SPH buys back $7.3m worth of shares - May 24, 2006 (ST)

BackMay 24, 2006

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH buys back $7.3m worth of shares

By Bryan Lee
May 24, 2006
The Straits Times

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has bought back 1.79 million shares from the open market for $7.32 million.

The media company bought the shares, equivalent to 1.14 per cent of its total stock, on Monday at between $4.06 and $4.10 apiece.

The transactions were done in the afternoon and made up 15 per cent of the 11.7 million shares that were traded that day. This was more than double the average daily volume in the past 12 months.

SPH shares closed eight cents lower on Monday at $4.12, after hitting an intra-day low of $4.06.

Heavy trading on the stock continued yesterday, with 11.5 million shares changing hands. The counter, which had slipped to $4.02 in morning trade, eventually closed at Monday's last traded price.

Monday's share buy-back was SPH's first since its annual general meeting on Dec 2, when it received a mandate from shareholders that allows it to buy back up to 10 per cent of its shares.

SPH was placed 15th in a survey last year that ranked 462 Asian companies on their total shareholder returns. Its relatively high ranking, bettered only by SingTel among local firms, was achieved as it returned $4 billion in cash over the past five years to shareholders via dividends, capital reductions and share buy-backs.