• Nordic Nickel announces its new substantial shareholders following its June 2 debut
  • Sigma Healthcare defies ASX health stocks to keep rising and attract new substantial shareholders
  • Hard-hit e-commerce and health stocks among those to lose substantial shareholders

Trading Places is Stockhead’s semi-regular, pretty damn fascinating recap of the latest red flag buying and selling of ASX small and mid cap shares.  It is here that the rubber really hits the road for fund managers, stakeholders, distant (and not-so-distant) relatives and other famous or infamous investors.

Specifically, Trading Places tracks substantial shareholder movements – namely when a trade in a company’s stock crosses or falls below the 5% threshold.

Substantial shareholders are usually directors, individual investors, institutional investors… or their distant (and not-so-distant) relatives, which they will refer to as listed related bodies corporate or something similar. You can see in detail these listed bodies on the company’s ASX announcement.

Shareholders are required by basic human decency (and the law) to publicly declare via the exchange when their personal stake goes below or above 5%, and from there, every movement in their holdings while owning above 5%.

The becoming and ceasing to be a substantial shareholders are the ones we think are worth noting, where a trade takes an investor over the 5% threshold or has them drop back below.

Here’s the form to get you started, if reading this makes you twitchy.

Fortnight overview

Markets have been volatile throughout 2022, culminating in $82 billion being wiped from the ASX on Tuesday in its worst session since March 2020. As the market entered correction territory following a broad Wall Street sell-off, millions were wiped from company market caps.   Rising inflation, hawkish central banks and slowing economies have investors jittery. Whether trying to nab a bargain, prevent losses or purchase stocks well-positioned for bearish sentiment, there has been some large buys and sell-offs on the ASX during the past fortnight.
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Buyers – Becoming

Olympio (ASX:OLY) has announced its new shareholders including Rocktivity Mining executive director Daniel Hoghton and Electrification and Decarbonization AIE LP, a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Toronto-based Waratah Capital Advisers, which has come on as a cornerstone investor.

Olympio was formerly failed hemp stock Croplogic, which re-listed as the WA gold, nickel, and lithium explorer late last month. It raised $6m at 20c per share.

Nordic Nickel (ASX:NNL) put out announcements about its substantial shareholders following its June 2 debut, including resources veteran Robert Wrixon and someone hoping the company will do well to “Bring on Retirement”.

NNL is chasing up some old Outoukumpu targets at its 395sqkm Pulju Project over in Finland and hopes to deliver an initial JORC resource estimate on the back of re-assays from the project’s remaining core within months of listing.  The company closed 16% higher on its debut at 29c after raising an impressive $12 million at 25c a pop.

Pharmacy group Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) found itself with a number of new substantial shareholders this fortnight. Sigma’s share price has defied the odds of other ASX healthcare stocks in the past month and risen more than 7%.

Sigma is one of Australia’s largest full line pharmacy wholesalers in Australia, and has the largest footprint of branded pharmacies along with an expanding national hospital services business.

Sellers – Ceasing

As the battle for fertility company Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) comes to an end, failed London-based equity firm CapVest has ceased to be a substantial shareholder after Melbourne-based BGH gained the upper hand.

BGH now holds more than a 90% holding in Virtus after steadily increasing its shareholding in the company, with the board earlier this month urging shareholders to back the offer.

Several ASX health stocks saw investors ceasing to be substantial shareholders. The S&P/ASX 200 healthcare index has been hard hit by this year’s volatility, falling ~15% year to date.

Boutique fundie SG Hiscock & Company Ltd has ceased to be a substantial shareholder in BikeExchange (ASX:BEX), the place to go and sell a bike.

The ecommerce space has been hit hard of late with recent sell-offs in growth stocks amid market volatility with the BikeExchange share price dropping more than 43% in the past month.

The fall comes despite another record in Europe for monthly ecommerce transaction values and is on track for a record Q4 FY22, while the BEX restructuring and cost reduction plan announced in April 2022 is largely done with the benefits expected to be felt from Q1 FY23.

Other ecommerce stocks where substantial shareholders have been selling out include Laybuy (ASX:LBY) and Kogan (ASX:KGN). 

Smart cloud connectivity company Megaport (ASX:MP1) has seen UBS Group AG and its related bodies corporate sell out. Megaport has struggled of late with its share price plummeting more than 18% in the past month.

In March founder and chairman Bevan Slattery offloaded 3 million shares in a trade via the UBS equities desk, equating to ~$39 million.