• Advance ZinkTek chairman buys up $1.78 million worth of shares increasing his holding to more than 51%
  • Youth apparel retailer Universal Holdings sees several of its directors bullish despite economic headwinds
  • Kelsian Group non-executive director Neil Smith sells more than $5 million worth of shares for a charity venture


Director trades are often considered a good indicator of a company’s future prospects. Our monthly ASX Director Trades column informs you who is buying in and who is selling down.

Often referred to as insider buying or selling, directors are legally permitted to buy and sell shares of the company and any subsidiaries. However, these transactions must be properly registered and divulged.

Insider buying or selling is not to be confused with insider trading, which is buying shares based on non-public information, a big no-no and illegal.

We troll through the ASX company announcements looking at director trades of interest over the past month. It’s usually the big ones that stand out or those coinciding with company news.

Directors may get shares as part of employee incentive schemes, share purchase plans, rights issues, participate in dividend reinvestment plans or purchase on-market. It’s the on-market trades we think are worth noting, where directors directly or indirectly through entities they are associated either put up cash or cash in a stake.

When a director buys shares on-market or off-market, it can signify confidence the share price will rise in the future and if multiple directors are buying, especially at larger amounts, that is even more of an indication. Of course, it’s not a sure win that the share price will rise, so it’s always worth further research on a company.

Directors will often buy company shares after a sharp price decrease. Directors may think the stock has been oversold and represents good value, sometimes they want to show confidence in their company’s prospects, other times they’ve just got another good reason to buy or sell a stock which will be divulged, like paying the good ol’ taxman.


Market overview for May

After a mini rally in April, markets fell in May. The S&P ASX 200 was down 2.5% for the month, erasing gains for the quarter and YTD.   Mid caps performed the best, while small caps lagged their blue chip peers. The S&P ASX MidCap 50 was flat for May and the S&P ASX Small Ordinaries shed 3.3%.

Several factors impacted markets during May, with the US debt ceiling among the top along with ongoing macro economic headwinds.  In Australia, a shock inflation report released on the last day of May lifted bets the RBA would hike the cash rate further at its June meeting.

Read ASX May Winners: Mid caps beat large caps; small caps lag. May was tough.

Whether it was to take advantage of depressed prices, make trades before the EOFY or pay the taxman, here were some large ASX directing buying activity in May.


May director large buys

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Direct Director or Indirect Date Volume $ Nature of change
ANO Advance ZincTek Lev Mizikovsky Indirect May 5-29 894,175 $1,785,290 On-market
HUM Humm group Andrew Abercrombie Indirect May 11-26 3,533,987 $1,503,286 On-market
RWL Rubicon Water Gordon William Dickinson Indirect May 19-27 1,815,232 $1,132,337 On-market
UNI Universal Store Holdings David MacLean Indirect May 24 & 25 344,000 $1,085,595 On-market
BFG Bell Financial Group Alastair Provan Direct May-01 600,000 $564,000 Off-market
LSF L1 Long Short Fund Raphael Lamm Direct & Indirect May 4,5 & 8 191,400 $534,135 On-market
APE Eagers Automotive Nicholas George Politis Direct & Indirect May 26-31 40,000 $494,308 On-market
PPK PPK Group Glenn Molloy Indirect May 4 & 10 349,470 $493,316 On-market
DRE Dreadnought Resources Philip Crutchfield Direct & indirect May-12 9,362,444 $482,071 On-market
UNI Universal Store Holdings Trent Peterson Indirect May 29 & 30 100,000 $291,432 On-market
RHY Rhythm Biosciences Otto Buttula Indirect May-12 683,895 $248,246 On-market
SFX Sheffield Resources John Richards Direct May 22-25 400,000 $195,983 On-market
SYR Syrah Resources James Askew Direct May-17 200,000 $182,000 On-market
NC1 NiCo Resources Peter Cook Indirect May-02 300,000 $141,750 On-market
CSR CSR Limited Adam Michael Tindall Direct May-15 20,000 $105,000 On-market
NVA Nova Minerals Craig Bentley Indirect May-17 300,000 $104,914 On-market
ELD Elders Ian Wilton Indirect May-17 15,000 $103,350 On-market
NC2 NiCo Resources Jonathan Shellabear Direct May-02 200,000 $94,500 On-market
UNI Universal Store Holdings Peter Birtles Direct May-24 20,000 $60,752 On-market
RWL Rubicon Water Bruce Rodgerson Indirect May-25 60,000 $37,500 On-market
RWL Rubicon Water David Aughton Indirect May-25 30,000 $18,900 On-market
RWL Rubicon Water Lynda O'Grady Indirect May 23-25 20,000 $18,600 On-market
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Advance ZincTek chairman lifts major holding

Advance ZincTek (ASX:ANO) non-executive chairman Lev Mizikovsky ponied up for more than ~$1.78 million worth of stock during May.

Formerly Advanced Nano Technologies, ANO is a manufacturer of aluminium oxide powder, zinc oxide dispersions and zinc oxide powder for the personal care sector within markets in Australia, the US, Canada and Europe.

In a change of interests of substantial shareholder notice filed to the ASX on May 17, Mizikovsky holds a 51.39% stake in the ANO, up from 50.30%.

While the company’s share price is up ~3.75% in the past five days, it is down ~18.50% YTD.


RWL share price rises 12% as directors buy up

Australian water technology solutions company Rubicon Waters (ASX:RWL) has seen its directors buying up shares during May.

RWL is working to sustainably increase global food and fibre production through improved water use efficiency. The company delivers advanced tech to managers of gravity fed irrigation networks, enabling them to better manage their water resources.

Chairman Gordon Dickinson headed the buy up with a purchase of more than $1.1 million worth of shares. CEO Bruce Rodgerson, executive director David Aughton and independent non-executive director Lynda O’Grady also stumped up for shares in RWL.

There has not been that much substantial news coming out of RWL in 2023. The company’s share price is down 22% YTD but up more than 12% in the past five days.


Universal Store Holdings directors buy up

Youth casual apparel retailer Universal Store Holdings (ASX:UNI) has seen its directors bullish on the stock with non-executive director David MacLean leading the buy-ups, purchasing more than $1 million worth of stock in May.

Also buying up stock in smaller amounts was chair and non-executive director Peter Birtles and non-executive director Trent Patterson.

In May UNI told the market that it was on track to deliver record sales in FY23, and material growth in EBIT compared to FY22 but acknowledged there were increasing signs of pressure in the the youth market and its discretionary spending power.

Broker Wilsons Advisory has placed a 12-month target price of $4.22 on UNI and said the retailer has an attractive store pipeline, and clear momentum from its brands, Perfect Stranger and CTC (Thrills).

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the best performing subcategory in retail for April was clothing, up 2.1% month-on-month.


The ANO, RWL & UNI Share price today:


May director large sells

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Director Direct or Indirect Date Volume $ Nature of change
KLS Kelsian Group Neil Espie Smith Direct & Indirect May-25 778,704 $5,008,624 On-market
SRG SRG Global David Macgeorge Indirect May 19 & 22 2,500,000 $1,777,808 On-market & off-market
IAM Income Asset Management Group Brook Anthony Adcock Indirect May-25 7,000,000 $910,000.00 On-market
IS3 I Synergy Group Dato Teo Chee Hong Direct & Indirect May-11 26,046,192 $208,369.54 Off-market
QPM Queensland Pacific Metals James Simpson Direct & Indirect May-05 1,000,000 $125,000 On-market
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Kelsian Group director sells for a good cause

Non-executive director Neil Smith sold more than $5 million worth of shares in bus and tour operator Kelsian Group (ASX:KLS)

In an announcement accompanying the change of director’s interest notice KLS said the disposal of shares were by the trustee of  The Inubia Paulista Trust in which Mr Smith is a beneficiary.

“The principal use of the proceeds of the disposal will be to further support charitable projects undertaken by a UK registered charity called The Relay Trust of which Mr Smith is a trustee,” the announcement said.

“The projects supported by The Relay Trust are educational and community infrastructure projects in Sudan, South Sudan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Angola and Sierra Leone.”

Furthermore the announcement said Smith participated (through Relay Australia Pty Ltd as trustee for The Relay Trust Australia) in the recent KLS capital raise associated with the proposed acquisition of All Aboard America! Holdings, Inc.

“Mr Smith has advised Kelsian that there are no changes in Kelsian’s circumstances influencing his decision to dispose of these shares,” the announcement said.

Smith was one of the founding shareholders and former chair of the Transit Systems Group before the acquisition by Sealink.


Paying the good ol’ taxman

Local construction service company SRG Global (ASX:SRG) managing director David Macgeorge has sold 2.5 million shares in the company equating to ~$1.78 million.

In an announcement accompanying the change of director’s interest notice SRG said the sale was “to fund personal tax liabilities and property”.

“Mr Macgeorge continues to hold a significant portion of his shareholding in the Company, equating to 5,438,389 fully paid ordinary shares,” the announcement said.

SRG was a pick of Shaw and Partners’ James Gerrish in one of our recent MoneyTalks articles.

“SRG’s FY22 results and FY23 outlook provide strong evidence that SRG is delivering on its strategy and is a lower risk investment when compared to many construction and mining service peers given the recurring nature of a large portion of its revenue,” Gerrish said.


The KLS & SRG share price today: