Buying rose for a fourth week while selling among directors was high for a third week, with 22 companies that recorded 86 purchases worth HK$541 million, against 10 firms with 44 disposals worth HK$49 million.
The purchases were up from the previous week's 16 firms, 70 deals and HK$472 million, while sales rose from nine companies, 38 disposals and HK$30 million. Buy-backs among listed firms also surged, with 12 companies that posted 64 repurchases worth HK$462 million. The figures were sharply up from seven firms, 40 trades and HK$191 million.
The huge buy-back value was due to repurchases by internet play Tencent, with 812,000 shares purchased worth HK$203 million from March 21 to 22 at an average of HK$250 each. The repurchases were made after the stock fell 12 per cent from HK$284.40 on March 8.
The buy-backs were also made after the firm announced on March 20 a 24.78 per cent gain in year-end profit to 12.73 billion yuan (HK$15.73 billion). Last year, the group acquired 26,000 shares in May at HK$204.85 each and 128,000 shares in January at HK$152.51 each.
The recent repurchases bode well for investors as the stock rose by an average of 51 per cent six months after the group bought shares, based on 94 filings since 2005.
The stock closed lower from the group's last buy-back price at HK$245.40 on Friday.
On the directors' front, there were purchases by chairman David Wong Shou-yeh in Dah Sing Financial and Dah Sing Banking. Wong bought 50,000 shares of Dah Sing Financial on March 20 at HK$40.99 each, boosting his holdings to 40.74 per cent of the issued capital. The acquisition was made on the back of an 18 per cent rise in the share price since January from HK$34.75.
Investors should note that the stock rose by an average of 7.5 per cent six months after Wong bought shares, based on 176 purchases since 1995.
Wong also bought 100,000 shares of Dah Sing Banking on March 20 at HK$10.31 each, which increased his holdings to 74.6 per cent. That was his first on-market trade since the stock was listed in 2004. The acquisition was made on the back of a 57 per cent gain in the share price since June 2012 from HK$6.58.
Also bullish on the Dah Sing group this quarter is Aberdeen Asset Management. The firm reported a purchase-related filing in Dah Sing Financial on January 15 of 230,000 shares at HK$37.71 each, which boosted its holdings to 9.06 per cent. Its stake has risen by 51 per cent since February last year. Aberdeen became a substantial shareholder in September 2005 by acquiring an initial 7.26 per cent stake.
Aberdeen also reported a purchase-related filing in Dah Sing Banking on March 12 of 753,000 shares at HK$10.29 each, which lifted its holdings to 8.04 per cent. The group has boosted its stake by 64 per cent since its initial purchase of a 5.02 per cent interest in November 2010.
The shares of Dah Sing Financial and Dah Sing Banking closed at HK$41.40 and HK$10.32, respectively, on Friday.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider