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Nordic chairman and Suntec’s Celine Tang raise respective stakes; Food Empire buys back shares

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore9/1/2022 12:32 PM GMT+08  • 3 min read
Nordic chairman and Suntec’s Celine Tang raise respective stakes; Food Empire buys back shares
Nordic Group’s executive chairman Chang Yeh Hong now a 54.58% stake in the company / Photo: Albert Chua
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Chang Yeh Hong, executive chairman of Nordic Group, has raised his stake in the company following improved earnings. On Aug 29, he acquired 113,000 shares at 48.5 cents each on the open market. This brings his total stake to 218.19 million shares or 54.58%, up from 54.56% previously. Earlier on Aug 26, he had acquired 60,000 shares at 49.6 cents each.

Nordic, the provider of project management and maintenance services, on Aug 5 announced that earnings for 1HFY2022 ended June were up 49% y-o-y to $11.6 million from $7.8 million. Revenue in the same period was up 62% y-o-y to $79.8 million, thanks to recent acquisitions by shooting range builder Starburst. As at June 30, Nordic has an order book of $232.7 million.

Suntec shines

Celine Tang, a substantial shareholder of Suntec REIT, has increased her stake in the REIT. On Aug 19, Tang, better known as the non-executive chairman of Chip Eng Seng Corp, acquired one million shares for $1.6 million or $1.60 each on the open market. Tang, who privatised Singhaiyi Group late last year, now holds 172.56 million shares or 6.01%, up from 5.97% previously.

On July 27, Suntec REIT reported a net property income of $152.9 million for 1HFY2022 ended June, up 35% y-o-y from $112.6 million. Revenue in the same period was $203.5 million, up 22.1% y-o-y. The REIT has declared a 15.8% y-o-y higher DPU of 4.81 cents, thanks to a broad-based recovery of its retail and office properties, including its namesake asset, Suntec City.

From Russia with love

See also: Japan Foods embarks on share buybacks; Best World resumes trading and buybacks

Food Empire Holdings has steadily been buying back shares after the maker of instant coffee mix announced better earnings for its 1HFY2022 ended June.

The most recent buyback was on Aug 25, when the company acquired 150,000 shares at 55.5 cents each. This brings the total number of shares bought back under the current mandate to 1.38 million shares, or 0.2566% of its total share base. Before Aug 25, the company had bought back shares on eight trading days from Aug 15, paying between 51.5 cents and just over 55 cents.

Separately, Fidelity, the US-based fund manager, recently trimmed its stake in the company. On Aug 10, the fund manager sold 245,900 shares at just over 54.1 cents each. On Aug 22, the fund manager again sold another 506,200 shares or 54 cents each. It has about 35.45 million Food Empire shares remaining.

See also: StarHub, Singapore Exchange in steady share buybacks

Food Empire’s single largest market is Russia. Evidently, the fighting between Russia and Ukraine, which started in February, did not dent sales. On the contrary, sales in Russia for 1HFY2022 increased 4.8% y-o-y to US$57 million ($79.5 million) while sales in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States increased 17.2% y-o-y to US$41.3 million.

The company as a whole, announced revenue of US$177.4 million for 1HFY2022, up 18.5% y-o-y. Earnings in the same period were up 135.9% to US$27.1 million from US$11.5 million. The better earnings included a US$7.3 million gain from foreign exchange. For 2HFY2022, the company expects to book a one-off gain of some $20.5 million from the sale of a property, which was announced earlier

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