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What Investors Should Know About Share Buybacks by Singapore-Listed Companies in February 2019

Last month, 15 companies bought back 20.1 million shares or units for a total amount of S$31.9 million. The latest buyback is up from January 2019’s figure of S$26 million, but down significantly from February 2018’s amount of S$134 million. The Singapore Exchange released those data in a  report yesterday.

The top six companies with the most significant share buyback amount in February 2019 were (total amount spent given in brackets):

1) Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (SGX: S63) (S$15.22 million);

2) Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (SGX: O39) (S$6.72 million);

3) Keppel REIT (SGX: K71U) (S$3.93 million);

4) Singapore Post Limited (SGX: S08) (S$1.56 million);

5) StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3) (S$1.51 million); and

6) Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74) (S$1.11 million).

Singapore Telecommunications Limited, or Singtel for short, made its maiden share buyback in 2019 last month. It repurchased 370,672 shares at a price range of between S$2.99 and S$3.02 apiece. Before February 2019, the last time Singtel bought back its shares was on 25 May 2018, where it spent some S$0.44 million to buy back 131,781 shares at S$3.34 each.

Yesterday, credit rating agency, Moody’s Corporation, downgraded its outlook on Singtel from “stable” to “negative” on the back of gloomy expectations for the telco’s underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) over the next 12 to 18 months. Nonetheless, Moody’s has affirmed Singtel’s senior unsecured ratings of A1. In reply to Moody’s outlook downgrade, Singtel said that it “remains financially disciplined and committed to maintaining our investment-grade credit ratings”.

For Singtel’s latest third quarter, revenue inched up by 0.9% year-on-year to S$4.63 billion, but EBITDA fell 10.6% to S$1.19 billion.

Last month, other companies which conducted their first share repurchases for 2019 include ecoWise Holdings Limited (SGX: 5CT), Eurosports Global Ltd (SGX: 5G1) and Starburst Holdings Ltd (SGX: 40D).

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Singapore Exchange Limited and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in Singapore Exchange Limited.