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Fund managers have been buying these ASX shares in the bear market

I’ve been keeping a close eye on what substantial shareholders have been doing recently. Especially following the market crash.

Substantial shareholders are shareholders that hold 5% or more of a company’s shares. These tend to be large investors, asset managers, and investment funds. These shareholders are obliged to update the market when they make any changes to their holdings.

As a result, I feel investors should look to use these notices to their advantage. After all, they show where the so-called smart money is going.

Three notices that have caught my eye are summarised below:

Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC)

A change of interests of substantial holder notice reveals that Lazard Asset Management Pacific Co has been increasing its position in this horticulture company. According to the notice, Lazard has picked up a further ~4.2 million shares, increasing its stake to ~28.8 million shares. This equates to a 7.2% interest in the company. Lazard Asset Management operates from 24 cities across 17 countries and manages A$317.2 billion across a wide range of global, regional, and country-specific strategies.

FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL)

According to a change of interests of substantial holder notice, Renaissance Smaller Companies has increased its holding in this financial services company materially this month. The notice reveals that Renaissance has picked up approximately 10.5 million shares, lifting its stake to ~31.75 million shares. This works out to be a holding of 8.05%. Renaissance Smaller Companies is a privately-owned boutique fund manager established in 2003. It is solely focused on managing funds for institutional and wholesale clients, with the core aim to deliver outperformance for its clients over the medium to long term.

Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC)

Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) has been increasing its holding in this telco company this month. A change of interests of substantial holder notice reveals that it has lifted its holding by ~6.5 million shares to 64.08 million shares. This represents a stake of 10.33%. Challenger appears to have been taking advantage of a sharp decline in Vocus’ share price this month. Its shares were trading at a multi-year low of $1.81 on Monday.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended FlexiGroup Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.