Lasaco Assurance Plc is one of those few stocks at the bourse that is reckoned with more pain than gain. A lot of bull seeking investors who bought shares in this company back in June 2009 when it was about N1.30 have had to live with a 50 kobo per share price since then till date. However, are things about to change?
Trading on the Nigerian bourse today, revealed the company topped the volume charts with a whopping 1,577,001,00o units of share crossing at a floor price of 50 kobo. This is an astonishing phenomenon considering the volume of trade and the fact that there was no price movement.
If history, is anything to rely on then this is a pure indication of a takeover or a significant block purchase from an investor(s). Unfortunately, the delay at the NSE will ensure that investors remain in the dark and will not be immediately informed of what had just happened.
Lasaco’s last result was release its interim 9 months to September 2014 earnings, reporting a profit after tax of N311 million. The company however has a negative retained earnings of N351million and a share premium of about N941 million.
The company also has a total outstanding shares of 7,323,433,421 units. Today’s volume is therefore 21.5% of the company’s ordinary shares.
Strangely, no single shareholder of the company owned more that 10% of the company as at 2013 making this move even more difficult for analysts to discern. However, the top four shareholders below own a combined 34% of the shares in the company, which is more than the 21.5% that crossed Wednesday could provide a clue.
Shareholding structure of Lasaco as at December 2013.
Canon Properties & Investment Ltd – 748,976,302 10.2748,976,302 (10.2%)
IHL Ventures Limited – 627,000,000 (8.5%)
IHL Properties Limited – 625,000,000 – (8.5%)
Ibile Holdings – 450,796,764 (6.2%)
Nigerian Citizens and Associations – 4,882,570,355
Incidentally, Lagos State owns Ibile Holdings Ltd (its investment company of Lagos State) and we believe could also be owners of IHL Properties and IHL Ventures. Combined that gives you 23.2% shares. Ibile Holdings and IHL own investments in Skye Bank and are also have board representation at the bank.
The big question therefore is, Is Lagos State selling its shares in Lasaco Assurance?