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Ex-Interra director turns substantial shareholder; EPF and abrdn raise respective stakes in AEM

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Ex-Interra director turns substantial shareholder; EPF and abrdn raise respective stakes in AEM
CEO of AEM Chandran Nair giving Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow a tour of AEM’s Penang plant / Photo: AEM
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Interra Resources has a new substantial shareholder in former non-executive director Ng Soon Kai. According to Interra’s filing on June 22, Ng had notified the company a day earlier that he had acquired 3.46 million shares for a total of $99,806 on the open market or at the average price of 2.88 cents per share. This gives him a direct stake of 32.85 million shares, equivalent to 5.01% of the company, up from 4.48% previously.

On June 27, Ng bought another 5.26 million shares, paying 2.9 cents each, giving him a 6% share of the company.

According to Interra’s annual report, as at March 15, 2023, the largest bloc of Interra shares of 71.36 million shares or 10.89% is held by PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya, an entity controlled by Interra’s chairman Edwin Soeryadjaya.

Ng had served on the board of Interra for some 17 years. After he stepped down from the board as a non-executive director on April 2022, filings showed Ng was holding to just 480,000 shares. Interra is an oil producer with operations in Indonesia and Myanmar.

In FY2022 ended December 2022, Interra reported earnings of US$9.6 million ($12.95 million), up about fivefold from US$2.55 million a year ago. Revenue more than doubled to US$24.5 million from a year ago, thanks to better production levels that were able to take advantage of higher prices.

As at Dec 31, 2022, Interra’s NAV stood at 6.128 US cents, up from 4.614 US cents as at Dec 31, 2021. Thanks to improved business, Interra has significantly strengthened its balance sheet. As at Dec 31, 2022, the company had cash and cash equivalents of US$14.14 million, up from US$5.49 million as at end Dec 31, 2021. Interra also paid down its debt.

See also: Sarine Technologies starts buybacks; Fund raises stake in UOL Group

However, citing “uncertainties ahead”, the company said in its annual report it prefers to maintain a conservative stance and will not pay out a dividend for FY2022. “It is imperative that the group maintains sufficient cash in hand to finance its work commitments and to deal with unforeseen circumstances,” the company explains in its annual report.

Trade these stocks with Tiger Brokers,

AEM Holdings and Interra Resources

See also: First REIT’s independent director acquires 796,900 units at 21 cents each

Drawing nearer to top shareholder

The second and third-largest shareholders of AEM Holdings AWX -

have further raised their respective stakes in the company recently, taking advantage of the downturn in the global semiconductor industry.

On June 21, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) of Malaysia acquired 680,300 shares on the open market for $2.55 million or $3.75 per share. This brings EPF’s stake to just over 31 million shares or 10.05%, up from 9.83%.

Before the acquisition, EPF’s most recent acquisition was on March 2 when it acquired just over 1.11 million shares for nearly $3.1 million or $2.78 each.

At this level, EPF’s stake is drawing closer to that of Temasek Holdings, which holds 36.8 million shares or 12.51%.

Separately, also on June 21, UK fund manager abrdn acquired 128,200 shares for $480,669.20, which works out to $3.75 each as well. This brings abrdn’s holdings to nearly 27.88 million shares or 9.024%, up from 8.983%. On March 2, abrdn acquired 745,900 shares at $2.78 each; on May 2, it acquired 745,900 shares at $2.78 each; and on May 19, 104,400 shares at $3.20 each were acquired.

On Jan 9, AEM marked the “grand opening” of its new plant at Penang, a key hub for semiconductor activities in the region. The 365,000 sq ft plant consists of space for assembly, quality assurance, storage and R&D.

For more stories about where money flows, click here for Capital Section

AEM CEO Chandran Nair says the new plant will help the company scale up its testing and handling capabilities to meet growing demand for new semiconductor devices. “We ensure our customers’ success by continuing to grow our capabilities to deploy quickly at scale,” he says.

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