Monday, April 04, 2011

Additional info on Haw Par

Haw Par's stake in UOB may have increased from the previously reported 62.88 million shares during FY2010 by roughly 3.2%. Why? Because the actual "investment income received" as indicated in the cash flow from operation showed $6.282m during 2010, a huge reduction from $43.575m in the prior year.

The difference of $37.293m is almost equal to the portion of dividend that is due to her UOB's stake (62.88m shares X $0.60 dividend = $37.728). So instead of receiving the UOB's dividend in cash, Haw Par may have opted to receive it in scripts. Thus, Haw Par's stake in UOB may have ended as at 31 Dec 2010 with 62.88m shares x 1.032 = 64.89 million shares.

Moreover, it makes more sense to receive the dividend in scripts because 1) UOB is fairly inexpensive; 2) Haw Par will drown in cash if they are to keep receiving it without a good option to redeploy it; 3) it relieves the pressure of deploying cash for the sake of deploying it and end up with below-par investments; 4) the existing cash pile of $110m is more than enough to cover over 2 years of current dividend rate, excluding cash that will come in for the next 2 years from normal operations and other dividend other than UOB. Of course, the downside are for dividend seeking investors, there's less chance for an increase in dividend yield.

All in all, Haw Par seems to have made some sensible choices that position the company for better future value.

UPDATE (9 Apr 2011): We are now certain Haw Par owns more UOB shares than the previous FY, approximately 65m shares in total on estimation. Why? Note 14 on HP's annual report states "During the financial year, approximately $38,628,000 (2009: $Nil) of additions were non-cash and

obtained in lieu of dividends." All are related to UOB because out of the 3 major holdings, only UOB offers dividend in scripts.