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Serial System's chairman Derek Goh loads up after being cleared in Taiwan probe

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Serial System's chairman Derek Goh loads up after being cleared in Taiwan probe
Derek Goh, executive chairman of Serial Systems, bought 1.5 million shares on the open market for $106,500 on June 2, which works out to an average of 7.1 cents per share. A day earlier and on May 4, Goh had acquired 5.2 million shares for $365,144 and 12
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SINGAPORE (June 12): Derek Goh, executive chairman of Serial System, bought 1.5 million shares on the open market for $106,500 on June 2, which works out to an average of 7.1 cents per share. A day earlier and on May 4, Goh had acquired 5.2 million shares for $365,144 and 121,000 shares for $8,731.25 respectively.

On top of his direct stake of nearly 361.9 million shares, Goh is also deemed interested in another 71,000 shares which are held by his daughter Victoria Goh. Therefore, he now holds a total stake of 40.405% of the company, up from 40.237% previously.

For more than two years, investigations by Taiwanese authorities into the company’s business there as well as Goh had cast a pall over Serial System’s future.

However, Serial System on April 14 announced the investigations have been completed.

“We have received confirmation from our Taiwan lawyers that the decision by the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to conclude investigations does not require the review of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors office, and that the Taiwan Investigation by the Taiwan authorities are concluded with no further action being taken with respect to the executive chairman and group CEO, Dr Derek Goh,” says the company.

In FY2019 ended Dec 31, 2019, Serial System reported earnings dropped by just over half to US$8 million ($11.1 million) from US$17.7 million a year ago. Revenue in the same period dropped by 48% y-o-y to US$791.6 million, as it lost a key distribution agreement with Texas Instruments. As at Dec 31, 2019, its net asset value was 15.55 US cents, down from 15.25 US cents a year earlier.

Stronger freight rates

Konstantinos Courcoubetis, an independent director who joined the board of First Ship Lease Trust (FSLT) last November, made his maiden acquisition of FSLT units on June 3 by buying 290,000 shares, or 0.016%, at 6.8 cents each.

FSLT reported earnings of US$6.68 million for 1QFY2020, doubling that of US$3.01 million in the year earlier period, thanks to stronger freight rates for tankers.

As of March 31, 2020, FSLT held cash and cash equivalents of US$67.15 million, which exceeded the aggregate debt of US$48.39 million.

FSLT also declared a distribution of 1.5 US cents for 1QFY2020. This was its second distribution following 1.5 US cents paid for 4QFY2019. Prior to these payouts, FSLT did not pay a single distribution in seven years due to a slump in the shipping market. FSLT finally managed to turnaround its business in FY2019, with earnings of US$10.1 million versus losses of US$19 million in FY2018.

Growth across product lines

Tan Chwee Choon, executive director of Hyphens Pharma International, sold half a million shares on June 2 for $192,500. This works out to an average of 38.5 cents per share.

A day earlier, Tan had sold a million shares for $330,000, or 33 cents per share. Tan, who joined the company in 2004, was appointed to the board in 2017. He is now left with 42.29 million shares and his stake has dipped to 14.07% from 14.24%.

Tan’s sale follows soon after Hyphens recorded strong growth in its 1QFY2020 bottom line. For the three months ended March, earnings increased by 48.6% y-o-y to $2.1 million. Revenue increased 16.5% to $31.4 million from a year ago.

The company enjoyed growth across its various product lines, especially its proprietary ones. In FY2019 ended December, Hyphen’s earnings increased by 20.7% to $6.5 million from $5.4 million a year ago.

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