Touchwood Investments Plc continued to see heavy trading of its shares yesterday, with a 12% stake changing hands though the price stabilised after a steep 50% fall between early last week and Monday.
Around 13 million shares of Touchwood were transacted via 1,000 trades between a high of Rs. 2.20 and a low of 90 cents before closing at Rs. 1.90, up by 10 cents from Monday.
The stock has been hit by panic selling owing to notice of a case of winding up filed in the Western Province High Court following a petition filed by a customer. The company however appears unfazed as it was yet to comment on it via filing to the CSE. Interests from bargain hunters and speculators kept the share price stable.
The Daily FT learns on Monday Chairman Roscoe Maloney was among sellers shedding around two million shares out of 6.9 million shares or a 6.5% stake of the company that traded. Fourth largest shareholder M.M.S.K. Rajapaksa was also on the selling side.
This was not the first time Maloney or related parties had sold their own shares. In July, Chairman Maloney sold 6.6 million shares between a low of Rs. 3.50 and a high of Rs. 4. Of the quantity, ASPIC Corporation in which Maloney is a Director bought 3.8 million shares. As at June 2013, Maloney was holding 10 million shares or a 9.35% stake.
Touchwood Chairman Maloney in March was said to have acquired Aspic Corporation, the holding company of CIFL, along with nine subsidiaries. It was planned to infuse $ 12 million into CIFL, but the move fell through, forcing the Central Bank to intervene and appoint People’s Leasing and Finance as managing agents.
On Friday legal firm F J & G De Saram put a notice of Western Province High Court listing a petition to be heard on 3 October over winding up Touchwood Investments following an application filed by a customer.
De Saram said “any creditor contributory” to the firm who may want to support or oppose the action could get a copy of the court petition and be present at the hearing. Interested parties could make submissions before 2 October.
According to accounts as at June 2013, the net asset per share of Touchwood was Rs. 30.78 at Group level and Rs. 31.23 at Company level. However it has retained losses of Rs. 500 million.
In the quarter ended on 30 June, revenue had improved to Rs. 234 million from Rs. 195 million a year earlier, whilst net profit was Rs. 18 million, as against a loss of Rs. 2.7 million.