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  • Writer's pictureFaron

Nominee accounts actively trade Focus Dynamics shares as share price plummets

KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): Trading volume of Focus Dynamics Group Bhd swelled this month, with daily volume soaring to 419.39 million shares on Monday (April 19) — the highest seen since November 2015. Its average daily volume stood at 157.8 million in April so far.

But what has made jaws drop is the collapse of the company's share price this month. The stock plunged from 59.5 sen at end-March to 11.5 sen on Thursday in a span of 16 trading days, wiping off RM3.02 billion worth of market capitalisation.

The company's two major shareholders, Sanston Financial Group Ltd, which holds a 26.07% stake, and Bursa-listed Fintec Global Bhd, which has a 25.42% stake, did not buy or sell shares in a big way.

However, filings with Bursa showed that several nominees have been actively trading Focus Dynamics shares since February, when the counter was trading above 60 sen.

The nominees include Citigroup Nominees (Asing) Sdn Bhd, holding shares for UBS AG (which is in turn holding the shares for Maybank Kim Eng Singapore Pte Ltd, according to Focus Dynamics' 2019 annual report) and two HSBC Nominees (Asing) Sdn Bhd accounts — one holding shares for Credit Suisse AG, Dublin Branch, and the other for Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Ltd (Credit Suisse HK).

The Citigroup nominee account has been the most active among the nominees playing Focus Dynamics shares. The number of shares it traded in a single day hit as high as 239 million in the period between Feb 12 and April 7.

In February, it made four transactions, starting with a 120.12 million block acquisition on Feb 12. On that day, Focus Dynamics closed at 63 sen per share.

Subsequently, it disposed of 34.32 million and 69.45 million shares, respectively, on Feb 16 and 17 — when its shares were trading around the 65 sen level. Interestingly, a week later on Feb 24, the Citigroup nominee account bought back 189.79 million shares.

Its trading activities seemed to have ramped up in March, with the nominee buying and selling shares within days. For instance, the nominee account bought 121.63 million shares on March 2, and sold 118.91 million shares the following day.

Prior to the decline in Focus Dynamics' share price, which started in early April, the Citigroup nominee account disposed of 239.22 million shares on March 23, which translated into about RM147.12 million, based on the stock's closing price of 61.5 sen on that day.

Meanwhile, the HSBC Nominees account of Credit Suisse HK also actively traded shares between Feb 2 and April 14, albeit in relatively smaller numbers of shares per trade, and this account seemed to prefer making several transactions in a trading day.

For example, on Feb 8, according to bourse filings, the nominee account acquired two blocks of shares comprising 351,800 and 527,700 shares, while it also sold 249,900 shares on the same day. On the following day, it acquired 139,000 shares and continued to make similar-sized transactions up until April 2.

As the share price of Focus Dynamics began to plunge in early April, however, the nominee disposed of a total of 16.95 million shares on April 5, and another 50.63 million shares the next day. The counter was trading around 47 sen and 48 sen during these two days.

It went on to sell more shares later, disposing of a total of 111.22 million shares between April 7 and April 16.

On the other hand, the HSBC Nominees account of Credit Suisse AG, Dublin Branch, was acquiring shares between Feb 9 and March 31, with a total of 18.51 million shares bought. However, it eventually disposed of 6.25 million shares on April 5, as Focus Dynamics' share price declined.

Focus Dynamics' share price started the year at above 60 sen, closing at 64.5 sen on Jan 4. It then stayed within the 60 sen to 70 sen range until end-March.

In April, however, the counter began its descent. From 59.5 sen on March 31, the stock has since fallen 81% to close at 11.5 sen on Thursday — unchanged from the day before — which gives it a market capitalisation of RM726.15 million.

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