Selling of their own company shares by directors was sharply lower last week while buying slowed for a third week, based on filings to the stock exchange.
Six companies reported 12 director sales in their shares worth HK$15.9 million, while 17 firms reported 73 purchases worth HK$92 million.
The buy figures dropped from the previous week's 20 companies that reported 119 purchases valued at HK$282 million, while sales were sharply down from 10 companies that reported 39 disposals worth HK$39.7 million.
Buy-back activity also fell for a third week, with six companies posting 23 repurchases worth HK$16.6 million, down from 11 companies that reported 43 buy-backs worth HK$112 million.
Chairman Semon Luk Siu-man recorded her first trade in cruise, hotel and gaming operator Emperor Entertainment Hotel since December last year, with 130,000 shares bought on July 30 at HK$2.60 each. The trade increased her holdings to 62.6 per cent of the issued capital.
The acquisition was made after the stock fell 14 per cent from HK$3.01 on June 17.
Although Luk resumed buying last month following the drop in the share price, the trade was made at higher than her previous purchase prices based on the shares she acquired since March 2005. The stock closed at HK$2.66 on Friday.
Denver Investment Advisors and Ports Design chief executive Alfred Chan bought shares of the fashion retailer at HK$5 each after the stock fell from HK$6.58 in May.
Denver Investment reported a purchase-related filing on July 25 of 892,000 shares at HK$5.35 each, which boosted its holdings to 9.1 per cent. It previously acquired 16.7 million shares from January 25 to May 6 at HK$6.76 to HK$6.23 each and made an initial filing on January 24 of 224,000 shares at HK$6.60 each, which raised its interest to 5 per cent.
Overall, Denver Investment's stake is up by 82 per cent since that initial filing.
Chan bought 1.5 million shares from June 25 to July 18 at an average of HK$5.05 each, raising his stake to 42.8 per cent. The purchases since June are significant as he previously sold five million shares in October 2007 at an average of HK$27.86 each.
Even more significantly, his previous purchase was in November 2003 when the share price was at HK$13.30 each. His acquisitions since the last week in June indicate the stock is undervalued at the current price of HK$5.13.
Lastly, there is strong price support in vehicle retailer Zhongsheng, with purchases by Capital Group and chairman Huang Yi last month.
Capital Group turned positive after selling shares in January, with a purchase-related filing on July 31 of 4.8 million shares at HK$8.06 each. The trade lifted its stake to 10 per cent. The filing was made on a 27 per cent drop in the share price since May from HK$11.04.
The stock is also sharply down since February from HK$13.26 each.
The group previously reported a disposal-related filing on January 22 of 796,500 shares at HK$11.21 each. Before that sale, it reported a purchase-related filing in April 2012 of 3.7 million shares at HK$15.61 each and an initial filing in October 2011 of 308,000 shares at HK$12 each, which raised its interest to 5 per cent.
Overall, the group's stake has risen 101 per cent since that initial filing.
Huang bought 2.28 million shares from July 4 to 22 at an average of HK$7.89 each, which boosted his stake to 66 per cent. He previously acquired 2.7 million shares from March to June at an average of HK$9.33 each.
Before his purchases this year, Huang bought 6.8 million shares from August to October 2012 at an average of HK$9.69 each and 1.02 million shares in August 2011 at an average of HK$12.51 each.
The stock closed at HK$8.46 on Friday.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider