Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What could be the reason for YTL selling YTLPower's warrants?

YTL Corporation, the holding company for Yeoh Tiong Lay and family has been selling some 110.9 million warrant B shares of YTL Power over the last 2 months. At the same time, YTL Power's shares has dropped from around RM1.88 to its current price of RM1.57, around 16% drop. During the same period, the warrant, YTL-WB dropped from RM0.65 to RM0.40, a 38% drop. It is quite unusual for shareholders to continue to throw a utility company like YTL Power as usually it is regarded as a defensive stock - unless they are having the feeling that insiders are selling. What could possibly be the reasons for the disposal of the warrants?

YTL Power shares / warrant held directly or indirectly by YTL family

 Based on the above table, YTL's family control of YTL Power is safely at 55%. This is without assuming all the current YTL-WB warrants are exercised. If all the warrants are exercised, their control would have increased to 59%. Why? They are still holding a whopping 84% of the outstanding warrants mostly held via YTL Corporation. To exercise all the warrants (RM1.21 per warrant), it would have to use up RM1.2 billion of YTL Corporation's cash. As at 2011, YTL Corp has RM2.1 billion cash at company level. At the same time, it has RM1.65 billion debt.

Note, the family controls YTL Corp through a 47.92% shareholding.

So what do I see in this?
  1. YTL Corporation - the entity that has been selling the Warrants for the last 2 months is not looking at holding that many warrants - that's for sure. This is because it does not see itself injecting so much of YTL Corporation's cash into YTL Power. Over the years, both companies (especially YTL Corp) have been buying back stocks. By doing that, and with the current share holding, they are definitely not worried of their stakes diminishing.
  2. At company level, you would have noticed that YTL Corp does not hold that much cash. Its cash is only at net RM500 million. Yes, they would be able to raise more cash from future dividends as the warrant is not due until 2018 but again, they would prefer the minority shareholders to fork out the cash for exercising the warrants rather than them.
  3. By selling, YTL Corp can at least maintain or sustain the dividend payment ratio of the group assuming the income will be consistently improving. This will also preserve its cash ratio. By selling the warrants, YTL Corp gains cash whereas by exercising the warrants, YTL Corp will need to put in more cash into YTL Power.
  4. The recent MGO for YTL Cement was an all share deal which does not involve cash at all. So, we probably can see that they have tried to use as little cash as possible in their deals.
  5. The YTL Cement deal has also caused the Yeoh's family holdings in YTL Corp to reduce from 52.72% to 47.92%. They have 2 ways to increase their holdings back to 50% or more (if its any important) - share buyback or YTL Corp and / or more acquisitions of the shares via the family vihicel. To do that, YTL Corp will need more cash - either by issuing more dividends off the holdings or buying back shares. They can and may do both. I however foresee, YTL Corp to be more active in buying back its shares, as what they are doing currently.
  6. Hence, the selling of the warrants does not depict that the family is perceiving its share price to be expensive. It is just an insider action which is more strategic for the family than anything.
Note: If insider is selling / buying (especially in Malaysia), there could be a reason that they want you to know that they are selling or buying. What more for a company such as YTL Power which has been listed for so long. Note that the selling is done by another listed co, YTL Corp - not its private entity.


YTLP investor said...

Thanks Felicity for your plausible yet less cynical explanation.

I currently view YTLP as undervalued, hence find it odd for YTL family to sell its truckload of WB now - given the long expiry of YTL-WB.

I hope you are right. In the meantime, I will stay long YTLP.

Anonymous said...

Any remark on the recent move to sell YTLP-WB to YTL Corp share holder?

Felicity said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.