Sapura Energy Berhad President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin remains committed to the company and will not abandon ship.
INDUSTRY sources and market analysts said, Shahril was not reducing his stake in Sapura and investors should not panic.
The analysts said it makes no sense for Shahril to jettison the firm that he and his family has built ever since 1975 which is now well on its way to become one of the world’s top oil and gas firms.
Sapura was established by Shahril’s father and Sapura chairman, Tan Sri Shamsuddin Abdul Kadir and was named after Shahril’s late mother Puan Sri Siti Sapura Husin.
“Everything is going well with Sapura, why would he abandon Sapura now? Shahril was selling excess shares and not shares from the core shareholding in Sapura Energy. It was just routine,” said a market analyst at Maybank Investment.
Sapura Technology Sdn Bhd which is the investment vehicle of Shahril and his family had sold 600 million shares or a 3.76 percent stake in Sapura Energy on last Wednesday, 10th April 2019, triggering panic among investors as they were speculating that Shahril was ditching Sapura.
The Maybank Investment analyst said, Shahril was just making a little profit now that Sapura has turned out for the better after “suffering” for the past few years.
“Sapura shares were depressed for the past few years ever since crude oil prices crashed and now the shares have climbed up a bit. So, this is the only time for Shahril and his family to make a little profit for himself and his family.
What is wrong with that? Isn’t that why we invest in the first place which is to make money? Shahril deserves to make some profit taking for himself and his family after being pressured by low crude oil prices for so many years,” said the analyst.
An English daily reported that Shahril and family are not reducing their stake in Sapura Energy but merely selling off the excess shares from the underwriting portion of the RM4 billion rights issue that was completed in January.
Furthermore, Sapura Technology will stay for the long term as it remains the second largest shareholder of Sapura with a 12.55 percent stake while Permodalan Nasional Berhad is the largest with a 40 percent stake.
Shahril has also been granted an additional 798.95 million Employee Share Option Scheme (ESOS) equivalent to a 5.01 percent stake in Sapura which comes at an average exercise price of 30 sen.
“So Shahril can also exercise the ESOS shares within the next three years as Sapura shares are now hovering at the RM0.35 sen level. If he were to exercise his ESOS shares, investors should not see this as him abandoning Sapura. Shahril is merely exercising his benefit,” said the analyst.
He added Permodalan Nasional Berhad also has a lot of faith in Sapura and Shahril and supported the firms RM4 billion cash call from day one. Why would Shahril throw everything away now?
Furthermore, research houses from Hong Leong Investment to Alliance DBS, AmInvestment and Public Investment have all given the thumbs up to Sapura giving the stock a buy or outperform recommendation after the company bagged RM1.3 billion worth of contracts last week.
The analysts have also targeted the company’s share price to surge to as high as RM0.53 sen over the next 12 months from the current price of RM0.35 sen.
Looking at all the positive vibes, it can be concluded that the concern over Shahril not caring for Sapura is baseless and unfounded,” said the Maybank Investment analyst.
A journalist who covered Shahril at the company’s annual and extraordinary general meetings in December last year said Shahril has poured his heart and soul into Sapura and his passion for the company was evident during the meetings where he outlined the future of the company.
“Shahril is determined to turn the company around and he is unlikely abandon Sapura as the company is his baby and will be his legacy for a long long time,” said the journalist.