Tak­ing stock

Ste­fanutti takes stock (so to speak)

Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES & MARKETS - MARC HASENFUSS marc.hasenfuss@finweek.co.za

THE TRANS­AC­TION last week that might have gen­er­ated some de­bate was the en­thu­si­as­tic deal­ings by a crowd of ex­ec­u­tives at con­struc­tion com­pany Ste­fanutti Stocks – one of the few in­fra­struc­ture coun­ters that still ap­pears to hold re­in­forced prospects. Ste­fanutti – un­like so many of its peers that listed in the mid­noughties listings rush – still ap­pears to be firmly on the front foot and ear­lier last month even made a strate­gic ac­qui­si­tion.

But sen­ti­ment for the broader in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor re­mains brit­tle and the mar­ket still tends to over re­act to any lit­tle op­er­a­tional set­back or slightly neg­a­tive de­vel­op­ment. No doubt the mar­ket would have taken heart that all and sundry – in terms of se­nior ex­ec­u­tives at Ste­fanutti – climbed in to buy shares in terms of the “Ste­fanutti Stocks Hold­ings Ltd For­feitable Share Plan”. But it was by some cruel co­in­ci­dence at roughly the same time a size­able sell or­der by chair­man Bi­agino Ste­fanutti got hit on the open mar­ket.

While per­haps the chair­man prob­a­bly didn’t send out the most pos­i­tive mes­sage in let­ting go shares worth R17,5m, we must take cog­ni­sance of the fact that Ste­fanutti still re­mains a most sig­nif­i­cant share­holder in the busi­ness. And too of­ten we do be­grudge ex­ec­u­tives who take a bit of profit now and again.

If we are to re­in­force the bright side of this trans­ac­tion, Finweek does suspect the buyer of such a large par­cel of shares must have been an in­sti­tu­tional in­vestor (which is a good thing, isn’t it?). And read­ers may also no­tice a di­rec­tor of con­struc­tion group Wil­son Bayly Holmes – Ov­con sold R1,1m worth of shares.

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