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The Insider

Hong Kong directors’ share buying remains high in latest week, while selling increases

Company share buy-back activity also remains high in early April

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2018, 4:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2018, 4:47pm

Buying of their own companies’ shares by Hong Kong company directors remained high while selling rose, based on filings to the city’s stock exchange from April 9 to 13.

A total of 66 companies recorded 352 purchases by directors worth HK$482 million (US$61.4 million) versus 17 firms with 66 disposals worth HK$143 million. The buy figures were consistent with the previous week’s three-day totals of 56 companies, 240 purchases and HK$203 million. The sales, on the other hand, were sharply up from the previous week’s 12 firms, 32 disposals and HK$50 million.

Meanwhile, company share buy-back activity was high for the third straight week, with 20 companies posting 95 repurchases worth HK$207 million, based on filings from April 6 to 12. The number of trades was sharply up from the previous two-day total of 42 repurchases, while the number of firms and value were consistent with the previous week’s 15 companies and HK$180 million.

There were several rare transactions last week, with buy-backs in Sinosoft Technology Group, buy-backs and insider buying in Far East Consortium International and director purchases in Gemilang International and Skyworth Digital Holdings.

Application software products provider Sinosoft Technology Group bought back for the first time since listing in July 2013, with 6.845 million shares purchased from April 4 to 6 at HK$2.52 to HK$2.72 each or an average of HK$2.64 each. The trades were made on the back of a 37 per cent rebound in the share price since February 12, when it stood at HK$1.99. Despite the rebound in the share price, the stock is still down since August 2016’s HK$4.62. The stock closed at HK$3.44 on Friday.

There were buy-backs and a purchase by managing director Hoong Cheong-thard in property developer Far East Consortium International, with a combined 2.74 million shares purchased from March 29 to April 12 at HK$4.15 to HK$4.56 each, or an average of HK$4.41 each. The trades, which accounted for 33 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, were made after the stock fell by as much as 16 per cent from HK$4.95 in November 2017.

The buy-backs by the company and purchases by Hoong are their first trades since 2016. The group repurchased 2.6 million shares from March 29 to April 12 at an average of HK$4.42 each. It had previously acquired 29.6 million shares from December 2015 to January 2016 at HK$2.95 to HK$2.58 each, or an average of HK$2.76 each. Before the buy-backs since 2015, the company acquired 4.07 million shares from March to May 2010 at HK$2.38 to HK$2.18 each or an average of HK$2.28 each, 18.4 million shares from December 2007 to September 2008 at HK$4.21 to HK$1.43 each, or an average of HK$2.37 each, and 1.2 million shares in October 1997 at an average of HK$1.19 each.

Hoong purchased 139,000 shares on March 29 at HK$4.15 each, which increased his holdings to 13.134 million shares or 0.57 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 319,000 shares in June 2016 at an average of HK$2.45 each. Before his purchases since 2016, he sold 500,000 in April 2015 at HK$3.09 each and 750,000 shares in January 2015 at HK$3.11 each. Hoong was appointed to the board in September 2008. The stock closed at HK$4.51 on Friday.

Chairman Phang Sun-wah and CEO Phang Huey-shyan recorded rare buys in bus body work fabricator and bus body kits and spares trader Gemilang International, with a combined 30,000 shares purchased from March 29 to April 4 at HK$2.75 each. The trades were made on the back of a 76 per cent rise in the share price since June 2017 from HK$1.56.

Phang Sun-wah recorded his first on-market trade since April 2017 with 20,000 shares purchased on March 29 at HK$2.75 each. The trade increased his holdings to 164.776 million shares or 65.65 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 100,000 shares in April 2017 at HK$1.83 each.

Phang Huey-shyan recorded her first trade since the stock was listed in November 2016 with 10,000 shares purchased on April 4 at HK$2.75 each. The trade boosted her stake to 0.260 million shares or 0.10 per cent. Her purchase price was higher than the IPO price of HK$1.42. The stock closed at HK$2.70 on Friday.

Executive director Lin Weiping was the top buyer among directors in terms of value last week with 37.3 million shares purchased of television set manufacturer and distributor Skyworth Digital Holdings from April 4 to 10 at HK$3.57 to HK$3.85 each, or an average of HK$3.73 each. The trades, which accounted for 51 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, increased her holdings to 1.227 billion shares or 40.11 per cent of the issued capital. They were her first trades since 2013.

The purchases were made after the stock fell by as much as 44 per cent from HK$6.32 in July 2016. She previously acquired 26.36 million shares in October 2013 at HK$3.62 each, 9.24 million shares in December 2010 at HK$4.70 each and 4.2 million shares from February to April 2008 at an average of HK$0.75 each. Lin was appointed to her post in February 2006. The stock closed at HK$3.72 on Friday.

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