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Fall in share prices triggers buying spree by directors
CLP among stocks that recorded heavy purchases in a week of active trade
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Directors were active during the holiday-shortened week of December 31 to January 4 with 158 transactions worth HK$323 million. The figures were up from the previous week's three-day totals of 149 trades worth HK$213.9 million.
Buyers outweighed sellers with 28 companies that recorded 88 purchases worth HK$259.3 million, compared with 19 firms with 70 disposals worth HK$63.8 million.
The bulk of the significant trades were purchases last week. Four stocks that recorded heavy insider purchases are CLP, Mexan, China Lilang and Pearl Oriental Oil as the sharp fall in their stock prices prompted directors to buy shares for the first time since listing or following a long lay-off.
Non-executive chairman Michael Kadoorie and non-executive director Ronald McAulay recorded rare acquisitions in blue-chip utility firm CLP with a combined 4.3 million shares purchased from December 21 to 31 at an average of HK$64.62 each.
The trades, which accounted for 21 per cent of the stock's trading volume, were made on the back of the 14 per cent drop in the share price since September 2011 from HK$74.95. Despite the fall in the share price, the counter is still up since October 2008 from HK$42.85.
Kadoorie recorded his first on-market trades based on filings in the exchange since 1993 with 2.5 million shares purchased during the period at an average of HK$64.66 each, which increased his holdings to 18.19 per cent of the issued capital.
McAulay, on the other hand, recorded his first on-market trades since 2001 with 1.8 million shares purchased at an average of HK$64.55 each. The trades boosted his stake to 10.9 per cent. He previously acquired 2.16 million shares from January 1998 to August 2001 at an average of HK$38.48 each.
The blue chip closed at HK$65.20 on Friday.
Chairman Lun Chi-yim recorded his first on-market acquisitions in hotel operator and money-lending firm Mexan since his appointment in April 2007 with 4.56 million shares purchased from December 27 to January 2 at 12 HK cents each.
The trades, which accounted for 46 per cent of the stock's trading volume, increased his holdings to 54.59 per cent.
The acquisitions were made on the back of the 22 per cent decline in the share price since April 2010 from 15.7 HK cents. Despite the fall in the share price, the stock is still up since October 2008 from 3.5 HK cents.
Prior to the purchases, Lun sold 253.76 million shares in June 2007 at an average of 48.7 HK cents each.
The counter closed at 13.4 HK cents on Friday.
Executive director Cai Ronghua recorded the first on-market trades by a director in men's clothing and accessories manufacturer Lilang since the stock was listed in September 2009 with 1.8 million shares purchased from December 20 to 28 at an average of HK$4.52 each.
The trades, which accounted for 15 per cent of the stock's trading volume, increased his holdings to 0.75 per cent.
The acquisitions were made on the back of the 50 per cent drop in the share price since March 2012 from HK$9.06. The stock is also sharply down since October 2010 from HK$13.26.
Despite the fall in the share price, Cai's purchase price was higher than the initial public offering price of HK$3.90.
The counter rebounded sharply from Cai's purchase price to close at HK$5.34 on Friday.
Chairman and chief executive Wong Yuk-kwan recorded his first on-market trades in recycling-materials processor and oil and gas explorer Pearl Oriental since May 2011 with 10 million shares purchased from December 31 to January 2 at 64 HK cents each. The trades increased his holdings to 36.47 per cent.
The acquisitions were made on the back of the 22 per cent drop in the share price since September 2012 from 82 HK cents. Despite the decline in the share price, the stock is still up since June 2012 from 47 HK cents.
Wong previously acquired 3.03 million shares in May 2011 at 89 HK cents each and 18.86 million shares in May 2010 at an average of HK$1.18 each.
The counter closed at 63 HK cents on Friday.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider