THE INSIDER ROBERT HALILI

Buy-side values up sharply while share sales among Hong Kong directors down

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 March, 2016, 5:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 March, 2016, 5:31pm

The buying remained high while the selling among directors fell based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange from February 29 to March 4. A total of 18 companies recorded 91 purchases worth HK$182 million versus six firms with 12 disposals worth HK$31 million.

The number of firms and trades on the buying side were unchanged from the previous week while the value was sharply up from the previous week’s purchases worth HK$119 million. On the selling side, the number of companies was unchanged while the number of trades and value were down from the previous week’s 18 disposals worth HK$43 million.

Meanwhile, the buyback activity fell with nine companies that posted 61 repurchases worth HK$235 million. The number of firms and trades were sharply down from the previous week’s 16 companies and 84 transactions. The value, however, was sharply up from the previous week’s turnover of HK$179 million.

There were several significant purchases last week with buybacks in Hopewell Holdings and insider buys in New World Development, Brightoil Petroleum and Time Watch Investments. The purchases in these four firms were made following the announcement of first-half results.

Property developer and infrastructure firm Hopewell Holdings resumed buying back after the stock rebounded by 11 per cent from HK$21.56 on February 12 with 560,000 shares purchased from February 25 to March 1 at an average of HK$23.88 each. The trades accounted for 18 per cent of the stock’s trading volume. The buybacks were made after the company announced on February 24 an 81.28 per cent gain in first-half profit to HK$1.559 billion. The group previously acquired 1.27 million shares from January 4 to 22 at HK$25.94 each. Before the repurchases this quarter, the company acquired 5.71 million shares from June 2013 to December 2015 at an average of HK$25.69 each, 31.8 million shares from November 2007 to December 2011 at HK$35.50 to HK$18.80 each, or an average of HK$24.49 each, and 1.9 million shares from January 2005 to November 2006 at an average of HK$20.37 each. The stock closed at HK$25 on Friday.

Non-executive vice-chairman William Doo Wai-hoi picked up where he left off in blue chip infrastructure and property play New World Development in January with 12 million shares purchased from February 26 to March 1 at an average of HK$6.49 each. The trades, which accounted for 20 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, increased his holdings by 31 per cent to 50.488 million shares, or 0.54 per cent of the issued capital. The purchases were made after the company announced on February 23 a 43.63 per cent drop in first-half profit to HK$3.3 billion. He previously acquired 30 million shares from January 18 to 22 at an average of HK$6.52 each. The purchases since January were made on the back of the drop in the share price since October 2015 from HK$8.18. Before his purchases this quarter, Doo acquired five million shares in April 2014 at an average of HK$8.04 each. The stock closed at HK$7.14 on Friday.

Chairman and chief executive Sit Kwong-lam resumed buying shares of oil and gas exploration firm Brightoil Petroleum at lower than his acquisition prices from May 2015 to January this year with 7.5 million shares bought from February 29 to March 1 at HK$1.94 each. The trades increased his holdings to 7.442 billion shares or 73.28 per cent of the issued capital. The purchases were made on the back of the 15 per cent drop in the share price since February 2 from HK$2.28. The acquisitions were also made after the company announced on February 26 a first-half loss of HK$522.956 million versus a profit of HK$561.141 million in the previous corresponding period.

Sit previously acquired 22.8 million shares from January 6 to 26 at an average of HK$2.37 each, 9.7 million shares in December 2015 at an average of HK$2.27 each and 41.5 million shares from May to July 2015 at an average of HK$2.70 each. The stock closed at HK$2.06 on Friday.

Chairman and chief executive Tung Koon-ming resumed buying shares of watch manufacturer and retailer Time Watch Investments at lower than his acquisition prices last year with 1.77 million shares purchased from February 26 to 29 at 98 HK cents each. The trades increased his holdings to 1.44 billion shares or 69.24 per cent of the issued capital. The purchases were made on the back of the 17 per cent drop in the share price since December 2015 from HK$1.18. The acquisitions were also made after the company announced on February 25 a 7.86 per cent gain in first half profit to HK$169.488 million. The chairman previously acquired 1.64 million shares in October 2015 at HK$1.20 each and 2.73 million shares from April to July 2015 at an average of HK$1.31 each. The counter closed at 95 HK cents on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider

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