PETALING JAYA: The seller of the block of 70 million shares in MISC BHD that had been transacted below market value in a placement deal recently is believed to be either the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) or Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), according to sources.
The transaction is expected to benefit members of the vendor, one source said, as the likely objective of selling the block of shares in MISC is to lock in gains to be redistributed as dividends to its members.
“Although transacted at a discount on market value, the seller is likely doing it to realise profits to pay dividends to its members, ” the source told StarBiz, noting that both the EPF and PNB could only pay out dividends to their members from realised returns.
The two government-linked investment companies are the other two biggest shareholders in MISC after Petroliam Nasional Bhd, which holds a 62.7% stake in the shipping giant.
Bloomberg data showed that at present, the EPF owns a 5.1% stake in MISC, while PNB owns about 9% through its Amanah Saham asset management fund companies.
It was reported on Tuesday that an unidentified MISC shareholder had sold 70 million shares, representing a 1.57% stake, in the company at an average of RM8.08 each in a placement deal.
Quoting terms of the MISC share placement deal, Bloomberg reported that the MISC shares were offered at RM8.05 to RM8.22 each.
At an average of RM8.08 per share, the deal was valued at an estimated RM565.6mil.
The transaction also represented a discount of 2.9% to the five-day weighted average market price of about RM8.32 per MISC share before the transaction was unveiled.
This was the first time a block of MISC shares has come into the market since the company’s listing in 1987.
Meanwhile, another source noted that the transaction did not mean that the vendor was deliberately paring down interest in MISC.
“The seller would likely still buy into this stock later on, as MISC is an important blue chip in the Malaysian equity market, ” he explained.
He noted that the block of MISC shares placed out to investors was oversubscribed by multiple times.
Confirming earlier reports, the source said 90% of the placement shares were sold to domestic investors while the remainder were sold to foreign funds, comprising long-duration funds and hedge funds.
“What’s impressive is that the sale was done despite our market being in negative territory and despite MISC’s shares having gone up by about 20% year-to-date, ” a source said.
“Buyers were keen because no such block has been offered before and MISC has been winning many contracts recently, ” he added.
MISC shares rose one sen to close at RM8.20 yesterday.
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