Insider Moves

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Notable filingsBetween Sept 18 and 25, notable shareholding changes in companies listed on Bursa Malaysia included the emergence of Jeyapalan Muthuthamby as a substantial shareholder of MTD Capital Bhd via his direct and indirect holdings of 31.8 million shares, representing an 11.3% stake.

Hong Kong-based Talent Holdings Ltd bought 25 million shares, representing a 12.5% stake, in Bio Osmo Bhd in a married deal on Aug 28, according to filings with Bursa Malaysia on Sept 18. The Johor-based company is involved in the processing, bottling and selling of drinking water.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s unit trust fund Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera ceased to be a substantial shareholder in Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd with the disposal of 598,100 shares on Sept 7, according to filings on Sept 18.

Skim Amamah Saham Bumiputera first emerged as a substantial shareholder in Hap Seng in 2003 with the purchase of a 12.87% stake. The fund has been paring down its stake in the company since 2004, and now holds 28.2 million shares, or a 5% equity stake.

On Sept 23, Hap Seng announced a proposal to sell its China unit, Hap Seng Consolidated Financial Lease & Rental (China) Co Ltd, for US$30.3 million cash to Hong Kong-based Lei Shing Hong Venture Capital Ltd. Lei Shing Hong is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Lei Shing Hong Ltd, which is 36.6%-owned by Datuk Seri Panglima Lau Cho Kun @ Lau Yu Chak. Lau is also a major shareholder of Gek Poh Holdings Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a 61.48% shareholder of Hap Seng.

On Sept 15, Koperasi Permodalan Felda Bhd acquired 37 million shares in Teo Seng Capital Bhd, raising its total shareholding to 40 million shares, equivalent to a 20% stake.

With Koperasi Permodalan Felda taking up the stake, Teo Seng Capital has fully complied with the bumiputera equity condition, it said in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Sept 17. Pursuant to the company’s listing in 2008, the 37 million shares had been placed in a trust account pending placement with bumiputera investors approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, it explained.   

In line with the move by the government to pare down its investments in government-linked companies, Khazanah Nasional Bhd disposed of 162.6 million shares in PLUS Expressways Bhd, according to a filing on Sept 18. With the sale, Khazanah now owns 60.62% of PLUS directly and indirectly.

Logistics company Tamadam Bonded Warehouse Bhd saw 25 million shares, representing a 13.97% stake, changing hands, with Fahim Capital Sdn Bhd selling and IBH Capital (Labuan) Ltd acquiring the block in a direct business transaction, according to a filing on Sept 17.  

Notable movementsOil and gas services provider Wah Seong Corp Bhd’s share price has been rising steadily over the last one year, hitting a one-year high of RM2.48 on Sept 16. On Sept 15, OSK Research said KNM Group Bhd and Wah Seong would benefit from Australia’s Gorgon natural gas project.

According to filings with Bursa Malaysia, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) purchased 4.5 million shares through its portfolio managers, bringing its equity shareholding in Wah Seong to 9.93% from 9.26%.

Another stock that saw active trading in recent weeks was Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL), a marine and civil engineering and construction company. Its share price hit a 52-week high of RM1.20 on Sept 29. Maybank Investment Bank raised its target price for HSL from RM1.17 to RM1.40 on Sept 25. The research house maintained its “buy” call on the stock.

However, RHB Research Institute and JF Apex Securities downgraded HSL to “underperform” and “hold” on Sept 29 and 30 respectively.

On Sept 28, HSL announced the incorporation of 80%-subsidiary Bright Trenchless Engineering Sdn Bhd, the principal activity of which is pipe jacking and shaft construction. 

According to a filing on Sept 23, the EPF bought 79,000 shares in HSL on the open market. The provident fund now owns 40.9 million shares in HSL, or a 7.4% stake.

This article appeared in Capital page of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 775, Oct 5-11, 2009.