Bullish blue-chip directors stay active

Chairmen of property giants Henderson Land and Cheung Kong increase their holdings

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 3:43am


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The tide of directors buying shares in their own company rose for the seventh straight week, while selling was up for a second week, based on filings to the stock exchange for April 8 to 12.

Buyers outweighed sellers, with 51 companies reporting 212 purchases worth HK$832 million, against 20 firms with 77 disposals worth HK$203 million.

The number of companies and trades on the buying side were sharply up from the previous week's three-day totals of 25 companies and 98 purchases, while sales were sharply up from the previous week's nine companies that reported 26 disposals worth HK$42.3 million.

The huge buy value last week was due to heavy activity in blue chips, with purchases in Henderson Land Development, CLP, Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa worth a combined HK$669 million.

Buying of blue chips has been high for the past four weeks, with a weekly average of three companies reporting buys against a weekly average of 0.7 company buys from October 2012 to March 15.

The last time directors of blue chips were this bullish was in 2011 when a weekly average of four companies recorded buys from the last week of August to the second week of October.

The market, which fell from 20,500 points to 16,250 points during that eight-week period, rebounded following that buying spree to reach 21,680 points in February 2012.

Henderson chairman Lee Shau-kee was the top buyer last week, with 9.06 million shares bought for HK$479.7 million from April 2 to 8. The trades increased his holdings to 1.529 billion shares, or 63.34 per cent of the issued capital.

Buying in utility firm CLP continued with chairman Michael Kadoorie and non-executive director Ronald McAulay picking up a further 1.2 million shares worth HK$82.4 million on April 3.

Along with non-executive director Nicholas Allen, the two have bought 33.1 million shares worth HK$2.22 billion since February 26 at an average of HK$67.16 per share.

Li Ka-shing bought shares in Cheung Kong and Hutchison. Li recorded his first trade in Cheung Kong since May last year with 251,000 shares bought on April 5 at HK$112.74 each, raising his holdings to 1.003 billion shares, or 43.33 per cent.

Li also recorded his first purchase in Hutchison since November 2011 with 980,000 shares on April 5 at HK$79.65 each. The trade raised his holdings to 2.236 billion shares or 52.45 per cent.

Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider