investors have pinned the company’s prospects squarely with Hong Kong, which on Oct 31 reported a 4.5% drop in its GDP for 3Q this year — far steeper than the forecast of a 0.8% decline by economists. This makes it the worst showing since the second quarter of 2020 when the pandemic was in full crisis mode.

See also: UMS insiders, AEM independent director raise respective stakes; DBS CEO gains $13.8 mil in sale

On July 28, Jardine Matheson reported earnings of US$423 million for 1HFY2022 ended June 30, reversing from a loss of US$117 million in the year earlier period. Its underlying profit, which the company says is a more accurate reflection of its performance, was up 22% y-o-y from US$615 million to US$747 million.

Gross revenue for the six months, which includes all revenue from associates and joint ventures, was up 7% y-o-y to US$56 billion. The company paid an interim dividend of 55 US cents per share, up 25% over 44 US cents paid same time last year. As at June 30, the company’s net asset value per share was US$101, down slightly from US$102.87 as at June 30, 2021.

See also: DBS CEO sells more shares, pockets proceeds of $13.8 million thus far this month

Car distributor sees insider trades

Francis Tjia, executive chairman and CEO of Trans-China Automotive Holdings, has raised his stake in the company. On Oct 28, he acquired 2.5 million shares on the open market at 19.3 cents each. On Nov 1 and 2, he again acquired 19,000 shares at 18.9 cents each and 65,300 shares at between 18.7 cents and 18.8 cents each respectively. He now holds a total interest of just over 458 million shares, equivalent to 77.68%.

Trans-China was listed about a year ago. It is in the business of distributing car brands including BMW in China. On Oct 18, the company reported in a business update that revenue for 9MFY2022 ended Sept 30 was RMB3.03 billion ($587 million), down 14.7% y-o-y. In 1HFY2022 ended June 30, the company reported earnings of RMB40.4 million, down 44% y-o-y from RMB72.2 million recorded in the year earlier. Revenue in the same period was down 18.3% y-o-y to RMB1.8 billion.

“The group’s performance was impacted by the country’s strict domestic Covid-19 policies that significantly curtailed business and social activities especially in the months of April and May,” says the company in its Aug 12 earnings commentary.

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