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

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore  • 3 min read
UMS insiders, AEM independent director raise respective stakes; DBS CEO gains $13.8 mil in sale
UMS chairman Andy Luong now has an interest in nearly 108.4 million shares or 15.25% of the total / Photo: The Edge Singapore
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UMS insiders have acquired more shares after the company reported 1QFY2024 ended March earnings on May 10 that fell short of some analysts’ expectations, sending its shares down sharply.

Stanley Loh, the company’s group financial controller, on May 13 acquired 250,000 shares on the open market for $288,000 or just over $1.15 each. This brings his total holdings to 950,000 shares, equivalent to 0.134% of the total.

On May 16, Andy Luong, the company’s chairman, acquired 123,600 shares for a total of $132,252 or $1.07 each. The following day, he acquired another 1.71 million shares for about $1.83 million or $1.069 each. This brings his total interest to nearly 108.4 million shares, equivalent to 15.25% of the total.

Separately, on May 16, Gwendolyn Gn, an independent director, increased her interest in UMS. This was following the open-market acquisition of 79,000 shares and 44,600 shares by two entities, 71 Trust and The SY Trust respectively. Gn is a trustee of these two entities and her deemed interest now stands at more than 31.1 million shares or 4.38% of the company.

In 1QFY2024, UMS reported earnings of $9.8 million, down 44% y-o-y. Revenue was down by a third to $54 million, largely from a 37% drop in its semiconductor segment.

See also: Raffles Medical Group CEO Loo continues to increase stake in the company

DBS Group Research, in its May 10 note, has maintained its “buy” call and $1.84 target price. DBS notes that the company’s new plant in Penang has commenced volume production in March for a new customer and an uptick in order flow can be expected in the coming months.

“This new plant well positioned the group to capture new growth opportunities when the global semiconductor demand rebounds,” says DBS.

On the other hand, Jarick Seet of Maybank Securities has downgraded the stock to “sell” from “hold” and slashed its target price from $1.41 to 88 cents. In his May 13 note, Seet warns that

See also: Jardine Matheson increases stake in Jardine C&C; buys 444,900 shares at $27 apiece

UMS’s earnings are likely to remain weak and that it is losing market share with an existing customer.

In a separate insider’s move in another semiconductor firm, André Andonian, an independent director of AEM Holdings AWX -

, on May 20 acquired 270,000 shares on the open market. Andonian was not a previous owner of any AEM shares, based on company filings.

Andonian, who is chairman of the board’s nominating committee, paid $504,911 in total for the shares, which works out to $1.87 per share. The 60-year-old spent more than three decades as a McKinsey consultant. He was most recently managing partner of McKinsey Korea.

In another insider transaction, abrdn, having added to its AEM stake just months ago, has steadily been cutting it over the past few weeks. The most recent was on May 13 when the fund manager sold 1.81 million shares on the open market for a total of $3.36 million or $1.86 each. This leaves abrdn with just below 30.49 million shares or 9.861% of the total.

The selling marks a reversal from its stance at the start of the year when abrdn had acquired 249,700 shares on Jan 8 for $769,150.90 or $3.08 each, bringing its stake to as high as more than 34.2 million shares or 11.079% of the total.

Gupta takes profit
Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group Holdings, sold some $13.8 million worth of the bank’s shares over the past few weeks.

For more stories about where money flows, click here for Capital Section

He started selling on May 3, disposing 75,000 shares on the open market at $35.7443. Subsequent selling followed on May 6, 7, 10 and 15 as well as most recently on May 16 when he sold 75,000 shares at $35.62 each, leaving him with just over 2.29 million shares worth some $80 million.

Piyush recently helped the bank become the first Singapore company to command a market value of over $100 billion. DBS has gained by a fifth year-to-date. Incidentally, the proceeds from the recent share sales exceeded his total pay for FY2023 ended December 2023 of $11.2 million, which was a cut of 27% from FY2022.

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