Frankly Speaking: Troubling transactions

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 30, 2020 - December 06, 2020.
Frankly Speaking: Troubling transactions
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Several individuals acting in concert have been linked to a number of penny stocks whose share prices have surged recently.

Latest on the list is Advance Information Marketing Bhd (AIM), a business process outsourcing solutions provider that posted a profit in only two of its last 15 quarters. Over the past 10 financial years, AIM’s highest net profit was in FY2015, when it made RM677,000 from RM21.06 million in revenue.

As at end-September, the company had net cash of slightly over RM3 million and accumulated losses of RM6.79 million. Its net assets per share were a mere 7.51 sen.

In terms of assets, it has an office in Jalan Balam in Kuala Lumpur valued at RM3.39 million, and an office in Jakarta valued at RM1.59 million.

What is it about the company that prompted Datuk Eddie Chai Woon Chet to make a mandatory general offer at 13 sen a share, or RM31.45 million, on Oct 14? This led to AIM’s shares rising from 13 sen on Sept 30 to an intra-day high of 38 sen on Oct 15.

Ordinarily, acquisitions such as this would not raise any eyebrows as businessmen have a whole host of reasons to buy a listed company. However, as Chai and individuals linked to him have done the same thing with several companies, and these companies have often made bullish statements that led to a rise in their stock prices, questions have to be asked.

Are the regulators looking into these transactions?

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