Gaming stocks drive trading activity among directors in Hong Kong

Executives in Macau Legend, Melco and China LotSynergy boost stakes after share prices fall

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 3:22am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 3:22am

Buying surged while selling among directors rebounded, based on filings on the stock exchange from May 12 to 16. During the week, 46 companies recorded 295 purchases worth HK$648 million, compared with eight firms with 27 disposals worth HK$59 million.

The number of companies and trades was up from the previous week's 32 firms and 150 purchases, and seven companies and 18 disposals.

Turnover, however, dropped sharply from HK$1.03 billion worth of purchases and HK$102 million in sales.

The surge in trading was partly due to heavy activity in gaming stocks, with purchases in Macau Legend Development, Melco International Development and China LotSynergy and sales in Sands China.

Chief executive David Chow Kam-fai resumed buying shares of Macau Legend at a lower price, with 24.8 million shares bought from April 30 to May 14 at an average of HK$5.79 each. The trades increased his holdings to 31.35 per cent of the issued capital. The purchases were made after the stock fell as much as 15 per cent from April 1.

The acquisitions by Chow since February are his first trades since the stock was listed in July last year.

The counter closed at HK$5.73 on Friday.

Chief executive Lawrence Ho Yau-lung recorded his first trades in Melco since September 2011, with 2.8 million shares bought from May 9 to 12 at an average of HK$23.59 each. The trades raised his holdings to 48.93 per cent. The purchases were made on the back of a 27 per cent drop in the share price since January and after the firm announced on May 8 a 345 per cent gain in first-quarter profit to US$239.54 million.

Also positive this quarter is Southeastern Asset Management, with a net 60.7 million shares bought from April 8 to May 8 at HK$25.55 to HK$22.56 each. The trades raised its stake to 12.34 per cent.

The stock closed at HK$24 on Friday.

Chief executive Lau Ting recorded her first acquisition in China LotSynergy since her appointment in June 2012. She bought 27 million shares on May 8 at 50 HK cents each. The trade increased her holdings to 18.31 per cent. The trade was made on the back of a 47 per cent drop in the share price since March.

Investors should note that there were buy-backs by the company and a purchase by co-chief executive Wu Jingwei this year.

The counter closed at 60 HK cents on Friday.

Chief financial officer Toh Hup Hock took some profits on the 250,000 shares he acquired in Sands China through options at HK$11.63 each. He unloaded 120,000 shares from May 9 to 13 at an average of HK$55.63 each, which reduced his holdings to 0.01 per cent. The sale was made on the back of a 16 per cent drop in the share price since March.

Despite the fall in the share price, the counter is still up since September last year from HK$46.25.

The stock last traded at HK$57.50 on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider