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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » CORPORATE CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka JKH stock bought by Captains as Janus sells down

Sri Lanka JKH stock bought by Captains as Janus sells down

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Vice President - Equity Analytics

Apr 05, 2014 (LBO) - Members of Sri Lanka's Captain family, key shareholders of John Keells Holdings have raised their stake in John Keells as New York based Janus Overseas fund sold down its stake, market sources said.

Some analysts believe it has been selling over the past three months to meet redemptions.
On Friday Sohli Captain, who was listed as having 116.1 million shares of the firm by December 2013 had bought a 15.5 million share stake, while Rusi Captain bought 2.5 million shares as New York based Janus Overseas Fund sold down its stake.

Janus had sold over 18.6 million shares at 234 rupees per share. The deals were made by Capital Trust Securities.

On Thursday Janus sold 7 million shares in JKH and it was bought by a foreign fund, with CT Smith on the buying side.

The deals went through at prices higher than 225 rupees paid for 12.5 million shares a week earlier by the Captains when Janus was also the seller.

There had been speculation that a UN resolution in March, calling for an external probe of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka and an improvement to rule of law, religious freedoms and attacks on human rights defenders in Sri Lanka a reason for the exit of the fund.

A market analyst said Janus was believed to have been selling to meet redemptions at their own price, but were not in a distressed selling mode where they were willing to come down and sell at any price.
"The belief that they were willing exit at any price turned out not to be correct," the analyst said.

Though the price fell once it was known that Janus wanted to sell down another block, they were not willing to sell at prices near 200 rupees, the analyst said.

Local investors on the other hand would be on a firmer footing to make investment decisions once the uncertainties of the resolution and recent elections were over and exact outcomes were known, he said.

In January 2014 also the Janus sold 10 million shares at 229 rupees, around the current levels.

According to stock exchange filing in December 2013, Sohli Captain held 116 million shares or 11.7 percent of the stock Broga Hill Investments (Khazanah) 105 million shares, which increased its stake to 10.5 percent from 9.9 percent in September.

Janus Overseas Fund's 77.0 million share stake at 7.8 percent was down from 8.7 percent or 74.8 million in September before a rights issue. JKH was the 9th largest stock in the fund by value at the time accounting for about 2.95 percent.

Janus Aspen series Overseas Fund Portfolio had another 19.3 million shares in JKH.

Following recent deals, the Captain family and related parties are estimated to have around 27.6 percent of JKH.

Despite recent sale the foreign fund still had close to 30 million share of JKH.

John Keells Holding is Sri Lanka's top capitalized company and market making style trading by the Captain family was partly responsible for its liquidity, analysts said which made it attractive for foreign investors.

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