RETIRED armed forces and police veterans group Patriot has alleged that “something sinister is going on” with the performance of Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd (BHIC).
Patriot president Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said it was very strange for an investor to sell a stock at a lower price when others offered to buy higher.
“This is the case in the share trading of Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) that Patriot highlighted recently to protect the interest of the military personnel. Something sinister is going on,” he said in an April 15 statement.
According to Arshad, for two days in a row, April 13-14, a “certain party” sold BHIC shares at lower prices when there were higher offers.
“This is illogical unless someone is desperately trying to press down the stock price with an ulterior motive to gain a majority stake,” he said. Patriot had previously raised the spectre of a hostile takeover of BHIC in view of the small-cap listed group’s strategic business in naval defence contracts.
Arshad said that between April 13 and 14, “very significant volumes” of BHIC shares at 312,100 and 430,200 respectively were traded.
The surge in interest and the high volume trades could have pushed the stock price much higher to 78 sen on Monday (the highest price traded) and even higher on Tuesday “had it not been systematically pressed down by some parties with takeover intent”, he said.
Arshad added that on April 13, at about 4.48pm, when there were already 10,000 shares at the Buy Q (bid prices and quantities), and when the last traded price was 73.5 sen, “someone put up 14,600 shares in the Sell Q (offer prices and quantities) at 65.5 sen or seven sen lower.”
He pointed out that a similar phenomenon occurred on April 14. “Also at about 4.48pm when the last traded price at 4.45pm was 72.5 sen, and there were bids to buy 3,300 shares at 72.5 sen, someone deliberately offered to sell 7,000 shares at 64.5 sen or eight sen lower,” he said.
The two incidents, according to Arshad, pointed to “very obvious price manipulation” before the market closed on both days.
“Patriot cannot remain idle watching this stealth assault on BHIC when the whole country is focused on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“We urge LTAT, Boustead Holdings and BHIC to take proactive actions to foil the unwelcomed attempt of hostile takeover of BHIC,” he added. — April 15, 2020