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Posts Tagged ‘Asiasons’

Asiasons: Hero to Zero to …

In Financial competency, Private Equity on 08/05/2014 at 5:13 am

I looked at it when it fell to 40cents. But decided to give it a miss as its financial statements didn’t help me understand the company. A few weeks ago, I tot of buying a few hundred thousand shares at 5 cents on the premise that nothing could go wrong given that chairman and one of the controlling shareholders  Mohammed Azlan Hashimwho is also a director of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah. Mohammad Azlan is also the former executive chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange*.

I also had a lot of respect for the guys behind the co based on their actions: see above link.

But I was in no hurry: didn’t see the stock going anywhere. I’ll let yesterday’s BT take up the story:

Asiasons Capital shares have suffered much pain but, unlike many of its penny stock cohorts, the private-equity firm and its top executives are not being investigated by Singapore’s white-collar crime buster for possible breaches of securities laws.

After getting battered to a low of 3.8 cents on Monday, Asiasons shares gained some ground yesterday, ending the day some 5 per cent higher at four cents, still a far cry from the high of $2.83 it hit last October days before the stock came crashing down.

Amid the penny stock controversy surrounding trading in its shares and investigations into several firms linked to it by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), one of Asiasons’ founders and chairman, Mohammed Azlan Hashim, has called it a day at the firm.

On April 28, the firm said the 57-year-old, a prominent corporate figure in Malaysia, had volunteered to retire as non-independent and non-executive chairman, a post he had held for seven years.

He now only has a 3.8%  direct interest in Asiasons. Previous in addition to this he had deemed interests of 50% (along with others) via other vehicles. Ng Teck Wah,  one of the joint MDs too is resigning, though he retains his deemed interests.

This leaves only Datuk Jared Lim Chih Li is a co-founder and Joint Managing
Director of Asiasons Capital Limited and also a director of
Chaswood Resources Holdings Ltd. Datuk Jared was formerly
a Non-Executive Director of ISR Capital Limited and he
retired on 25 April 2013.
Datuk Jared is the visionary behind the setting up of an
Asian-owned and Locally-grown private equity fund and
conceptualized Asiasons’ investment model of combining
traditional value enhancing exercises with branding, design
and online strategies.
Prior to the formation of the Asiasons Group in 2007, Datuk
Jared was an investment banker with Avenue Securities and
was responsible for the setting up of the corporate finance
unit, eventually building it up to a 40 man strong unit with a
strong track record in Equity offerings, Restructurings, M&A
and Bond Issues. Datuk Jared built a niche in Malaysia in cross
border equity offerings involving PRC enterprises, which
eventually led to his conviction that it was timely to start an
Emerging East Asian private equity model.
Datuk Jared is also a successful entrepreneur and is the
Chairman of the privately owned Be Group in Malaysia. The
Be Group is a boutique style Property and Lifestyle Group
comprising award winning properties and award winning
lifestyle brands in food and beverages and Wellness.
Datuk Jared has a Bachelors degree in Economics and
Accounting from the University of Bristol and obtained a First
Class in Masters of Finance from the University of Hull and
the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification.
(From 2013 annual report)

Is he worth a punt?

——

*Dato’ Mohammed Azlan is the co-founder and Chairman of
Asiasons Capital Limited and also the Chairman of Chaswood
Resources Holdings Ltd. He is the senior statesman in the
Asiasons Group and is an established corporate figure with
interests in Malaysia and Singapore. He is instrumental in
building Asiasons’ relationships with government authorities
and large corporates across the region and provides Asiasons
with strong governance credibility given his previous tenure
as Executive Chairman of Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange and
current quasi governmental roles.
He has extensive experience in the corporate sector
especially in financial services and investment management.
Aside from his tenure as Chairman of the Stock Exchange
in Malaysia, he also served as Group Chief Executive of
Bumiputra Merchant Bankers, Group Managing Director of
Amanah Capital Malaysia Berhad.
Dato’ Azlan is currently a Board Member of various
government and government related organizations including,
Labuan Financial Services Authority, Khazanah Nasional
Berhad (the investment arm of the Government of Malaysia).
He also serves on the Investment Panels of Employees
Provident Fund of Malaysia and the Malaysian Government
Retirement Fund Incorporated. He is also currently Chairman
of various public listed entities in Singapore, Malaysia, and
United Kingdom, including D&O Green Technologies Berhad,
SILK Holdings Berhad, Aseana Properties Limited, Scomi
Group Bhd and Deputy Chairman, IHH Healthcare Berhad.
A Chartered Accountant by profession, Dato’ Azlan
graduated with a Bachelor of Economics from Monash
University, Australia. He is a Fellow Member of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants, Australia, Malaysian Institute
of Directors, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and
Administrators, Member of Malaysian Institute of Accountants,
and Honorary Member of Institute of Internal Auditors
Malaysia.

 

Retail punters suffer ’cause SGX, MAS dysfunctional?

In Corporate governance, Malaysia on 29/10/2013 at 4:53 am

I waz surprised at the swiftness that SGX allowed Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp to resume normal trading, as I had expected a prolonged period under “designated trading”, allowing me time to think about and investigate Asiasons. (My initial tots on Asiasons).

My immediate reaction waz, “Shld have had the balls to buy at 12ish cents*” with cash upfront. My next reaction was “How come SGX come to conclusion everything halal so fast?”. My third tot was, “Wonder if SGX and punters are going to repent?”.

A few days after stocks cheonged following the lifting of trading restrictions, SGX and MAS announced investigations. On 26 October 2013, BT reported JUST as shares of Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp shares appeared to be clambering out of their doldrums, news of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) investigation into their trading activities dragged them down again.

“MAS and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) are conducting an extensive review of the activities around these stocks,” MAS said in a statement yesterday. “This episode has also surfaced broader issues regarding the market structure and practices which MAS and SGX intend to review thoroughly.”

All three stocks slid to their lowest level in a week as skittish investors took profit. Asiasons shares fell 18 per cent to 19 cents, Blumont stock dropped 19 per cent to 16 cents and LionGold shed 15 per cent to 25 cents by the close of trading yesterday. The three counters were among the five biggest percentage decliners on the SGX.

Why couldn’t the plans to investigate and the lifting of trading restrictions be announced at the same time? If necessary, the latter could have been delayed a few days, while SGX and MAS deliberated? No wonder MAS MD got only a B rating compared to his M’sian and Pinoy counterparts (A) http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/10/27/head-of-mas-ravi-menon-only-gets-a-b-grade/. Shamefully that S’porean is graded lower than Pinoy or M’sian.

And do remember that FTs hold the top two posts at SGX.

Anyway, I’m not complaining. Gives me time to think about and investigate Asiasons. But lifting the trading restrictions (implying everything halal) and, a few days later, saying that there were going to be investigations,  ain’t fair to punters.

SGX has publicly said it wants retail investors in the market. Great way to treat them. But then there were S-Chips. I remember the boast by one Larence Wong of SGX (now departed), in the early noughties, that only chinese companies with accounts certified by int’l auditors were to be listed. They were, but looked what happened? The perils of ang moh tua kee.

Related post: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/singapores-penny-stock-mystery-increases-210030112.html

*Closed at 0.147 yesterday.

Asiasons: 2 bull pts

In Financial competency, Malaysia, Private Equity on 24/10/2013 at 4:46 am

Firstly, controlling shareholders are gd financial engineers. I had bot into Integra 2000 for its planned massive dividend in 2007 which I believed that the market had not appreciated because it was conditional on deals getting thru. It then started flying cum dividend. I had expected to sell the shares at a slight loss from the cum di price when it went ex-dividend. Instead I made a profit. Later I learnt that these guys had bot into the shares cum dividend. They must have used the pending dividend to finance the purchases. Financial engineering at its best.

(FYI, BT on Tueday quoted an unname broker, “He believes Asiasons’ “true” value could settle in the region of 30 to 40 cents, while LionGold’s could lie between 40 and 50 cents as it has a higher book value.”. Don’t know what he means, but will explore.)

Secondly, these guys willing to spend dollars trying to look gd. Blumont and LionGold selling controlling shareholders have gone to ground. But still, like Asiasons, their share prices have flown.

It was a masterstroke of Asiason’s PR/ IR team that got ST to carry a story entitled “Were not a bunch of comboys” on Saturday 19th October, juza before relisting on Monday. In it we learn,

— about the sparsely furnished office of Asiasons Capital in China Square Central [Frugal, serious people]

“The share price volatility has absolutely no link or association with Asiasons’ operations,” said chairman Mohammed Azlan Hashim, a prominent corporate figure in Malaysia who sits on the boards of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and IHH Healthcare. [Not a nobody]

— Asiasons has a fund management portfolio of about US$300 million (S$372 million) and counts Malaysia’s deep-pocketed state-owned funds such as Ekuinas and government pension scheme Kwap as clients.[Gd, solid connections]

— At current price levels, Mr Azlan admitted that the shares are hovering near the level they were at in 2007 when he and his two partners took control of Asiasons, then a human resources technology firm called Integra2000 and shifted its business focus to private equity investment … three also reiterated that none of them have sold “a single share” in Asiasons over the past six years.  [Long term greedy] That’s quite a contrast from what has been taking place at LionGold and Blumont, which have seen significant trades recently involving insiders, particularly disposals and forced selling involving directors.

— “This so-called web of cross shareholdings makes it appear as if we are in cahoots in this whole thing,” said Mr Lim. “We are our own men and no one else is influencing us.” Asiasons owns 9 per cent of LionGold and has a 27 per cent stake in ISR Capital which it plans to eventually divest.

Mr Azlan reiterated that there are no other connections to the other firms. “We have absolutely no relationship with these other firms, including Blumont. The only relationship there is Jared, a director, and his wife but that’s not related to Asiasons per se,” said Mr Azlan.

Clearwater Developments, which is linked to Mr Lim’s wife Dian Lee, owns a 7 per cent stake in Blumont. That investment, Mr Lim said, came about from an “innocent transaction” a few years back when Blumont, then called Adroit Innovations, was scouting around for some properties in Malaysia.

“She went ahead and made the decision herself and it was a small investment which involved shares. Now she and her partners are looking to sell their stake as it was purely an investment and not part of their business,” said Mr Lim. [Not connected with …]

— The three founders also categorically denied another topic hot in the market rumour mill that Asiasons is connected to well-known Malaysian stock investor and businessman Soh Chee Wen. [Not connected with …]

Watch out for the “bowl” consolidation, if thinking of buying. Let you know if I buy some after I buy some.