Directors show no signs of easing up on share purchases

Buyers keep up momentum for a fifth week, including a large buyback in cement firm Luks

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 September, 2013, 3:57am

Buying of their own company shares by directors rose for the fifth consecutive week last week, with 35 companies reporting 155 purchases worth HK$292 million based on filings to the stock exchange.

The number of trades rose from the previous week's 150 purchases, valued at HK$140 million.

The volume of selling remained high for a fifth week, with 14 companies reporting 62 disposals worth HK$66 million. The number of companies and trades were up from the previous week's 11 companies and 33 disposals; but the value was sharply down from the previous week's sales worth HK$223 million.

Buyback activity by companies themselves fell for the first time in the past five weeks, with 13 companies posting 61 repurchases worth HK$61 million.

The figures were down from the previous week's 16 companies and 73 trades worth HK$257 million.

There were several significant trades last week, with buybacks in cement maker Luks Group (Vietnam) and insider buys in Texhong Textile Group following falls in their share prices.

On the flip side, there were fund manager sales in CSR Corp and Dah Sing Banking following rebounds in their share prices.

Luks bought back shares for the first time since July last year, with 1.89 million shares purchased from September 10 to 13 at an average of HK$1.83 each. The trades, which accounted for 77 per cent of the stock's trading volume, followed a 29 per cent drop in the share price since January from HK$2.56.

The group had bought 2.7 million shares from June to July 2012 at an average of HK$1.60 each. The stock closed at HK$1.92 on Friday.

Chairman Hong Tian Zhu recorded his first trades in yarn and fabrics manufacturer Texhong since August 2011, with 883,000 shares bought from September 10 to 11 at an average of HK$11.98 each. The trades increased his holdings to 536.342 million shares or 60.63 per cent of the issued capital.

The purchases came after a 24 per cent drop in the share price since August from HK$15.86.

Hong previously acquired three million shares in August 2011 at an average of HK$2.34 each. The stock closed sharply up from the chairman's last purchase price to HK$13.06 on Friday.

The Capital Group Companies recorded its first sales in carriage manufacturer CSR since it became a substantial shareholder in May, with 18.85 million shares sold from September 10 to 11 at HK$5.82 to HK$5.90 each. The trades reduced its holdings by 12 per cent to 140.368 million shares or 6.94 per cent.

The disposal followed a rebound in the share price since July from HK$4.21. The group had bought 59.7 million shares from May 8 to May 27 at HK$5.44 to HK$5.67 each, after an initial filing on May 7 of 15.1 million shares at HK$5.44 each.

The stock closed at HK$5.72 on Friday.

Aberdeen Asset Management recorded its first sale in financial services provider Dah Sing Banking since it became a substantial shareholder in November 2010, with a disposal-related filing on September 10 of 833,000 shares at HK$11.44 each. Its holdings now stand at 99.986 million shares or 7.99 per cent.

The disposal followed a 32 per cent rebound in the share price since June from HK$8.64. The group previously reported a purchase-related filing on March 12 of 753,000 shares at HK$10.29 each.

Sentiment towards the counter has not been entirely negative this quarter as chairman David Wong acquired 40,000 shares from August 19 to 21 at an average of HK$11.30 each. This boosted his stake to 933.596 million shares or 74.61 per cent.

The stock closed at HK$11.08 on Friday.

Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider.