Off-Market Trades: Hubline, Jiankun International, Boustead Holdings, E&O and China Automobile Parts Holdings

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IN the week ended Dec 30, some 431.696 million shares worth RM590.1 million changed hands off market over four trading days in blocks of at least 425,000 shares. Volume was relatively low as many took a break for the Christmas holiday.

Notable transactions included those at Hubline Bhd, which saw 70.71 million shares traded off market at an average price of four sen apiece. There was one direct trade involving 24 million shares on Dec 30. Interestingly, the remaining shares were done in 101 separate block trades, ranging from 428,000 shares to 500,000 shares each.

The total value of the trades was relatively small at only RM2.81 million. However, it made up about 2.18% of the total share capital.

The Ling family that controls Hubline has been actively paring down its holding over the past year. Managing director Dennis Ling has only slightly over 1% equity interest in the Sarawak-based shipping company.

Billion Power Sdn Bhd, which is controlled by Ling’s sister Peck Yii, had trimmed its stake in Hubline from 16.37% in February to 9.53% as at Dec 26. From Dec 22 to 26 alone, it sold over 221.5 million shares, mostly on the open market at four sen each.

Peck Yii controls 56.66% of Billion Power with the remaining 43.33% held by Top Gold Capital Ltd, which in the past has been linked to Li Hsiang, another of Ling’s sisters.

Another substantial shareholder, Pau Chiong Ching, who used to control 13.99% of Hubline, sold his shares and ceased to be a substantial shareholder in March.
An off-market trade involving Jiankun International Bhd saw a block of five million shares or a 3.27% stake change hands on Dec 24. The property developer was formerly known as Nagamas International Bhd. On the same day, executive deputy chairman Ng Kek Kiong resigned to pursue his own interests.

The shares are believed to have been disposed by Jiankun MB International Holdings Sdn Bhd, formerly known as MB Longi Sdn Bhd. According to a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Jiankun MB sold five million shares on Dec 24 and is left with a 16.94% stake.

Boustead Holdings Bhd saw 31.5 million shares or a 3.05% stake worth RM150.38 million change hands off market. The trades took place in blocks of 20.7 million shares and 10.8 million shares on Dec 24 and 30 respectively. The first block was done at RM4.75 apiece and the second at RM4.82 each.

At the time of writing, there are no filings with Bursa but Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, which is the controlling shareholder with a 58.84% stake, was actively buying and selling Boustead’s shares earlier in the month.

Eastern & Oriental Bhd saw 15 million shares or a 1.35% stake worth RM34.52 million traded off market at RM2.30 per share on Dec 26. This was only four days after the Employees Provident Fund disposed of 2.034 million shares, ceasing to be a substantial shareholder.

The trades are likely the result of managing director Datuk Tham Ka Hon transferring the shares from one account to another. In total, he has a 10.9% stake in E&O.

During the period in review, China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd saw 28.85 million shares worth RM8.361 million traded off market. This was a right-hand to left-hand transaction by substantial shareholder Ong Juan Tee that had no material impact on his holding. Ong is also the founder of the company and the non-independent non-executive vice-chairman.

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This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 5-11, 2015.