• Natural rutile producer Sierra Rutile has seen several new substantial shareholders since listing on the ASX on July 27
  • Troubled biotech Hexima has seen global investment bank Credit Suisse bullish on its prospects becoming a substantial shareholder
  • Heavily shorted biotech Nanosonics sees US multinational investment bank cease to be a substantial shareholder

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 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 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

The ASX has experienced the continued trend of volatility recently in what has been a tumultuous year with economic uncertainty and interest rate rises.  Markets have been marginally bullish since the US CPI figures came out showing US inflation had eased more than expected to 8.5% in July from an over 40-year high of 9.1% hit in June.

But while the ASX 200 finished last week marginally up on positive sentiment, it has started the week in the red and undoing gains following Wall Street’s lead on Friday. The  S&P/ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) has now fallen 0.9% in the past five days with only energy, materials and consumer staples in the green.

In terms of ASX stocks there have been some large buys and sells across the sectors, with money coming back into beaten down health stocks and new substantial holders in the always popular resources sector.


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Sierra Rutile (ASX:SRX) continues to see new substantial shareholders since listing on the ASX on July 27. The West Africa-focused natural rutile producer de-merged from Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).  The share price in Sierra has not been fortunate since its IPO falling ~33% from above 40 cents to 29 cents.


Some good news for troubled Melbourne-based biotech Hexima (ASX:HXM) which has seen Credit Suisse have faith in its prospects and become a substantial shareholder.

Hexima saw its share price tank ~88% recently on news its Phase 2 trial of its lead product, pezadeftide for the treatment of onychomycosis (fungal nail infection), was a bust.

On August 2, Hexima announced CEO and managing director Michael Aldridge would resign his “executive responsibilities immediately”. Chief operating officer Nicole Van der Weerden is acting CEO while Aldridge will remain as non-executive director.



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Heavily shorted Nanosonics (ASX:NAN) has seen US multinational investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co cease to be a substantial shareholder.   Nanosonics has developed and commercialised the trophon EPR device, a unique automated disinfection technology, which was the first major innovation in disinfection for ultrasound probes in more than 20 years. However, it remains one of the most shorted stocks on the ASX.

The company’s share price is up ~12% in the past month to $4.76/share.

JP Morgan Chase & Co has also sold out of Network as a Service (NaaS) Megaport (ASX:MP1) in the past fortnight. The Megaport price has come under pressure, falling ~60% year to date.

In other sells worth noting, CSR (ASX:CSR) which provides building products for home and commercial construction firms has lost Blackrock group as a substantial shareholder.  The company share price has risen ~9% in the past month and shown resilience to recent volatility in the industry.

Lithium and diversified metals developer Core Lithium (ASX:CXO), whose price has rocketed ~120% year to date,  has also seen State Street sell out in the past fortnight.