Pruning the tree JSE’s 33,5% appreciation didn’t go unnoticed
VETERANS IN listed companies have refused to waste the opportunities to make profits over the past six months as the market steadily staggered back to levels last seen early in 2007. As noted on this page over the past few weeks, directors have been net sellers of their companies’ shares and haven’t disappointed this week either.
They all took advantage of the total 33,5% appreciation in the All-Share index since April 2009, during which time the index gained 6627 points to its 26 425 points (at the time of writing). Many others still saw that as a buying opportunity and used it to bolster their holdings in their companies.
This week a R58m net sale of shares added to the approximately R700m net sale since mid-August. After the R73m net sale of information and communications technology companies’ shares last week, this week we note another R29,5m net sale of shares in that sector.
Cellphone company MTN’s Santie Botha was single-handedly responsible for R21,5m of that profit when she exercised her options on 200 000 shares she was offered on joining the company as marketing director in 2003. Botha paid R16,81 before disposing of the shares for a staggering R124,01c/share. That makes her, together with colleague Karel Pienaar (R2m profit), the latest in a growing list of multimillionaires in the cellphone company.
Again, like their colleagues the previous week, the duo took advantage of the collapse of the merger talks between MTN and Indian giant Bharti Airtel late in September. Like the JSE All-Share index, MTN’s share price is way past the then record levels seen in 2007 and is currently fast approaching those tested in the middle of last year.
Directors in ITC companies Allied Technologies, Blue Label Technologies and Ellies Holdings made the other less significant trades to make up the balance.
Veterans in other companies, such as retailers Shoprite and Massmart and conglomerates Bidvest and Steinhoff, also sold shares to make up the total R104m sale (net: R58m). Most of them exercised share options granted about six years back.
Education and training specialist AdvTech CE Frank Thompson didn’t wait to exercise any options but sold 2,5m shares at the 505c/share mark. That’s also close to the same record price AdvTech reached in 2007 before dropping all the way to just above 300c almost 18 months later.
The ever-optimistic Jannie Mouton held the fort almost on his own on the buying side of the table. His R23m buy of recently listed Paladin Capital equals half the value of the shares bought last week. Five of Mouton’s colleagues also chipped in R4m following their renounceable rights in the recent capital-raising exercise meant to realise R150m for the private equity investment company and help improve its share free float to above the minimum 20% threshold.
Paladin is now about 70% owned by the PSG Group, of which Mouton is executive chairman and CE. As stated before, Mouton is yet to sell a single share in the group of companies. In addition to his Paladin colleagues, Mouton’s other colleagues at PSG Group and Zeder Investments (another PSG-controlled entity) ploughed more than R300 000 into their respective companies’ shares. Those were, respectively, non-executive Chris Otto and Zeder CE Antonie Jacobs. It seems most directors in the PSG Group see any price in the market as an opportunity to buy more shares.