Director trades: only 6 big buyers cracked open the champers over the new year
There were a solid number of trades registered in the Christmas week but, to corrupt Mr Darcy’s cutting line in Pride and Prejudice, few were handsome enough to tempt us.
Just seven trades over the last two weeks were over $100,000 — and two of those were by the same millionaire.
Youthful Chinese exec Hongwei Cai continued his buying into citrus seller Dongfang Modern Agriculture (ASX:DFM), the company he chairs.
Mr Cai now owns 66 per cent of the fruit grower, after a spending spree that began in September.
He once owned 80 per cent of the company, in 2016, but sold down to let four new investors in that year. He has been slowly buying on market since then to rebuild his stake.
In an unusual move, the company took out a $50m loan early in 2018 for acquisitions, but secured it not against its assets, but against Mr Cai’s shareholding.
That loan, priced in Hong Kong dollars, caused a massive swing into the red for the company’s full year books, which reported a $7m loss for 2017.
Audio Pixels (ASX:AKP) boss Fred Bart got even more stock in the company after converting a convertible note into shares.
This intriguing little business has been trying, for about 12 years, to make a speaker that will allow only the user to hear the sound and no one else.
Despite earning exactly $0 in revenue in that time — they’re still in the prototyping/production/testing phase — Audio Pixels is worth $608m.
But “three breakthroughs” aside (a release issued in December which was quickly followed by a “when did you first know about this?” letter from the ASX), various deadlines have been promised for this magical speaker and none have been kept — and yet the stock is still close to its 52-week high.
Mr Bart owns 21 per cent of the company, via a range of entities.
Companies tied to Consolidated Zinc (ASX:CZL) chairman Stephen Copulos took up another 19.7m shares last week.
CEO Brad Marwoon says Mr Copulos consistently buys Consolidated stock but is limited by creep restriction to acquiring 3 per cent per every six months (a regulation that prevents owners of more than 19.9 per cent of a company from buying larger chunks without making a takeover offer).
Consolidated recently bought took its holding in a Mexican mine named Plomosas up to 90 per cent and because this purchase was partly paid in shares, it allowed Mr Copulos to buy more stock.
Mr Copulos has been around ASX boards for years, noting a series of mining and food companies on his resume from KFC to Crusader Resources.