The Insider

Selling among directors surges, but buying falls

Buyback activity high, with 11 companies posting 57 repurchases worth HK$1.73b

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 November, 2015, 1:42pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 10:28am

The buying fell while the selling among directors surged based on exchange filings in the second week of November.

A total of 27 companies recorded 117 purchases worth HK$251 million versus 17 firms with 86 disposals worth HK$77 million. The buy figures were down from the previous week’s 28 companies, 135 purchases and HK$707 million. The sales, on the other hand, were sharply up from the previous week’s 13 firms, 48 disposals and HK$24 million.

Meanwhile, buyback activity remained high with 11 companies posting 57 repurchases worth HK$1.73 billion. The number of firms and trades were slightly down from the previous week’s 13 companies and 66 trades while the value was more than double the previous week’s turnover of HK$803 million. The huge buyback value was mainly due to Evergrande Real Estate Group, with the property developer picking up 235 million shares worth HK$1.5 billion last week at an average of HK$6.43 each. Despite the heavy purchases, the stock closed below the group’s buyback price at HK$6.27 on Friday.

The bulk of significant director trades last week were disposals, with sales in Techtronic Industries, Glory Flame Holdings, World Houseware and China Travel International.

Chairman Horst Julius Pudwill took some profits on the 1.17 million shares that he acquired in rechargeable tools manufacturer Techtronic Industries via options on November 9 at HK$8.31 to HK$8.74 each. He sold 600,000 shares on the same day at HK$31.22 each, which reduced his holdings to 366.761 million shares or 20.01 per cent of the issued capital. The sale was made on the back of the 24 per cent rise in the share price since June from HK$25.15. He previously acquired 889,000 shares from June to August 2014 at an average of HK$24.18 each and 500,000 shares in June 2010 at HK$6.26 each. Also negative this quarter is Independent Director Christopher Patrick Langley with 50,000 shares sold from October 20 to 22 at HK$28.65 each. He previously sold 150,000 shares from April 8 to 9 at an average of HK$26.19 each and 50,000 shares from January 8 to 9 at HK$25.14 each. The stock closed at HK$30.55 on Friday.

Chairman and chief executive Pei Wing-fu resumed selling shares of concrete demolition services provider Glory Flame Holdings at lower than his previous sale prices with 9 million shares sold on November 9 at 98 HK cents each. The trade reduced his holdings to 241.539 million shares or 38.96 per cent. The sale was made on the back of a 36 per cent drop in the share price since October 7 from HK$1.52. He previously sold 85 million shares from September 29 to October 2 at HK$1.72 each and 20 million shares from May 13 to 18 at HK$2.31 each. The disposals by Pei since May are the first corporate shareholder trades in the company since the stock was listed (by way of placing) in August 2014. The stock closed at 94 HK cents on Friday.

Executive director Stanley Lee Kwok-sing resumed selling shares of household products manufacturer World Houseware at lower than his previous sale price with 500,000 shares sold on November 10 at 69 HK cents each. The trade reduced his holdings to 283.917 million shares or 38.03 per cent. The disposal was made on the back of a 28 per cent rebound in the share price since September from 54 HK cents. Despite the rebound in the share price, the counter is still down since June 25, from HK$1.18. The sale was made at a profit based on the 2 million shares that Lee acquired via options on September 2 at 23.7 HK cents each. He previously sold 1.5 million shares from June 19 to 24 at 93 HK cents each. The sales by Lee since June are his first trades since his appointment in December 2012. The counter closed at HK 68 cents on Friday.

Vice chairman Lo Sui-on recorded his first trades in travel services provider China Travel International since his appointment in 2000 with 400,000 shares sold from November 5 to 6 at HK$3.62 each. The trades reduced his holdings by 23 per cent to 1.370 million shares or 0.02 per cent. The sales were made on the back of a 53 per cent rebound in the share price since July from HK$2.36. The disposals were made at a profit based on the one million shares Lo acquired via options on May 22 at HK$1.70 each. Investors should note that there were buybacks by the company earlier this year with 117.9 million shares purchased from January 2 to September 25 at an average of HK$2.66 each. The buybacks so far this year are significantly more than the 100 million shares that the group acquired from September 2004 to December 2014 at HK$1.15 to HK$2.58 each or an average of HK$1.61 each. The stock closed at HK$3.46 on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider