The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday, Aug. 22, edition that Manulife Asset Management jacked up its holdings of Canntrust Holdings in the second quarter -- just in time for the company's surprise disclosure that it was growing pot without a licence.
The Globe David Milstead reports that records filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that Manulife Asset Management more than tripled its position in the three months ended June 30, adding 3.34 million Canntrust shares. At the quarter's end, the records show, Manulife Asset Management owned 4.87 million shares, or 3.44 per cent of the entire company.
On July 8, Canntrust said it had received a non-compliance order from Health Canada in late 2018 and early 2019. Canntrust faces a criminal investigation led by the Ontario Securities Commission.
The stock closed on Monday at $2.60, down 60 per cent from June 30.
The steep drop has cut the value of Manulife Asset Management's holding to less than $14-million from $32-million. Manulife has stepped into cannabis investing in general, to a greater degree than most Canadian institutional investors. Most of Manulife's weed shares seem to be held in the Manulife Dividend Income Plus Fund.
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