Insider Moves: Ni Hsin Resources, KNM Group, Abric, ES Ceramics Technology and Dayang Enterprise Holding

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NOTABLE filings

Pelaburan Mara Bhd’s emergence as a substantial shareholder in cookware manufacturer Ni Hsin Resources Bhd was among notable shareholding changes filed between Nov 5 and 11. The investment arm of Majlis Amanah Rakyat bought 12 million shares or a 5.2% stake on Oct 30.

The filing with Bursa Malaysia did not state how much it paid. However, Bloomberg data shows that 20 million Ni Hsin shares changed hands off market in six blocks on Oct 30 at 52 sen apiece. The off-market price did not differ much from that of Ni Hsin shares traded on the market. It closed at 52.5 sen that day, off an intraday high of 54.5 sen, but below the previous day’s close of 51.5 sen.

Ni Hsin shares have appreciated 149% in a matter of five months, buoyed by news that some of its investors and new board members — with ties to Ideal Jacobs (M) Corp Bhd — were looking to transform the company into an oil and gas player. The Edge Research deems Ni Hsin to be volatile, ascribing it the highest score of 5 on risk and only 0.6 out of 3 points on valuation.

Meanwhile, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) ceased to be a substantial shareholder in KNM Group Bhd after it sold 2.68 million shares or a 0.17% stake on Oct 31. This is not the first time that the EPF has trimmed its holding to below 5%, the most recent was in December 2011. It re-emerged as a substantial shareholder in July 2014 with a 5.51% stake.

Like its peers, KNM’s share price has been hammered by lower oil prices. Closing at 72.5 sen last Wednesday, the stock has skidded 34% from a high of RM1.10 on Aug 4. Three out of four analysts have “buy” calls on KNM, with target prices ranging from 49 sen to RM1.35.

A new substantial shareholder has emerged at Abric Bhd, which on Sept 24 entered into an agreement to sell its main business of producing electronic security seals for RM146 million. After first becoming a substantial shareholder with a 5.02% stake on Oct 30, filings show that Koh Kok Hooi bought another 589,200 shares between Oct 31 and Nov 11 at undisclosed prices. That lifted his holding to 5.62% or 5.56 million shares. Abric traded between 63.5 sen and 67 sen over the period.

Should the sale of its main business to ESNT International Ltd go through, Abric will distribute between RM29.7 million and RM44.6 million, or 30 sen per share, as special dividend and use the remaining cash to pursue acquisition opportunities. Abric intends to maintain its listing status.

Notable movements

ES Ceramics Technology Bhd saw two substantial shareholders pare their stakes as its share price gained 83.3% over three weeks from 15 sen on Oct 16 to 27.5 sen on Nov 5. The gains were even more pronounced when measured from its recent low of 10.5 sen on June 6, even as its bottom line grew 119% year on year to RM2.62 million for its financial year ended May 31, 2014.

Filings show that Choy Swee Lan ceased to be a substantial shareholder, after she sold 300,000 shares on Nov 5. Choy had nine million shares or a 5.11% stake as at Sept 30. Another substantial shareholder, Tan Ching Ling, disposed of 2.29 million shares between Oct 20 and Nov 7, reducing her stake to 5.29% or 9.91 million shares on Oct 20. ES Ceramics closed at 24 sen last Wednesday. While the stock’s stellar fundamental score by The Edge Research reflects its earnings growth, the counter is also deemed to be volatile and has been ascribed the highest score of 5 on risk.

Closing at RM2.81 last Wednesday, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd’s share price was down nearly a fifth over two months, but filings show that Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) has been mopping up its shares. While KWAP has sold some shares in the period under review, its stake in Dayang has almost doubled. As at Nov 13, KWAP’s direct and deemed stake stood at 8.79% or 78.29 million shares.

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This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 17-23, 2014.