[Correction: The was a ‘3’ omitted in the number ‘£39 million in the original publication that has since been re-added] One of the few publicly traded online Forex brokers, UK-listed Plus500 Ltd, which has just reported strong Q4 results sending its share price higher on London’s AIM, had nearly 4% of its stock sold on February 21, according to an official regulatory disclosure on the London Stock Exchange website.
The news was triggered by BQ Soft Ltd, an Israel-based private company, that unloaded a little over 8.5 million shares out of a total of 115 million outstanding shares for the public broker.
Forex Magnates had previously covered when this entity, BQ Soft Ltd, representing the holdings of one of the firm’s co-founders Shimon Softer, unloaded about 1.5 million shares – which sent the stock price down 8%, closing around just 272 pence in late January, as well as the subsequent financial results that recently sent the share price close to 500 pence. The sale of 8,584,361 shares by BQ Soft Ltd last Friday, using a rough estimate of £4.50 per share, will yield just under £39 million in proceeds.
Former Executive Booking Profits at the Highs
Shimon Sofer, thus effectively decreases his position to less than 3%, capitalizing on the recent increase in share price and booking profits at the new highs.
Last time Mr. Sofer sold off a large portion of his stake, Forex Magnates followed up with Plus 500’s head of investor relations, Elad Even-Chen, who said regarding the transaction, “Plus500 is a publicly traded company and we cannot comment on individual share transactions. Mr. Sofer is no longer an employee of Plus500 and is simply exercising his rights as a shareholder.”
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During the last reported financial results for Q4 2013, Plus 500’s CEO, Gal Haber said, “We are delighted to announce our maiden full year results since listing in London. Our business has shown strong growth throughout 2013 during which time we generated record levels of both revenue and profits. The IPO has provided a positive catalyst for our business, particularly within the European and Australian markets where our strong presence and innovative marketing initiatives are generating significant levels of activity across our platform.”
Mr. Haber concluded in the previous Q4 announcement, “The business remains well placed to build on the growth experienced during 2013 as we look to continue our growth ambitions and expand our geographic footprint. We are delighted to be declaring both an ordinary dividend in line with our 50% payment target and a special dividend to reflect the financial strength of the Group. In view of the strong start to 2014, the Board remains confident of delivering further considerable growth in 2014 and beyond.”
Plus500 Considering to Switch to LSE as Stock Price on the Rise
The company said that it was considering switching its listing to the LSE’s main market, after barely a year-old as a publicly traded company, following the IPO last July, and amid the new high’s for its share price. The news comes just days after a fund manager, Hargreave Hale Limited, representing indirect interest held on behalf of collective investors, added 215,307 shares of Plus500 bringing its total indirect position to 5,754,550 shares or just over 5%.
However, unlike a direction position (such as in the case of Mr. Sofer), the indirect holdings represent the underlying investors, yet nonetheless the intention to buy looks to be coming from the discretionary fund manager and occurring around the time of the positive Q4 results, as investors hope to earn a return on their investment, just as Mr. Sofer has.
Despite its challenge, the appeal of bringing an online FX broker public has been on the rise across private companies, as several look to do an IPO in hopes of capitalizing on future valuations and benefit from the potential growth or other perks that can be afforded from being a listed company.
Shares of Plus500 are trading up 1.30%, to 474 pence around time of publication this morning, as the UK markets just opened.