THE INSIDER
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Directors' share purchases rise but company buy-backs stay flat in Hong Kong

Greenland and Ozner Water record insider buys last week following sharp falls in share prices

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 November, 2015, 12:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 November, 2015, 12:07am

Buying rebounded while selling among directors fell, based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange last week.

Buyers outweighed sellers with 28 companies that recorded 135 purchases worth HK$707 million, against 13 firms with 48 disposals worth HK$24 million. Purchases were down from 147 the previous week while the number of firms and value were up from 26 companies and HK$341 million.

On the negative side, the number of firms was up from 11 while trades and value were down from 56 disposals worth HK$124 million.

While the buying by directors rose last week, buy-back activity was flat with 12 companies posting 62 purchases worth HK$801 million. The number of firms and trades were slightly down from the previous week's 14 companies and 68 trades. The value, however, was sharply up from HK$551 million.

A surge in insider buying is normally due to directors providing price support. Two stocks that recorded insider buys last week following sharp declines in share prices are Greenland Holdings and Ozner Water International.

Not all directors, however, were in price-support mode as there were purchases in Strong Petrochemical Holdings and Yestar International following sharp gains.

Executive director Wang Xuling recorded her first acquisition in residential property developer Greenland since she joined the group in 2007 with 100,000 shares bought on November 4 at HK$3.48 each. The trade increased her holdings to 378.265 million shares or 13.54 per cent of the issued capital. The trade was made after the 39 per cent drop in the share price since July from HK$5.66.

Investors should note there were buy-backs by the company this year, with 62.1 million shares bought from July 10 to October 6 at HK$5.40 to HK$3.08 each or an average of HK$3.98 each. The stock closed at HK$3.47 on Friday.

Chairman and chief executive Xiao Shu resumed buying shares of purification systems provider Ozner Water at lower than his acquisition prices earlier this year. He bought one million shares on November 3 at HK$1.49 each. The trade increased his holdings to 509.471 million shares or 29.36 per cent of the issued capital.

Xiao previously acquired 10.87 million shares from March 26 to July 15 at HK$3.06 to HK$1.63 each or an average of HK$2.29 each.

His last purchase price was lower than the 2014 offering prices of HK$2.25 to HK$2.70. Investors should note there were buy-backs by Ozner Water earlier this year with 15.9 million shares purchased from March 26 to July 24 at HK$3.03 to HK$1.89 each or an average of HK$2.42 each. The stock closed at HK$1.60 on Friday.

Chairman Wang Jiansheng recorded his first trade in crude oil and petroleum products trader Strong Petrochemical since March 2014 with 464,000 shares bought on November 3 at 38 HK cents each. The trade increased his holdings to 1.132 billion shares or 64.03 per cent of the issued capital. The acquisition was made on the back of the 19 per cent rebound in the share price since the last week of September from 32 HK cents. Despite the rebound, the counter is still down since May from 72 HK cents. The counter closed at 38 HK cents on Friday.

Chairman and chief executive James Hartono recorded the first corporate shareholder trades in colour photographic paper and imaging products manufacturer Yestar since the stock was listed in October 2013 with 3.5 million shares bought from October 12 to 15 and a further 2.2 million shares on November 3 and 4 at HK$2.87 to HK$3.12 each or an average of HK$2.98 each.

The trades, which accounted for 11 per cent of the stock's trading volume, increased his holdings to 271.133 million shares or 12.46 per cent of the issued capital. The purchases were made on the back of a 38 per cent rebound in the share price since July from HK$2.16. The stock closed at HK$3.07 on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider