While trying to find out who Low Taek Jo is in UBG Bhd (group advisor/non-executive director, as it turns out), I was puzzled by what I also came across.
According to Bursa Malaysia’s main market listing requirements, Chapter 3 on Admissions, Rule 3.06(1) and Chapter 8 on Continuing Listing Obligations, Rule 8.02(1,4):
3.06 Shareholding spread
(1) An applicant must have at least 25% of the total number of shares for which listing is sought in the hands of a minimum number of 1,000 public shareholders holding not less than 100 shares each.
PART B –CONTINUING LISTING CRITERIA
8.02 Compliance with shareholding spread requirement
(1) A listed issuer must ensure that at least 25% of its total listed shares (excluding treasury shares) are in the hands of public shareholders. The Exchange may accept a percentage lower than 25% of the total number of listed shares (excluding treasury shares) if it is satisfied that such lower percentage is sufficient for a liquid market in such shares.
(4) A listed issuer which fails to maintain the required shareholding spread referred to in subparagraph (1) above may request for an extension of time to rectify the situation in the manner as may be prescribed by the Exchange.
According to UBG’s Annual Report 2008, the firm had stakes of more than 75 per cent each in Putrajaya Perdana Bhd and in Loh & Loh Corporation Bhd.
… we then inked a deal that saw UBG acquiring a 49.21% stake in Putrajaya Perdana Berhad (“PPB”), a niche builder and a 37.56% equity interest in Loh & Loh Corporation Berhad (“LLCB”), a water infrastructure specialist. Following two mandatory general offers undertaken in respect of each of PPB and LLCB, our stakes in PPB and LLCB have increased to 85.85% and 80.32% respectively.
What about the 25 per cent public shareholding requirement for listed firms? Am I missing something here?
Note: For this particular post, only comments that shed more light on the subject will be allowed.
Update: I have phoned Bursa seeking clarification on the issue of the maximum time limit allowed before a firm must comply with the public shareholding spread – if there is no time limit, would that not nullify Rule 8.02(1)? A Bursa spokeswoman told me to email the query, which I have now done. Will keep you posted.
Update (25 Nov 2009): I made a follow-up phone call to Bursa. The person at Communications Dept said my email had been forwarded to the folks in the Regulations section and she would remind them to give me a reply.