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3 Largest Share Buybacks by Singapore Companies in August 2019

A recent report by the Singapore Exchange revealed that 23 companies bought back around 71.5 million shares for a total amount of over S$70 million. The latest buyback is up by around 69% from July 2019’s figure of S$41.6 million, but down significantly from August 2018’s S$245 million.

With that, let’s explore three companies with the largest share repurchases last month.

No. 1: Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd

The company that carried out the biggest share buyback in August was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd (SGX: BS6). The shipbuilding company bought back 20 million shares for between S$0.85 and S$0.99 per share, spending a total amount of S$18.47 million.

Yangzijiang’s shares tumbled around 36% last month on negative news surrounding Chairman Ren Yuanlin’s charitable foundation. Almost two weeks after the article was published on global shipping news service TradeWinds, Yangzijiang said Ren had been on a leave of absence since 9 August to assist in a confidential investigation carried out by the Chinese government authorities. The announcement also added that none of its directors, including Ren, were the subject of the investigation. Yangzijiang’s share price, though, has yet to fully recover.

Yangzijiang’s shares last changed hands at S$0.905 apiece on Tuesday, 3 September. At that share price, it had a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 5 and a dividend yield of 5.5%.

No. 2: DBS Group Holdings Limited

DBS Group Holdings Limited (SGX: D05) is the second company to have clawed back large amounts of its shares from the stock market. Singapore’s biggest bank repurchased 550,000 shares for a total cost of S$13.26 million. The share repurchase was done at share prices ranging from S$24 to S$24.26.

In the second quarter of 2019, DBS’s net profit soared 12% year on year to a record S$3.25 billion. Given its strong profitability and multiple growth opportunities ahead, it is one of my favourite shares to consider buying in 2020 and beyond.

At DBS’s closing share price of S$24.35 on Tuesday, it had a price-to-book ratio of 1.3 and a dividend yield of 4.9%.

No. 3: Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd

The third company that bought back a large chunk of its shares was Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (SGX: S63). The engineering conglomerate bought back 2,170,700 shares for a total amount of S$8.79 million. The buyback was done at share prices between S$3.92 and S$4.22.

ST Engineering was recently featured as the top industrials stock of the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) with a return on equity (ROE) of 22.2%. Over the past five years, the group had an average ROE of 23.5%.

Looking ahead, the engineering group’s future looks bright. Its order book stood at a record high of S$15.6 billion at the end of June 2019, of which around S$3.8 billion is expected to be delivered over the rest of the year.

ST Engineering’s shares last changed hands at S$3.99 each on Tuesday, giving it a P/E ratio of 24 and a dividend yield of 3.8%.

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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 and DBS. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in Singapore Exchange.