Trading Places is Stockhead’s semi-regular, pretty damn fascinating recap of the latest red flag buying and selling of ASX small 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 an individual’s trade in a company’s stock crosses the 5% threshold. These are usually directors, individual investors, institutional investors… or their distant (and not-so-distant) relatives.

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%.

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

Sellers – Perennial cuts LayBuy losses

Standing out as a zealous seller of late is fund manager Perennial Value Management which has ceased to be a substantial shareholder of New Zealand fintech LayBuy Holdings (ASX:LBY).

Dominated by Afterpay, the once mighty BNPL sector has been caught naked and without a toothbrush in the recent tech and payments sell-off.

And LayBuy has been one of the mightiest losers in the BNPL sector – and there’s been a lot of compelling competition for that title in a sector that looks like Jack Dorsey’s play thing, where Square is now Block and where the blog guy at Zip Co is voluntarily explaining how similar BNPL is to Laybuy.

Shares in LayBuy are now trading at record lows and have plunged to ~10 cents. It’s a steep decent from its listing close of $2.30 back in September 2020 from an IPO of $1.41 per share. 

When the market opened on February 9 Perennial had a 10% stake in Laybuy, but the call had come through to cut losses fast. That day, perennial began a consistent sell down of its holdings ~5 million shares – and by February 17 ceased to be a substantial shareholder of LBY.

Sellout of RBR Group

Kyle Haynes ceased to be a substantial holder in oil and gas services stock RBR Group (ASX:RBR) after his GH super fund sold 25 million shares for $125,000.

On February 10, the RBA announced it had reached a full and final settlement regarding a dispute over unpaid accounts in Mozambique, with more thanUS$4 million now paid to RBR subsidiary Projectos Dinamicos Lda.

Newbury reduces East Energy Resources holding

Coal explorer East Energy Resources Limited (ASX: EER) has seen its Managing Director and Executive Chairman James Newbury and his associated companies Maylion Pty Ltd and Axis Minerals Pty Ltd reduce their holdings.

Newbury et al have disposed of a massive 900 million shares, which interestingly enough only reduced his voting power from 78.45% to 69.08%. We could do the math, but we’re not going to. Bottom line: it looks like he’s still got a fair hand in things.

Vectus has a new substantial shareholder

Kefford Holdings Pty Ltd ATF The Kefford Family Trust paid around $1.15 million to become a substantial shareholder in Vectus Biosystems (ASX:VBS) on none other than Valentine’s Day.

The Vectus share price rallied 6.87% to $1.40 on Monday after it announced dosing for its Phase 1/1b trial of VB0004 to treat fibrotic liver diseases has been reviewed by the Safety Review Committee. No adverse events have been observed and the latest doses, ‘added materially to the therapeutic safety margin’ for VB0004.

And finally, GB Energy founder and Perth Stockbroker Graeme Kirk has increased his stake in Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER) to 10.3%.  Kirk has been a buyer and seller of the stock in the past and made an on market purchase of ~$87k of SER stock between February 4 and 7.