Off-Market Trades: MMAG Holdings, Utusan Melayu (M), Eastern & Oriental, Kerjaya Prospek Group, Sime Darby Holdings

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NOTABLE off-market trades in the period under review include a block of 34.5 million MMAG Holdings shares sold for 30 sen apiece in the final trading hour on July 23.

The RM10.35 million paid for the 4.96% stake is a 20% premium to the stock’s value on the open market. The counter closed at 25 sen that day.

At the time of writing, the buyer and seller of the block had yet to be ascertained. On July 24, the counter closed at 24 sen for a market capitalisation of RM163.31 million.

Note that on July 17, MMAG welcomed ex-banker Dr Aimi Zulhazmi Abdul Rashid as an executive director. Seven days prior, an MMAG subsidiary received a money-lending licence under the Moneylenders Act 1951.

MMAG’s single largest shareholder is Cypress Valley Sdn , an IT and consultancy firm that first emerged as a substantial shareholder in November last year with a 19.67% stake.

The stake has since grown to 24.68% or 171.53 million shares, according to Bloomberg data. Cypress Valley is the vehicle of non-executive chairman Datuk Khan Mohd Akram Khan.

The second largest shareholder is non-executive director Chan Swee Ying with 163.88 million shares (23.58%), followed by Marina Teguh Sdn  with 71.21 million shares (10.25%).

Marina Teguh is the vehicle of executive director-cum-CEO Jeff Chong Koon Meng. There are no other shareholders holding more than 14.6 million shares, according to Bloomberg data.

The spotlight during the week under review was on Utusan Melayu (M) , which publishes the country’s oldest Malay daily, Utusan Malaysia.

On July 19, Nilam Setar (M) Sdn  acquired 5.5 million shares from two direct transactions recorded just after 5pm at 10 sen apiece. The total transacted value was RM550,000 and the shares amounted to a 4.97% stake.

Nilam Setar and the selling shareholders, Aspirasi Sigma Sdn  and Fasa Mahsuri Sdn , are all linked to businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, effectively making it a consolidation exercise.

Post-acquisition, Nilam Setar controls 19.7% of Utusan Melayu and is the second largest shareholder behind Opulence Asia Sdn , the vehicle of executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir. Opulence owns 31.61% while Umno’s 18.1% stake makes it the third largest shareholder.

At property developer Eastern & Oriental , two off-market transactions of 28 million shares each were carried out within two minutes of each other on July 18. The shares were sold for 86.5 sen apiece, valuing the entire 56 million shares or a 3.92% stake at RM48.53 million.

According to filings with Bursa Malaysia, the transactions were executed by non-executive director Tee Eng Ho. His private vehicle Amazing Parade Sdn  acquired the shares from Kerjaya Hotel Sdn .

The transacted price is a 5.5% premium to its market close of 82 sen on that day. The counter has taken a battering over the past 12 months, declining almost 50% in value, according to Bloomberg. Last Wednesday, the stock ended at 81 sen with a market capitalisation of RM1.16 billion.

Note that Tee is also executive chairman of Kerjaya Prospek Group . He and his brother, Eng Seng, first emerged in Eastern & Oriental in September 2016. Bursa Malaysia filings indicate that they currently have an overall interest of 13.93%.

Other major shareholders in the property developer include Sime Darby Holdings  with 10.88%. Interestingly, a 9.09% stake belongs to Sweetwater SPV Sdn , the vehicle of businessman Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah, who re-emerged in the company on March 19 this yearoffmarket after exiting it six years ago.