Trading Places: This week’s substantial holder movements – from Gina Rinehart to short term fund managers
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In this weekly column, Stockhead overviews all substantial holder filings of ASX small caps. Substantial shareholders are those holding 5 per cent or more and these could be directors, individual investors or institutions.
Companies are required to announce when new substantial holders have come on board, when they have ceased to be shareholders or when they change their holdings.
At the end of last week, Gina Rinehart spent $13m on a 11% direct stake in Victorian gold exporer Catalyst Metals (ASX: CYL). This came only a few days after Catalyst came across its largest ever prospect of 1m at 1,380g/t.
While Gina Rinehart was the richest person to appear this week, the richest institution was UBS which took a 5.82% stake in RuralCo Holdings (ASX: RHL). UBS been trading RuralCo shares all year but its purchase of 2 million shares for over $9 million last Wednesday took its holdings to 6.1 million – 5.82%.
Fidelity bought 5% stakes in Pensana Metals (ASX: PM8) and Anctinogen (ASX: ACW) which would have cost over $4 million all up.
Selector Funds Management, the best performing long-only Australian fund last year, bought a 5.56% stake in Infomedia (ASX: IFM).
China Magnesium (ASX: CMC) issued a 15.1% stake to a Singaporean real estate investor Sovran White, controlled by former MP Peh Chin Hua. While its core business is lithium in Northern China, it formed an agreement with Sovran to provide consulting services as Sovran’s seek to export fruit grown at its plantations in China.
The strangest ‘Exiter’ was digital agency Trimantium Growthops (ASX: TGO) which on Monday sold a $5.5m stake in…itself. But the previous Friday, the company announced a share buyback program to begin at the end of the month.
The ‘bought back’ shares represent capital set aside for potential acquisitions which have not yet materialised. But this did not stop the sale and subsequent disclosure to the ASX. Despite the name Titantium International and different office to the GrowthOps firm, it is the same one it gave to the ASX when it listed in 2017.
Chemical technology company Calix (ASX: CLX) farewelled Australian investment house Washington H Soul as a substantial holder – it sold 3 million shares for $2.2 million.
Despite IPH’s persistance, it seems QANTM IP (ASX: QIP) will be the ones to acquire Xenith IP (ASX: XIP). Yet there will be more background noise to come before the vote on the takeover and small cap investor Renaissance clearly doesn’t want to wait. Renaissance sold its 5.42% stake in QANTM – selling 1.8m shares after selling 1.2m earlier in the month.
Just five days after National Tyre and Wheel (ASX: NTD) welcomed Perpetual as a substantial shareholder with just over 5%, it lost the mantle with a sale of $700,000 shares – although it still owns 3.5%. It’s unclear why it would come and go so quickly.
The only news that came from the Brisbane based company was Forager becoming a substantial holder, as we reported two weeks ago. Yet it would seem odd that just one holder joining would be enough to leave.
Considering Australia’s property downturn, Accordian Investments’ topping up of its 7.6 per cent stake in VillaWorld (ASX: VLW) to 9.4 per cent is eyebrow raising. Perhaps it thinks property developers will still gain or its perhaps anticipates it will deliver another hefty dividend, like last years’ $1.67 per share.
One sector that was facing a downturn but now faces upside is mortgage broking. Spheria Asset Management has increased its stake in Mortgage Choice (ASX: MOC) from 12.75% to 15.54%.
Antisense Therapeutics (ASX: ANP) completed a $1.6m placement. National Nominees and Platinum Investment both participated as their stakes went from 18.1 per cent to 20 per cent and from 5.7 per cent to 8.6 per cent respectively.
Regal Funds sunk its teeth into more of Syrah Resources (ASX: SYR), increasing its stake from 7.4 per cent to 9.4 per cent. While it had been several months since it last updated the ASX, it had been on a buying spree recently, purchasing $4.8 million of Syrah shares last Wednesday (the 13th) alone.
Fidelity increased its 10 per cent stake in Medibio (ASX: MEB) to 16.3 per cent and Prudential increased its 16.6 per cent stake in White Energy (ASX: WEC) to 19.8 per cent.
IOOF decreased its holdings in EML Payments (ASX: EML) and Oliver’s Real Foods (ASX: OLI). To say the latter was a poor investment would be an understatement – it cost $680,000 but returned only $260,000.
GetSwift (ASX: GSW) has been plagued by problems such as misconduct allegations made by ASIC and a declining share price for several months. Fidelity had a 7.32% stake in the company but now it stands at 6.19%.
Tritanium Growth (ASX: TGO) saw three fund managers (Pattani, Forci and Asia Selagnor) see their stakes decline due to a placement in which they remained idle. Managing director Phillip Kingston did participate, buying 900,000 shares, but he lost 20% of his stake, which fell from 22.48% to 18.52%.
AustralianSuper cut its stake in Digital AV firm Audinate Group (ASX: AD8) from 8.4 per cent to 7.2 per cent. Small cap investor Celeste Fund Management reduced its stake in marketing communications company Salmat (ASX: SLM) from 6.5 per cent to 5.3 per cent.