Utusan share price surges 143% after chairman buys 31.61% stake

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd’s share price surged as much as 143% after news that its executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir, who assumed the post after quitting the same post in mid-December, had acquired 35 million shares or 31.61% stake in the group.

At 10.41am, the counter rose 16 sen or 139% to 27.5 sen, its highest level in seven months with 276,200 shares traded, giving a market capitalisation of RM30.45 million.

In a filing on Friday (Feb 8), Utusan said Abd Aziz had bought the stake at 19 sen per share for a total of RM6.65 million via his private vehicle Opulence Asia Sdn Bhd. The price was at a premium of 7.5 sen or 65.2% from its last traded price of 11.5 sen apiece as at Jan 31.

The filing did not reveal from whom Abd Aziz bought the stake from. According to Bloomberg data, Umno was the single largest shareholder of the group as at April last year, with a 49.77% stake.

Another big shareholder was tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary’s Nilam Setar M Sdn Bhd which had a 14.76% stake, and Aspirasi Sigma Sdn Bhd with 3.16%.