For the longest time, home-grown multinational group, Haw Par share price had been in laggard form. Although the business fundamentals had been consistently good over the years, the share price had been hovering way below its Net Asset Value (NAV) of $12.00. But in 2017, Haw Par share price suddenly came to life and roar ahead to reach a record high of $12.28 recently.
Founded by the Aw brothers in the early 19th century, Haw Par is well-known for its Tiger Balm oilment products. However, the family business went through a tumultuous period in the 1970s when massive irregularities almost led to a spectacular collapse of the company. The government of Singapore had to intervene and pulled in the late Michael Fam to restore order.
Following the crisis, there was a three-way battle vying for the control of Haw Par between Hong Leong Group, Jack Chia Limited, and United Overseas Bank (UOB) headed by Wee Cho Yaw. In 1981, merger wizard Wee Cho Yaw emerged victory in the fight and the rest is history.
Under the brilliant leadership of Wee Cho Yaw, Haw Par grew from strength to strength and was transformed into a diversified conglomerate with operating business in healthcare, leisure, property and investments.
Today, Wee Cho Yaw remains its Chairman and his sons, Wee Ee-chao and Wee Ee Lim are also among the board of directors. Notably, Lee Kuan Yew’s younger brother, Lee Suan Yew is also one of the directors. The reason for the Wee Cho Yaw to retain control of Haw Par is probably because the company held about 71.9 million shares of UOB through its Investment arm in 2016. The UOB shares provided $49 million worth of investment income in 2016.
According to the 2016 FY report, the Investment arm also owned 69.5 million shares in United Industrial Corporation (UIC) and 44.7 million shares of UOL Group. In mid-2017, there was a reshuffling of shares involving the three companies. 27.3 million new shares of UOL were issued in exchange of 60 million UIC shares from Haw Par. The transaction would result in UOL increasing its stake in UIC from 44.7% to 48.9%. The injection of the new UOL shares would also see Haw Par Capital, a subsidiary of Haw Par Corporation, increased in book value of $219 million.
The shares transfer only served to add fuel to fire as Haw Par share price had been [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]
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