THE INSIDER ROBERT HALILI
The Insider
by

Sharp price falls in HK prompt firms and directors to step into market

Rare deals seen in SinoMedia, Macau Legend, Lenovo and Aoyuan as buying rises further

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 August, 2015, 5:24pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 August, 2015, 11:31pm

Buying rose last week for the second consecutive week while selling among directors fell, according to filings with the stock exchange.

There were 21 companies with 120 purchases worth HK$427 million, against five firms with 15 disposals for HK$17 million.

In the previous week, 19 companies recorded 93 purchases for HK$285 million, while five firms saw 19 disposals worth HK$187 million.

Buy-back activity surged, with 17 companies making 71 transactions worth HK$199 million, compared with nine firms in 30 trades worth HK$54.9 million previously.

Rare buying was seen in SinoMedia Holding, Macau Legend Development, Lenovo Group and China Aoyuan Property Group following sharp falls in their share prices.

Television advertising producer SinoMedia bought back shares for the first time since August 2012, picking up 8.65 million shares on August 20 and 21 at HK$2.91 to HK$2.55 each or an average of HK$2.73. The trades were made after the stock fell by as much as 57 per cent from HK$5.93 in June.

The counter is also sharply down from HK$7.62 in August 2013.

The buy-backs were made after the company announced on August 19 an 80.23 per cent drop in first-half profit to 35.43 million yuan (HK$42.92 million).

SinoMedia previously bought 13.2 million shares from June 2011 to August 2012 at an average of HK$2.49 each and 7.06 million shares from September to November 2008 at 73 HK cents each.

The stock closed at HK$2.89 on Friday.

Casino play Macau Legend bought its own stock for the first time since listing in July 2013, snapping up 5.3 million shares at HK$1.55 each on August 20 and 21.

The trades were made on a 50 per cent drop in the share price since April from HK$3.12. The counter is also sharply down from December 2013's HK$8.23. The buy-back price was also lower than the listing price of HK$2.35.

The buy-backs were made after the company announced on August 19 a loss of HK$68.44 million for the first half, against a profit of HK$226.372 million a year earlier.

Chief executive David Chow Kam-fai bought 752,000 shares from June 30 to July 3 at HK$2.50 each, which raised his holdings to 2.0648 billion shares or 32.02 per cent of the issued capital. He also bought 1.6 million shares on April 10 at HK$3.08 each.

The stock closed at HK$1.52 on Friday.

Chairman and chief executive Yang Yuanqing acquired five million shares of Lenovo Group from August 14 to 18 at an average of HK$7.18 each, raising his holdings to 754.53 million shares or 6.79 per cent of the issued capital.

The purchases followed a 37 per cent drop in the share price from HK$11.46 in June.

The acquisitions were made after the company announced on August 13 a 51 per cent drop in first-quarter profit to US$105 million.

Yang previously sold 42.2 million shares from March 2 to June 10 at an average of HK$11.92 each.

The stock ended on Friday at HK$6.76.

At Aoyuan, chairman Guo Ziwen recorded his first trades in the property developer since July last year, buying 45.43 million shares from August 13 to 18 at an average of HK$1.65 each. The trades, which accounted for 73 per cent of the stock's trading volume, increased his holdings to 1.38 billion shares or 49.66 per cent of the issued capital.

Aoyuan's shares have fallen by as much as 38 per cent from HK$2.39 in June. Despite the fall, the counter is still up from HK$1.19 in October last year.

The stock closed at HK$1.57 on Friday.

Robert Halili is the managing director of Asia Insider