Off-Market Trades: Ni Hsin Resources and Gabungan AQRS

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SOME 450.95 million shares worth RM918.29 million changed hands off market, in blocks of at least 500,000 shares from Sept 24 to 30.

AirAsia Bhd saw a large block of 109.4 million shares or a 3.93% stake traded in a single transaction on Sept 25. The shares were transacted at RM2.35 apiece, which was significantly lower than its open market closing price of RM2.45 on the same day.

According to a Sept 25 announcement to Bursa Malaysia, the RM257.08 million worth of shares were disposed of by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, via their investment vehicle Tune Air Sdn Bhd. The identities of the buyers have not been disclosed, but the shares were believed to have been taken up by institutional investors.

AirAsia posted a net profit of RM367.16 million for the second quarter of the financial year ending Dec 31, 2014 (2QFY2014). The exceptional quarter-on-quarter gain, which  ballooned 529.25% from RM58.35 million in 2QFY2013, was mainly due to unrealised foreign exchange gains, amounting to some RM202.92 million.

However, net operating profit fell to RM71.02 million, from RM148.31 million in 2QFY2013.

Ni Hsin Resources Bhd saw Hsiao Liu Lee cease to be a substantial shareholder, after disposing of some 21 million shares on Sept 30, according to a filing with Bursa on the same day. The shares, which represent an 8.88% stake in the cooking utensil manufacturer, were traded at 35.5 sen apiece.

While the transaction was priced way below the stock’s closing price of 47 sen on Sept 30, Ni Hsin’s shares have been rallying significantly over the past one month (at the time of writing), triggering an unusual market activity (UMA) query by Bursa on Sept 18.

On Sept 19, The Edge reported that an oil and gas outfit had targeted the company for a reverse takeover, which could explain the increased buying interest in Ni Hsin’s shares. Between Sept 2 and Oct 1, the stock has gained 44%.

Meanwhile, Biosis Group Bhd, a Practice Note 17 (PN17) company, saw a 9.33% stake worth RM2.45 million traded off market on Sept 30. The transaction was priced at 25 sen per share or a steep 92% premium over its latest closing price of 13 sen on Sept 19, as no trades have been done on the open market since then.

During the company’s annual general meeting held on the same day (Sept 30), Biosis Managing Director Shahfie Ahmad said a regularisation plan would be submitted to Bursa Malaysia on that day, which is the deadline for its submission.

The company, which is involved in the manufacturing and distribution of healthcare products, had reported losses in every financial year since 2008 and slipped into PN17 status in June last year.

Another notable trade was seen in Takaso Resources Bhd, where two blocks totalling some 3.25 million shares or a 2.02% stake changed hands on Sept 29 and 30.

While 500,000 shares were traded at 62.5 sen apiece on Sept 29, which was close to the prevailing open market prices, a larger block of the remaining 2.75 million shares were done at 52 sen apiece on Sept 30, or far below the stock’s open market closing price of 61 sen on the same day.

In a Sept 26 announcement, the condom manufacturer said it is proposing to acquire Dynavance Construction Sdn Bhd, a construction outfit, with some RM150 million worth of projects in its pipeline.

Also worth noting were the 10.6 million shares of Gabungan AQRS Bhd that were traded in two separate transactions on Sept 30. The two blocks, which represent a 2.71% stake, were done at RM1.85 and RM1.88 apiece respectively, which were in line with open market prices for the stock on the same day.

Gabungan’s stock has been one of the top performers in the construction sector, having gained 79% this year as at its Oct 1 closing price of RM1.87.

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on October 6-12, 2014.