UNITED Industrial Corp’s (UIC’s) recent share price decline is relatively small compared with the plunge in other property counters of late.


The FTSE ST Property Index is down 19.1 per cent so far this year, but UIC has risen by 8.91 per cent.


One dealer said that UIC’s price is shored up by various purchases by three parties.


They are UOL Group, whose major shareholder and chairman Wee Cho Yaw is also the chairman of UIC, Filipino tycoon John Gokongwei, who is UIC’s deputy chairman, and Morgan Stanley International.


A check with Shareinvestor, a financial portal, shows that Mr Gokongwei bought 1.034 million shares at $3.0848 apiece on Tuesday, raising his stake from 34.076 per cent to 34.151 per cent.


This is on top of an earlier purchase of one million shares at $3.072 apiece last week.


Mr Wee has also been steadily building up his stake in UIC, with purchases totalling 2.09 million shares at $2.701 to $2.71 per share, raising his deemed interests to 19.32 per cent.


Morgan Stanley made various purchases on the open market since the start of the year, amounting to 2.97 million shares, raising its stake from 11.81 per cent to 12.03 per cent. It then sold 381,000 UIC shares between June 13 and June 23, cutting its stake to 12 per cent.


Because of its fragmented shareholding structure, UIC has always been the subject of takeover talks.


Its biggest investment is listed Singapore Land which owns some of the most valuable real estate in Raffles Place and Shenton Way. UIC yesterday ended unchanged at $3.03 on a volume of 230,000 shares.


Source: Straits Times


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