The SGX says 69 SGX primary-listed companies bought back shares in 2023 by way of market acquisitions with a combined consideration of S$743 million.

This was lower than the $1.692 billion worth of shares bought back in 2022 by 86 primary-listed companies.

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Below is a shortlist, focusing on companies that bought back more than $1 million worth of their shares in 2023.

Those highlighted in blue bought back more than $10 million. 

OCBC topped the chart with $206 million spent -- yes, $206 million! 

We added a column to reflect the 3 Jan 2024 closing stock prices, so you can see how they compared with the average buyback price. We have two observations: 

• By and large, there is not much variance -- except in the case of coal producer Geo Energy and transport giant ComfortDelGro.

Their closing stock prices yesterday were sharply higher than their average buyback price in 2023 -- ie, 29% and 27%, respectively.

You may interpret that ...
1) the companies knew they were buying back shares at undervalued prices, and/or
2) the market now sees their business fundamentals are turning up.  

taxis CDG4.22

• As for Nanofilm Technologies, an erstwhile market darling with its proprietary nanonfilm technologies, the stock price has been on a downward spiral since mid-2021 from a lofty $6+. Ouch! say shareholders.

Its closing price yesterday was a whopping 39% lower than its 2023 average buyback price.

1) Does the market see Nanofilm's business as continuing to weaken?
2) Or is the stock a screaming bargain now compared to what management decided were "attractive" prices at which to buy back its shares? 


For the SGX commentary on the 2023 buybacks, as well as its full list of 69 companies that bought back their shares in 2023, click here


Stock

# Shares Bought in 2023 Calendar Year

Total Buyback
$*

Avg Ind Price Paid

3 Jan 2024 price

OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION

16,410,000

205,493,510

$12.522

 $12.82

UNITED OVERSEAS BANK

5,100,000

143,849,291

$28.206

 $28.21

CAPITALAND INVESTMENT

21,394,100

64,447,635

$3.012

 $3.07

SEMBCORP
INDUSTRIES

13,318,500

60,993,203

$4.580

 $5.34

YANGZIJIANG FINANCIAL 

93,095,800

32,237,142

$0.346

 $0.32

SINGAPORE TELECOM

10,810,017

25,872,349

$2.393

 $2.43

OLAM GROUP

20,810,000

24,871,743

$1.195

 $1.01

SINGAPORE TECHNOLOGIES ENGINEERING

5,700,000

20,848,455

$3.658

 $3.82

STARHUB

16,729,700

17,605,746

$1.052

 $1.11

NANOFILM TECHNOLOGIES 

11,081,900

16,701,115

$1.507

 $0.915

THE HOUR GLASS

6,377,500

11,268,357

$1.767

$1.64 

UOB-KAY HIAN HOLDINGS

7,549,000

10,507,341

$1.392

 $1.33

FOOD EMPIRE HOLDINGS

10,101,300

10,197,961

$1.010

 $1.14

BEST WORLD INTERNATIONAL

5,674,800

10,007,919

$1.764

 $1.71

VENTURE CORPORATION

620,000

7,920,544

$12.775

 $13.64

SINGAPORE EXCHANGE

705,000

6,210,894

$8.810

 $9.75

FIRST RESOURCES

4,206,700

5,888,610

$1.400

 $1.44

RAFFLES MEDICAL 

5,400,000

5,698,809

$1.055

 $1.08

HRNETGROUP

7,035,100

5,432,688

$0.772

 $0.705

GLOBAL INVESTMENTS

42,660,800

4,937,710

$0.116

 $0.118

OUE

3,577,200

3,935,947

$1.100

 $1.17

OXLEY HOLDINGS

32,138,300

3,827,671

$0.119

 $0.10

VALUETRONICS HOLDINGS

6,533,600

3,533,419

$0.541

 $0.615

SIA ENGINEERING COMPANY

1,472,100

3,516,329

$2.389

 $2.36

THE STRAITS TRADING CO

1,584,900

3,085,293

$1.947

 $1.81

SEATRIUM

21,200,000

2,832,237

$0.134

 $0.115

PSC CORP

8,118,800

2,797,080

$0.345

 $0.315

ESR-LOGOS FUNDS MANAGEMENT (S)

9,697,500

2,725,888

$0.281

 $0.32

GEO ENERGY RESOURCES

10,300,200

2,710,486

$0.263

 $0.34

CHINA SUNSINE CHEMICAL 

6,391,100

2,596,778

$0.406

 $0.40

SIN HENG HEAVY MACHINERY

3,689,500

1,747,193

$0.474

 $0.50

KIMLY

4,491,300

1,475,801

$0.329

 $0.325

PEC

2,378,600

1,397,868

$0.588

 $0.54

PAN-UNITED CORPORATION

3,488,900

1,379,416

$0.395

 $0.375

COMFORTDELGRO 

1,248,200

1,373,593

$1.100

 $1.40

EUROSPORTS GLOBAL

6,512,000

1,230,287

$0.189

 $0.17

THAKRAL CORP

1,958,200

1,205,911

$0.616

 $0.61


  including stamp duties, clearing changes etc paid or payable for the shares

Source: SGX, Bloomberg, Refinitiv (Data as of 31 Dec 2023).

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