Directors Trades: Potash directors have been betting on a bounce back in recent days
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In the last fortnight another two dozen directors of ASX small caps made trades above $100,000 and a number of them chipped into potash stocks.
COVID-19 was the last thing potash stocks needed having been struggling prior to the pandemic. This had been due to low prices, relative to a decade ago, and larger producing countries dominating the market.
Yet some companies have been making moves to turn Australia from an importer to a producer in its own right.
Cornelius, who is director of four ASX small caps also topped up his holdings in manganese play Element25 (ASX:E25) by $690,054.
Three directors of Kalium Lakes (ASX:KLL) participated in its recent capital raising. Brett Hazelden bought $1.66m worth of shares, Brent Smoothy bought $1m and Malcolm Randall bought $100,000.
Kalium has had a bit of a rough run, having spent three-and-a-half months in suspension before re-entering the bourse after raising capital.
The company’s attempts to convince shareholders its project is still on track have so far not been reflected in its share price, which has barely budged in the last few weeks.
Finally Salt Lake Potash’s (ASX:SO4) Tony Swiericzuk and Ian Middlemas bought $172,000 and $765,000, respectively, in their company’s placement. Salt Lake Potash has been recovering since late March but is still below the highs it was reaching at the start of the year.
Mortgage aggregator Australian Finance Group (ASX:AFG) is another company that had to raise capital during COVID-19 but it said this was just as much about the long-term as the short-term.
Since we last reported on its $57m capital raising, Craig Carter chipped in another $153,457 to underwrite the retail component of the offer.
In a good sign for the company, the ACCC last week gave the go-ahead to an acquisition it had previously raised concerns about. AFG’s purchase of Connective will create the largest mortgage aggregator in Australia.
Another company that did a capital raising with an institutional and retail component was New Zealand’s pay TV operator Sky Network Television (ASX:SKT). While multiple directors chipped in, only William Darcey went over the $100,000 mark buying $NZ228,569 ($213,969) worth of shares.
The company is in a similar position to Australia’s Fox Sports, on one hand advantaged because it can live with consumers stuck at home. But on the other it just isn’t sure yet how much live sports content it will get in the months to come with many major leagues yet to resume.
Nonetheless, it told investors last month that it expects a net profit after tax of $5m-$15m.
Battery manufacturing stock Novonix (ASX:NVX) saw a trio of its directors chip into its rights issue. Anthony Bellas stumped up $263,3677, Gregory Baynton bought $107,117 and Andrew Liveris bought $599,255.
The company is developing a technology that could substantially reduce the costs of lithium-ion batteries and has continued to edge closer to commercialisation. Shareholders have sent the stock from 23c to 90c in just over a month.
The biggest individual buyer was Geoff Bainbridge from Lark Distilling (ASX:LRK). He bought $2.4m off market in the brewing stock.
The company, which used to be known as Australian Whisky Holdings, told shareholders last month it wants to become “the Penfolds of Australian whisky”.
It also said alcohol sales were holding up during COVID-19 with research showing Australians were drinking more.