Sales rise as listed firms' buy-back activity plunges

Focus of directors' transactions shifts to sellers, whose activity has been rising in recent weeks

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 June, 2013, 3:32am

Purchases of their own companies' shares by directors was flat but selling rose for the second straight week based on filings made to the stock exchange for the period May 27 to 31.

Buyers outweighed sellers, with 25 companies reporting 120 purchases worth HK$392 million versus 16 companies that reported 61 disposals worth HK$107 million. The buy figures were not far off the previous week's 25 companies, 109 purchases, and HK$456 million.

On the sell side, the number of companies and their trades was sharply up from the previous week's 10 companies and 43 disposals. The surge in those numbers, however, did not translate into a larger sell value as the figure was sharply down from the previous week's sales worth HK$471 million.

Buy-back activity among listed companies plunged, with just five companies reporting 20 repurchases worth HK$123 million. The figures were sharply down from the previous week's eight companies that reported 37 trades worth HK$196 million.

Although buying by directors has remained strong since March, the focus has shifted to sellers whose activity picked up in the past two weeks. Among the stocks that recorded insider disposals last week were Beijing Enterprises Water, China ITS, Dah Chong Hong Holdings, and Samsonite International.

CEO Hu Xiao Yong recorded his first sales in sewage and water treatment services provider Beijing Enterprises Water since his appointment in August 2008, with 1.15 million shares sold from May 27 to 28 at an average of HK$2.87 each. The trades reduced his holdings to 747.740 million shares or 9.73 per cent of the issued capital.

The disposals were made on the back of a 113 per cent rise in the share price since July 2012 from HK$1.35. Hu previously acquired 100,000 shares in September 2011 at HK$1.51 each.

The stock closed at HK$2.94 on Friday.

Chairman and CEO Jiang Hai Lin recorded the first on-market trade by a director of China ITS since the stock was listed in July 2010, with 2.79 million shares sold on May 21 at HK$2.05 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 898.356 million shares or 54.59 per cent.

The disposal was made on the back of a 56 per cent rise in the share price since March from HK$1.31. The stock is also sharply up since September 2012 from 95 cents. Despite the increase in the share price, the chairman's sale price was sharply lower than the IPO price of HK$3.49.

The stock closed at HK$2.10 on Friday.

Chairman Hui Ying Bun recorded his first trades in motor vehicle distributor and logistics services provider Dah Chong Hong since November 2012, with 600,000 shares sold from May 21 to 22 at an average of HK$7.60 each. The trades reduced his holdings by 22 per cent to 2.1 million shares or 0.11 per cent.

The disposals were made on the back of a 17 per cent drop in the share price since February from HK$9.19. Hui previously sold 1.37 million shares from September 14 to November 7, 2012 at an average of HK$7.35 each and 440,000 shares from April 18 to June 20, 2012 at an average of HK$8.50 each.

Prior to his disposals since April 2012, he bought 300,000 shares in July 2010 at an average of HK$4.65 each and 700,000 shares from November 2007 to November 2008 at HK$4.36 to HK$0.90 each.

The stock closed at HK$7.01 on Friday.

There was heavy selling in travel luggage manufacturer and retailer Samsonite last month, with sales by chief financial officer Kyle Francis Gendreau and Wellington Management.

Gendreau recorded his first trades since September 2012 with one million shares sold from May 15 to 16 at an average of HK$21.04 each, which reduced his holdings by 16 per cent to 5.189 million shares or 0.36 per cent. The sales were made on the back of a 40 per cent rise in the share price since November 2012 from HK$15.02.

Wellington Management, meanwhile, reported a disposal-related filing on May 28 of 10.5 million shares at HK$21.05 each.

The stock closed at HK$20.25 on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider