TWO of the dairy industry’s investment darlings have attracted big overseas investors.
Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has taken a 5.33-per-cent share of organic infant formula manufacturer Bellamy’s Organic, while huge US investment management firm BlackRock Inc. now owns 5.03 per cent of The a2 Milk Company.
Documents lodged on the Australian Securities Exchange show BlackRock has been steadily buying shows from at least February 1 but that exploded into a buying spree on May 31, with the company ending up with a net result of about 17 million shares at about $10 a share.
BlackRock is regarded as the world’s largest “shadow bank” — a term for financial institutions that provide services similar to banks but outside normal banking regulations.
It has assets of $US6.3 trillion ($8.3 trillion) under its management — or about six times Australia’s GDP.
The disclosure to the ASX shows BlackRock ended May with 36.7 million shares in The a2 Milk Company.
The new American investor comes as The a2 Milk Company expands its range of a2 milk products in the US.
A spokesman for The a2 Milk Company said the company would not comment.
May 31 was also the day when a2M went on to the MSCI (formerly the Morgan Stanley Capital International) Global Standard Index of top companies trading on 23 stock exchanges from around the world.
The spokesman said BlackRock had taken a position in The a2 Milk Company well before it was added to the MSCI index.
Norges Bank declared it now had 6.04 million shares in Bellamy’s Organic.
It became a substantial shareholder of the infant formula manufacturer on June 1.
Investors must declare their holdings to the ASX once they acquire more than 5 per cent of a single company’s shares.
Norges Bank’s website said the bank was responsible for promoting economic stability in Norway.
It also managed Norway’s foreign exchange reserves and the Government Global Pension Fund.
By: PETER HEMPHILL
Source: The Weekly Times