Retail counters record strong buying

Sell side sees steady number of transactions but sharp increase in value

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 May, 2013, 4:41am

Both buying and selling of their own company shares by directors remained high last week, based on filings made to the stock exchange from May 20 to 24.

A total of 25 companies reported 109 purchases worth HK$456 million, against 10 that posted 42 disposals worth HK$460 million.

In the previous holiday-shortened week's four trading days, there were 20 companies with 91 purchases worth HK$287 million. On the sell side, there were 11 companies with 41 transactions worth a much lower HK$56.6 million.

The surge in the sell value last week was due to options-related deals in casino operator SJM Holdings, dairy products' manufacturer China Mengniu Dairy and internet play Tencent Holdings. Their transactions were worth HK$229 million, HK$109 million and HK$91 million, respectively.

Buying was heavy in retail plays such as Lifestyle International Holdings, Golden Eagle Retail Group, Intime Department Store (Group), Springland International Holdings and Bonjour Holdings.

Lifestyle bought back more shares this month at a lower price, with 1.97 million shares from May 21 to 24 at an average of HK$16.28 each. The trades accounted for 38 per cent of the stock's trading volume.

The trades since last month were made on the back of a drop in the share price since January from HK$20.90.

Before the buy-backs this quarter, Lifestyle had acquired 69.8 million shares worth HK$708 million from September 2008 to August last year at an average of HK$10.14 each.

The stock closed at HK$16.28 on Friday.

There has been strong price support for Golden Eagle this month, with purchases by the company and chairman Roger Wang Hung. The purchases, totalling 17.98 million shares, were made at an average of HK$12.73 each and the trades accounted for 17 per cent of the stock's trading volume.

The company bought back 16.5 million shares from May 2 to 23 at an average of HK$12.71 each. It also bought 37.2 million shares from March 25 to April 24 at an average of HK$13.74 each.

The purchases since March were made after the stock fell from HK$19.96 in January. The company also bought 68.3 million shares worth HK$494 million from November 2008 to September last year at an average of HK$7.24 each.

Wang picked up 1.48 million shares from May 2 to 13 at an average of HK$12.96 each, lifting his holdings to 1.34 billion shares or 70.87 per cent of the issued capital.

The stock last traded at HK$12.92.

Sentiment was also positive in Intime this month, with purchases by chairman Shen Guojun and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. The acquisitions were made on the back of a drop in the share price since January from HK$11.26.

Shen bought 1.5 million shares from May 15 to 20 at an average of HK$7.78 each, which increased his holdings to 663.51 million shares or 32.95 per cent. He had also bought 200,000 shares in September 2011 at HK$8.58 each and 4.6 million shares in July 2008 at HK$4.28 each.

GSIC reported a purchase-related filing on May 15 of 5.4 million shares at HK$7.97 each, which boosted its stake to 204.51 million shares or 10.16 per cent.

Chief executive Chen Xiaodong, on the other hand, sold 1.3 million shares from April 23 to May 10 at an average of HK$9.16 each. He had acquired those shares in the same period through options at an average of HK$6.56 each.

The stock closed at HK$7.80 on Friday.

Value Partners became a substantial shareholder in Springland on May 20 following the purchase of 31.7 million shares at HK$3.75 each. The trade increased its holdings by 29 per cent to 140.07 million shares or 5.6 per cent.

Springland last traded at HK$3.81.

Denver Investment Advisors became a substantial shareholder in Bonjour on May 16 after it bought 700,000 shares at HK$1.30 each. Denver now owns 149.76 million shares or 5.01 per cent of Bonjour.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider.