Property leads directors' buying as disposals dip

Lee Shau-kee picks up Henderson Land shares and makes a rare purchase of SHKP stock

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 May, 2014, 5:38am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 May, 2014, 6:42am

The buying rebounded sharply while the selling among directors fell based on filings on the exchange during the holiday-shortened week of April 28 to May 2.

A total of 32 companies recorded 156 purchases worth HK$663 million versus 15 firms with 27 disposals worth HK$103 million. The buy figures were up from the previous week's four-day totals of 29 companies, 118 purchases, and HK$126 million.

On the selling side, the number of companies was up from the previous week's 10 firms but the number of trades and value were sharply down from the previous week's 35 disposals worth HK$179 million.

Aside from directors, the buyback activity rebounded last week with 13 firms posting 70 repurchases worth HK$155 million, up from the previous week's 12 firms, 54 trades, and HK$120 million.

The surge in director purchases last week was due to heavy buying in the property sector. Lee Shau-kee was among the top buyers picking up 2.5 million shares of blue chip Henderson Land Development from April 24 to 29 at an average of HK$45.21 each. That brought his total purchases since March 21 to 21.7 million shares worth HK$952 million. The stock closed at HK$47.15 on Friday.

Lee also made some rare buys in Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) last week. Lee, a vice-chairman of SHKP, bought 1.14 million shares from April 25 to 29 at an average of HK$96.92 each. The trades boosted his holdings by 127 per cent to 2.04 million shares or 0.07 per cent of the issued capital.

SHKP managing director Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong bought 9.6 million shares from January 3 to March 21 at an average of HK$95.12 each. He also acquired via off-market trades 42.4 million shares from April 4 to 23 at undisclosed prices, which boosted his stake to 495.624 million shares or 18.19 per cent. The shares of SHKP closed at HK$98.00 on Friday.

Other property tycoons that bought shares last week are Wheelock & Co chairman Peter Woo Kwong-ching and Robert Ng of Sino Land. Woo has been active in the past month buying 3.62 million shares from March 31 to April 28 at HK$30.13 to HK$33.10 each or an average of HK$31.95 each. The stock closed at HK$31.85 on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ng recorded his first on-market trades in Sino Land since June 2013 with 114,000 shares bought on April 16 and a further 288,000 shares on April 25 at an average of HK$11.42 each.

The trades increased his holdings to 3.194 billion shares or 53.1 per cent. The blue chip closed at HK$11.48 on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider