• Leeuwin Metals has new substantial shareholders since listing on the ASX in March 
  • State Street becomes substantial shareholder of Liontown Resources but JP Morgan out
  • State Street pulls out of United Malt Group as takeover deal with Malteries Soufflet heats up

Trading Places is Stockhead’s semi-regular, pretty damn fascinating recap of the latest red flag buying and selling of ASX stocks. 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 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%.

Those becoming and those ceasing to be 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.


March market overview

March presented a list of worries for investors, with ongoing inflation, interest rate hikes, geopolitical tension and a new banking crisis.   The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the US along with Switzerland’s second largest bank Credit Suisse heightened fears of a GFC 2.0.

But regulators stepped in to reassure investors while rival Swiss Bank UBS brokered a deal to buy Credit Suisse with global markets managing to navigate the difficult terrain.

The S&P ASX 200 rallied in the last week of trade for March to gain 3%. It was the best week for local shares since early January. The benchmark closed the month down 0.16% but remains up 3.46% YTD.

In New York, the S&P 500 gained 3.51% in March, while the Dow lifted 1.89% for the month.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 6.69% in March and advanced 16.77% in its best quarter since 2020.

There was certainly no shortage of changes in ASX substantial holdings in March. Here’s some that got our attention at the end of March.


Recent Buys

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Leeuwin Metals new substantial shareholders following IPO

Leeuwin Metals (ASX:LM1) has new substantial shareholders since listing on the ASX on March 30 following an oversubscribed IPO raising $8m.

One of the world’s largest globally diversified natural resource players, Glencore was drawn to the company’s attractive suite of assets, taking a 9.97% cornerstone investment of shares on issue.

The projects include the flagship William Lake nickel sulphide project in the world-famous Thompson nickel belt in Manitoba, Canada, with Glencore and LM1 establishing a technical committee to leverage the mining giant’s expertise in Canadian nickel.

State Street buys into Liontown Resources while JP Morgan pulls out

There always wheeling and dealing in these big financial companies but US financial services giant State Street Corporation and subsidiaries have finished the month as a substantial shareholder in Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), described by Stockhead’s Reuben Adams as “hotter-than-hot project developer”.

However, another US financial giant JP Morgan Chase & Co has pulled out of being a substantial shareholder in LTR, which this week announced it had agreed to terms with Olympio Metals (ASX:OLY) to farm into its Mulline and Mulwarrie lithium projects in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

The company is set to complete 1,100 soil samples across the projects before progressing to Stage 1 earn-in, which will take LTR to a 51% interest within one year.

LTR has rejected the latest takeover offer made on March 27 from lithium giant Albemarle valuing the mine developer at $2.50/share. Ablemarle  has built a ~4.3% stake on-market and previously offered $2.35 per share on March 3, 2023, and $2.20 per share on October 20, 2022.

The LTR share price is up more than 51% in the past month and ~112% YTD.


The LM1 & LTR share price today:


Recent Sells

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State Street pulls out of United Malt Group

State Street Corporation has ceased to be a substantial shareholder in  United Malt (ASX:UMG), the world’s fourth largest maltster and supplier of malt ingredients to beer and whisky companies.

UMG announced it had entered into a process and exclusivity deed with French malt giant and rival Malteries Soufflet after receiving a revised all cash takeover bid on March 28, valuing the company at $5/share, a 45.3% premium to the last closing price on March 24.

UMG had previously turned down Malteries Soufflet offers made on December 16, 2022 for $4.15 in cash/share, on February 6, 2023, for $4.50/share and on March 8, 2023 for $4.90/share per share.

The share price today: