17-YEAR HIGH: Dealers say some government-linked funds acquiring the stock
FOCAL Aims Bhd's shares rose strongly again yesterday on speculation that some government-linked funds had been buying up the shares ahead of a possible RM1 billion corporate exercise.
Dealers confirmed that there was some buying by government-linked funds over the past two days.
"Are the buying activities good enough to set off the five per cent ownership of the paid-up spread of the company, which will trigger a substantial shareholder announcement to the stock exchange... we will know soon enough," said a dealer with RHB.
Strong buying from government-linked funds and speculation that the parties directly and indirectly linked to Liew Tian Xiong and Eco World Development Sdn Bhd are also buying the shares from the open market pushed Focal shares to its highest level in 17 years.
Yesterday, Focal shares ended the trading day one sen short of hitting limit-up for the third successive trading day.
The stock closed 47 sen higher at RM2.10, just one sen short of a 30 per cent rise in a single day, which is often described as a limit-up.
There is speculation that the Employees Provident Fund is starting to build up a position in Focal ahead of the corporate exercise.
"It is only logical to do so. Liew and Eco World are buying a 65.05 per cent stake in Focal, thereby triggering a mandatory general offer for the company," said the dealer, adding that the best strategy would be to mop up existing Focal shares from the market and do a reverse takeover by injecting fresh assets.
For the record, Focal owns the Kota Masai township in Iskandar Malaysia and 426ha of freehold land in Plentong, Johor Baru, which are collectively valued at more than RM400 million.
Eco World, partly-owned by Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf and Datuk Eddie Leong Kok Wah, owns 1,214ha land in Johor and here, worth RM600 million, with a gross development value of about RM30 billion.
Tian Xiong is the son of Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, whom many expect to quit SP Setia to helm the merged Eco World-Focal entity.
Dealers are expecting the stock to easily breeze over the RM2.50 level within the next few trading days.