Poor week for buying, sellers on a spree despite holiday-shortened week
Four stocks recorded significant insider sales last week: Wharf (Holdings) Limited, Wheelock, Future Land Development and Jingrui Holdings
Buying plunged while selling among directors remained high based on filings on the EHong Kong Stock xchange in the holiday-shortened week of April 10 to 13.
A total of 30 companies recorded 116 purchases worth HK$146 million versus 16 firms with 75 disposals worth HK$179 million.
The buy figures were sharply down from the previous week’s 4-day totals of 45 companies, 168 purchases and HK$227 million.
On the selling side, the number of firms and trades were consistent with the previous week’s 16 companies and 73 disposals. The sell value, however, was sharply down from the previous week’s sales worth HK$371 million.
Aside from directors, buyback activity fell with 20 companies posting 83 repurchases worth HK$1.123 billion. The figures were down from the previous week’s 25 firms, 101 trades and HK$2.427 billion.
With the plunge in the buying last week, the bulk of the significant trades were disposals with heavy selling recorded in the property sector.
Four stocks that recorded significant insider sales last week are Wharf (Holdings) Limited, Wheelock & Company, Future Land Development and Jingrui Holdings.
The heavy disposals in the past month, however, may be a sign that property stocks have reached fair value, especially following the recent announcement of extra cooling measures by the Hong Kong government to help reign in speculators and tightening of bond offerings on construction and real estate developers in the mainland.
Sentiment among property counters, however, was not entirely bearish last week as there were buybacks in China Investments and in Cheung Kong Property Holdings which recently sold 93 per cent of the units in its Harbour Glory condominium complex at record high prices.
Deputy chairman Andrew Chow On Kiu and chairman & managing director Stephen Ng Tin Hoi recorded sales in blue chip property play and container terminals and communications services provider Wharf (Holdings) Limited with a combined 25,000 shares sold from April 6 to 11 at an average of HK$67.10 each.
Deputy chairman Andrew Chow On-kiu picked up where he left off in March with 10,000 shares sold on April 11 at HK$66.50 each. The trade lowered his holdings to 4.870 million shares or 0.16 per cent of the issued capital. He previously sold 120,000 shares from March 10 to 30 at an average of HK$68.15 each.
The disposals by Chow since March are his first on-market trades since he joined the group in 2006.
Managing director Stephen Ng, on the other hand, resumed selling at higher than his previous sale prices with 15,000 shares sold on April 6 at HK$67.50 each.
The trade reduced his holdings to 6.989 million shares or 0.23 per cent of the issued capital. The sale was made on the back of the 34 per cent rise in the share price since December 2016 from HK$50.25. The disposal was made at a profit based on the 600,000 shares that he acquired via exercise of options on March 29 at HK$46.90 each.
He previously sold 800,000 shares from October to November 2016 at an average of HK$58.94 each and 280,000 shares from March to April 2002 at an average of HK$18.13 each. Ng joined the company in 1981.
Aside from, there were also sales by three directors in property developer Wheelock & Company. Deputy chairman Stewart Leung Chi Kin, CFO Paul Tsui Yiu Cheung and non-executive director Ricky Wong Kwong Yiu sold a combined 682,000 shares sold from April 3 to 7 at an average of HK$62.63 each, 13 per cent of the stock’s trading volume.
Deputy chairman Stewart Leung sold 132,000 shares from April 5 to 7 at an average of HK$63.00 each, which reduced his holdings to 3.318 million shares or 0.16 per cent of the issued capital.
He previously sold 1.28 million shares from March 15 to 31 at an average of HK$61.00 each. Aside from his sales since March, Leung sold 1.2 million shares from September to October 2016 at an average of HK$45.99 each. The disposals by the deputy chairman since September 2016 are his first on-market trades since his appointment in 2012.
CFO Paul Tsui sold 300,000 shares from April 6 to 7 at an average of HK$62.90 each, which lowered his stake by 13 per cent to 2.100 million shares or 0.10 per cent.
He previously sold two cunks of 300,000 shares from March 13 to 14 at an average of HK$56.30 each and in September 2016 via options-related sales at an average of HK$43.83 each.
Tsui was appointed to the Board in 1998.
Lastly, non-executive director Ricky Wong sold 250,000 shares on April 3 at HK$62.11 each, which reduced his holdings by 6 per cent to 3.650 million shares or 0.18 per cent.
He previously sold 1.1 million shares from March 13 to 31 at an average of HK$59.93 each. Aside from his sales since March, the director sold 83,000 shares in October 2016 at HK$47.41 each and 917,000 shares from August to September 2016 via options-related sales at HK$43.97 to HK$47.20 each or an average of HK$45.01 each.
Executive director Chan Wai Kin recorded his first on-market sale in property developer Future Land Development since his appointment in March 2015 with 200,000 shares sold on April 7 at HK$2.40 each. The trade reduced his holdings by 67 per cent to 100,000 shares. The sale was made on the back of the 76 per cent rise in the share price since October 2016 from HK$1.36. The counter is also up since February 2016 from HK$0.89. He previously acquired 100,000 shares in September 2015 at HK$0.96 each, 100,000 shares in August 2015 at 2015 at HK$1.10 each and an initial 100,000 shares in June 2015 at HK$1.66 each. The stock closed at HK$2.27 on Thursday.
Vice-president Yang Tie Jun recorded his first on-market trade in property developer Jingrui Holdings since he joined the Group in December 2010 with 171,000 shares sold on April 7 at HK$2.75 each.
The trades reduced his holdings by 35 per cent to 312,000 shares or 0.02 per cent of the issued capital. The sale was made on the back of the 11 per cent drop in the share price since September 2016 from HK$3.10. The counter is also down since August 2014 from HK$3.87. The stock closed at HK$2.90 on Thursday.
Property play Chuang’s China Investments resumed buying back at higher than its acquisition price in December 2016 with 4.2 million shares purchased from April 6 to 12 at an average of HK$0.55 each. The trades, which accounted for 30 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, were made on the back of the 17 per cent rise in the share price since January from HK$0.47. The Group previously acquired 5.15 million shares from December 13 to 15, 2016 at HK$0.495 each and 59.42 million shares from September 5 to October 17, 2016 at HK$0.55 to HK$0.50 each or an average of HK$0.54 each. The repurchases since September 2016 are the Company’s first buybacks based on filings on the Exchange since 1992. The counter closed at HK$0.53 on Thursday.
Property developer Cheung Kong Property Holdings seems undeterred by the recent cooling measures by the Government as the Company has been buying back almost daily since the second half of March totaling 46.94 million shares worth HK$2.513 billion. The repurchases, which accounted for 38 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, were made from March 23 to April 11 at an average of HK$53.54 each. The Group recorded buys on 10 out of the 13 trading days during that period.