Every week Stockhead publishes a weekly column of directors trades of $100,000 or more among ASX small caps. As 2019 draws to a close, we thought we could re-cap the most noteworthy trades.


Biggest trade

Wagners (ASX:WGN) co-founders Denis and John Wagner put $22m into the company’s rights issue in November.

The company sought to raise $40m to repay debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

With the share price rise since the capital raising threshold was set, the directors’ stake is now worth $36.6m. It is not the biggest gain in percentage terms made by a director, but the amount invested was the biggest.


Youngest trader

If you’re lucky enough to have saved $100,000 by 29 years old, what would you do with it? Reece Pharmaceuticals’ (ASX:RCE) James Graham put it into his own company. In his words:

“Rather than use my savings to put down a deposit on a house, I am backing what I believe is set to become a great Australian business success story.”

It is still early days for the company but the share price now sits at 30c, nearly double what he paid in March.

Read More: 
A millennial director put his $100k into his own company rather than a house deposit
Dr Boreham’s Crucible: Reece Pharmaceuticals, the emerging superbug killer


Biggest short-seller stare-down

Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) was attacked by short-seller Bonitas Research back in August. Bonitas said it believed the short selling was unfounded and accused Bonitas of fraud.

So three directors — Guy Paynter, David Bryant and Michael Carroll — bought $1.2m between them.

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

Read More: 
Corporate: Rural Funds directors walk the talk, buy $1.2 million in stock


Biggest gainer (resources)

Hot Chili (ASX: HCH) has certainly lived up to its name with its hot copper discoveries in Chile. Discoveries at its Cortadera project included two intersections above 700m long.

In March, Murray Black bought just over $500,000 of the stock when it was just 1c. Now it is worth 3.9c per share and his stake is now worth nearly $2m — a gain of nearly 300 per cent.

Read More: 
Hot Chili delivers 848m-long copper-gold porphyry hit at Cortadera


Biggest gainer (tech)

2019’s most successful IPO has been telco Uniti Group (ASX:UWL), which came to the bourse in February. Within days of listing, former Vocus executive Vaughan Bowen joined the company.

He bought an initial $951,561 worth of shares in March, which by June had increased in vlue to $4.4m. Bowen then bought another $1.55m.

In September he bought $3.35m, and in mid-December he bought another $1.3m. All up he has spent $7.2m on stock that is now worth nearly $25m.


Biggest gainer (health)

Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) is trying to develop an orphan drug for myelogenous leukemia – a rare bone cancer.

It has taken off this year after a notable investor, Daniel Tillet, bought in. Also buying in was John Cullity, who dropped $250,000 on shares. He bought at 6.6c, but now that the share price is at 18.5c the buy is now worth over $700,000.

Read More:
Finders, keepers: Big pharma’s losses can be a small cap biotech’s gain


Biggest trader – among suspended stocks

Dongfang Modern Agriculture’s (ASX:DFM) Hongwei Cai is up there among the big traders, buying $4.2m back in May.

But only a couple of weeks later the China-based fruit grower was suspended after it fell below the ASX directors threshold.

It is yet to be reinstated to trading.

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Hot Chili is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.