PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 4:56am

Directors' share purchase total soars on CLP duo's big buys

HK$420m splash by Michael Kadoorie and Ronald McAulay lifts total of purchases again

Buying rose for the second straight week, while selling among directors surged, based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange from March 4 to 8. Buyers outweighed sellers, with 10 companies recording 46 purchases worth HK$476 million, against eight firms with 22 disposals worth HK$61 million.

The number of transactions and value on the buying side were up from the previous week's 36 acquisitions worth HK$139 million.

The sales, on the other hand, were sharply up from the previous week's two firms, four disposals, and HK$2.4 million.

The huge buy value last week was due to acquisitions in the utility firm CLP by its chairman, Michael Kadoorie, and a non-executive director, Ronald McAulay, for a combined 6.2 million shares from February 28 to March 6 for HK$420 million.

Overall, these two senior board members have acquired 8.2 million shares worth HK$554 million - an average of HK$67.20 each - since the company announced its year-end results on February 25. The blue chip closed at HK$67 on Friday.

Aside from directors, buy-back activity rose last week with seven companies posting 32 repurchases worth HK$76.4 million. The figures were up from the previous week's six firms, 27 trades and HK$39.1 million.

Soho China resumed buying back after the mainland commercial property developer announced its annual results on March 6, with 6.66 million shares purchased on March 7 and 8 at an average of HK$6.09 each.

The group posted a 172 per cent gain in profit attributable to shareholders to 10.59 billion yuan (HK$13.1 billion).

The company bought back heavily before the results, with 146 million shares purchased from August 17 last year to January 25 at HK$4.74 to HK$6.89 each, or an average of HK$5.69 each.

The group's recent buy-backs bode well for shareholders, as the stock rose an average of 13 per cent three months after it bought shares, based on 47 filings since 2008. The stock recorded a price gain three months after on 79 per cent of those filings. The counter closed at HK$6.21 on Friday.

Department store operator Maoye International recorded its first buy-backs since January last year with 9.24 million shares acquired from March 6 to 8 at an average of HK$1.75 each. The trades, which accounted for 27 per cent of the stock's trading volume, were made on the back of a 54 per cent rebound in the share price since July last year from HK$1.13.

Despite the rebound, the counter is still down from March's HK$2.42. The stock closed at HK$1.74 on Friday.

At watch trader and retailer Stelux, chairman and chief executive Chumphol Kanjanapas bought 32,000 shares on February 26 at HK$2.80 each. The trade increased his holdings to 605.15 million shares or 57.83 per cent of the issued capital.

The acquisition was made after the stock rebounded 15 per cent from HK$2.43 in January. The stock has risen six months later on 72 per cent of his purchases. It last traded at HK$3.32.

Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider


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