* New investor from China picks up first stake in struggling export firm; foreign holding shoots up to 8% last week from mere 0.6% previously
Long-struggling Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide Plc had a rare moment of lustre last week when it was responsible for the highest foreign inflow, apart from being the second biggest percentagewise gainer.
Pipping top blue chip JKH, Blue Diamonds Jewellery (BLUE) attracted Rs. 26.7 million worth of net foreign inflows whilst the former managed only Rs. 13.3 million last week.
The achievement for BLUE follows a first-time Chinese investor picking up a substantial quantity of shares. Net non-national buying in BLUE last week amounted to 7.8 million shares, propelling its foreign holding to 8% from a mere 0.6% previously.
In total BLUE saw around 14.55 million of its shares (14%)change hands via 1,056 trades for Rs. 50.36 million last week. From a low base, a 40 cents rise or 13.3% was enough to put it as the second biggest percentage wise gainers.
The Chinese investor collected slightly over five million BLUE shares at Rs. 3.50 each, in addition to collecting few more blocks on Friday. There was another foreign investor too.
Among sellers was ECL Soft, which sold over three million shares worth over Rs. 11 million on Thursday.
As of end September 2013, ECL Soft Ltd. (a subsidiary of eChanneling Plc) held 18.3 million shares or a 17.7% stake. The second biggest shareholder in BLUE is Sri Lanka Insurance (General Fund) with a 10.2% stake).
If analysts’ estimates are correct, the Chinese investor will be the third largest shareholder.
Blue Non Voting saw 6.9 million shares traded for Rs. 8 million.
In the first half of FY14, BLUE’s turnover was down by 41% to Rs. 29 million (2Q it was down by 46% to Rs. 19 million). Gross profit was down by 40% to Rs. 7.9 million in the 1H and by 20% to Rs. 7.6 million in 2Q.
Loss from operations in 2Q was up by 187% to Rs. 1.27 million whilst in the first half it was down to Rs. 11.4 million from Rs. 13 million in the corresponding period of last financial year.
Net finance income of Rs. 5.4 million in 1H and Rs. 2.15 million in 2Q helped to improve BLUE’s bottom line. Nevertheless BLUE ended the 1H with a loss of Rs. 5.8 million, lower in comparison to Rs. 9 million loss a year earlier.
Having eliminated past losses (over Rs. 900 million by end FY11) with a capital reduction exercise previously, BLUE continues to be saddled with Rs. 65.4 million retained loss , up from Rs. 42.5 million a year earlier and Rs. 59.6 million at the end of FY13.