A slowdown in buying in the second week of December proved temporary as buyers ramped up their trades last week, with 37 companies recording 148 insider purchases worth HK$127.5 million.
The figures were sharply up from the previous week's 30 firms and 116 purchases for HK$81.5 million. Directors have bought heavily in three of the past four weeks, amassing 515 purchases worth HK$615 million.
The purchases were well up on the 298 acquisitions worth HK$302 million in the previous four weeks. At the same time, selling among directors was flat, with 15 companies that recorded 62 disposals worth HK$39.6 million. The number of firms and trades were consistent with the previous week's but the value was a fraction of that period's HK$131.3 million.
Most of the major trades last week were acquisitions, particularly purchases in Dah Sing Financial, AIA, Tongda, and Cinderella Media. The purchases were significant as, based on trades since 1993, these four stocks rose by an average of 8 per cent, 9 per cent, 36 per cent, and 18 per cent, respectively, six months after the heads of these companies bought shares.
Chairman David Wong Shou-yeh resumed buying shares of banking and financial services firm Dah Sing Financial at higher than his acquisition prices from September 2011 to October this year with 164,000 shares bought from December 6 to 19 at an average of HK$31.74 each. The trades raised his holdings to 120.742 million shares, or 40.72 per cent of the issued capital.
Also positive this quarter is Aberdeen Asset Management, with a purchase-related filing on November 29 of 354,000 shares at HK$30.67 each, which boosted its stake to 24.018 million shares or 8.1 per cent. The group became a substantial shareholder in September 2005 after buying an initial 18.048 million shares, or 7.26 per cent, at an undisclosed price. The stock closed at HK$33.25 on Friday.
Chief executive Mark Tucker resumed buying shares of insurance and financial services provider AIA at higher than his previous acquisition prices, buying 300 shares on December 18 at HK$31.17 each. The trade increased his holdings to 11.839 million shares, or 0.10 per cent.
Tucker previously acquired 4,000 shares from January 16 to November 15 at HK$24.02 to HK$30.06 each or an average of HK$27.15 each and 453,000 shares from October 2010 to December 2011 at an average of HK$23.04 each. The stock closed at HK$30.30 on Friday.
Chairman Wang Yanan recorded his first buys in electrical components manufacturer Tongda since July 2011, buying 19.69 million shares from December 17 to 19 at an average of 36.4 HK cents each.
The trades, which accounted for 24 per cent of the stock's trading volume, increased his holdings to 2.805 billion shares, or 58.9 per cent.
The purchases were made on the back of the 35 per cent rebound in the share price since August from 27 HK cents.
Wang previously acquired 73.7 million shares from October 2010 to July 2011 at an average of 35 HK cents each and 338 million shares from June 2004 to November 2009 at 12 HK cents to 54 HK cents each. The counter closed at 37.5 HK cents on Friday.
Chairman Lau Chuk-kin recorded his first on-market trades in media advertising firm Cinderella Media since September 2011. Lau bought 508,000 shares from December 17 to 18 at an average of HK$2.04 each.
The trades increased his holdings to 183.632 million shares, or 56.06 per cent. The acquisitions were made on the back of the 34 per cent drop in the share price since November 15 from HK$3.10.
The stock is down since April from HK$3.92. Lau previously acquired 426,000 shares from August to September 2011 at an average of HK$2.15 each and 3.8 million shares from November 2007 to September 2010 at 55 HK cents to HK$1.81 each.
The stock closed at HK$2.11 on Friday.
Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider