Insider Moves: Iris Corp, Sasbadi Holdings, Excel Force MSC, Mercury Industries, MISC, Sapura Energy

This article first appeared in Capital, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on February 11, 2019 - February 17, 2019.
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Notable filings

FROM Jan 28 to 30, among the notable changes in companies listed on Bursa Malaysia were those at Iris Corp Bhd, which saw the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) dispose of 47 million shares or a 1.59% stake, trimming its holding down to 259.31 million shares or 8.74%.

FELDA has been offloading shares of the security systems outfit quite regularly in large blocks. During the period when FELDA was selling off Iris shares late last month, the counter was trading at 15 sen per share at the most.

The land development authority had bought into Iris at 28 sen a share in August 2013, taking a 25% stake via a private placement. It then acquired an additional 132.27 million shares in mid-November 2013 via another placement at 26 sen apiece, nudging up its holding to 26.71%. In total, FELDA spent RM144.69 million buying 26.71% of Iris.

Iris closed last Monday at 13.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of just above RM400 million.

At book publisher Sasbadi Holdings Bhd, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) ceased to be a substantial shareholder after selling 4.33 million shares or a 1.03% stake. The counter closed at 22 sen last Thursday, translating into a market value of RM106.87 million for the company.

The EPF surfaced as a substantial shareholder in January 2016 after buying a 5.04% stake or 7.04 million shares in Sasbadi. In January last year, the EPF had 39.5 million shares or 9.42% equity interest in the company.

Sasbadi’s stock hit a 52-week low of 20 sen on Nov 1 last year and has yet to recover.

During the week in review, Exacta Co Ltd sold 32,000 shares in Excel Force MSC Bhd and ceased to be a substantial shareholder. Exacta Co is the vehicle of Wang Kuen Chung @ Jeff Wang, the founder and managing director of Excel Force.

Wang has a direct stake of 1.9 million shares or 0.46%, and holds 20.72 million shares or just shy of a 5% stake via Exacta.

Excel Force provides financial services, business solutions, and information systems and services to banks and stock-broking companies.

The counter ended trading last Monday at 47 sen, translating into a market capitalisation of RM240.4 million.

At diversified Mercury Industries Bhd, Leau Kim Pun @ Liau Kim Pun ceased to be a substantial shareholder after selling half a million shares.

Mercury’s annual report for FY2017 indicates that as at March 30, 2018, Leau had almost 2.1 million shares or a 5.22% stake in the company.

Mercury’s stock hit a 52-week low of 90 sen on Oct 11 last year. It has yet to recover, closing at 94 sen last Monday, giving the company a market capitalisation of RM38 million. In contrast, the counter hit a 52-week high of RM1.93 on Feb 13 last year.

Notable movements

Shipping company MISC Bhd’s shares have gained about 13% or 78 sen since early December last year and ended last Monday at RM6.70, giving it a market capitalisation just under RM30 billion. The trading volume of the counter has been relatively high as well.

AmanahRaya Trustees Bhd-Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) has been selling down its stake in MISC. During the week in review, ASB ceased to be a substantial shareholder in MISC after selling 4.19 million shares.

ASB, which is one of the funds under the Permodalan Nasional Bhd banner, surfaced as a substantial shareholder in MISC at end-June last year when the latter’s share price was between RM5.69 and RM6.23.

Last Monday, Sapura Energy Bhd’s share price hit a record low of 26.5 sen on heavy trading volume. Since early December last year, the stock has shed more than 25% of its value.

Sapura Energy recently raised RM4 billion via a rights issue and Islamic redeemable convertible preference shares, with an aim to reduce its borrowings and strengthen its balance sheet.

On Jan 29, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) ceased to be a substantial shareholder of Sapura Energy after disposing of two million shares.

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