Buying rose for the second straight week, while selling among directors surged, based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange from March 4 to 8. Buyers outweighed sellers, with 10 companies recording 46 purchases worth HK$476 million, against eight firms with 22 disposals worth HK$61 million.
The number of transactions and value on the buying side were up from the previous week's 36 acquisitions worth HK$139 million.
The sales, on the other hand, were sharply up from the previous week's two firms, four disposals, and HK$2.4 million.
The huge buy value last week was due to acquisitions in the utility firm CLP by its chairman, Michael Kadoorie, and a non-executive director, Ronald McAulay, for a combined 6.2 million shares from February 28 to March 6 for HK$420 million.
Overall, these two senior board members have acquired 8.2 million shares worth HK$554 million - an average of HK$67.20 each - since the company announced its year-end results on February 25. The blue chip closed at HK$67 on Friday.
Aside from directors, buy-back activity rose last week with seven companies posting 32 repurchases worth HK$76.4 million. The figures were up from the previous week's six firms, 27 trades and HK$39.1 million.
Soho China resumed buying back after the mainland commercial property developer announced its annual results on March 6, with 6.66 million shares purchased on March 7 and 8 at an average of HK$6.09 each.
The group posted a 172 per cent gain in profit attributable to shareholders to 10.59 billion yuan (HK$13.1 billion).
The company bought back heavily before the results, with 146 million shares purchased from August 17 last year to January 25 at HK$4.74 to HK$6.89 each, or an average of HK$5.69 each.
The group's recent buy-backs bode well for shareholders, as the stock rose an average of 13 per cent three months after it bought shares, based on 47 filings since 2008. The stock recorded a price gain three months after on 79 per cent of those filings. The counter closed at HK$6.21 on Friday.
Department store operator Maoye International recorded its first buy-backs since January last year with 9.24 million shares acquired from March 6 to 8 at an average of HK$1.75 each. The trades, which accounted for 27 per cent of the stock's trading volume, were made on the back of a 54 per cent rebound in the share price since July last year from HK$1.13.
Despite the rebound, the counter is still down from March's HK$2.42. The stock closed at HK$1.74 on Friday.
At watch trader and retailer Stelux, chairman and chief executive Chumphol Kanjanapas bought 32,000 shares on February 26 at HK$2.80 each. The trade increased his holdings to 605.15 million shares or 57.83 per cent of the issued capital.
The acquisition was made after the stock rebounded 15 per cent from HK$2.43 in January. The stock has risen six months later on 72 per cent of his purchases. It last traded at HK$3.32.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider