Chinese Estates chairman Joseph Lau Luen-hung was responsible for 47 per cent of the trade in the shares of the company two days before the firm announced its $3.64 billion sale of the Entertainment Building, the insider dealing tribunal heard yesterday. Mr Lau also took sizeable warrant positions amounting to 14 per cent of the market for one batch and 38.6 per cent for another. His purchases on November 20, 1996 would, undoubtedly have had an impact on the share price, Alex Pang, surveillance director at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) told the tribunal. The following day, Mr Lau - through his company Golden Game Overseas - continued buying, although only in warrants. One batch of warrants purchased amounted to 21 per cent of the market share and another represented 32 per cent of the day's trade. On November 22 - the day of the announcement of the sale of the Entertainment Building in Central to Hysan Development - Golden Game again bought shares in Chinese Estates, accounting for 36 per cent of trading on the market. Mr Lau and property consultant Johnson Lam Yee-ming are fighting accusations of insider dealing in that they profited illegally on the sale of the Central building. A week before the Entertainment Building sale, Chinese Estates' shares were widely depicted by brokers as a laggard, or a cheap buy, according to Mr Pang. The price started to edge up, moving to about $8 per share on November 21 - when news of the $3.64 billion sale began 'leaking out'. The counter peaked at $9.35 15 minutes after the market opened on November 22. After the weekend, the price went down to about $8.80 at the close of trading on November 25 - by which time the market would have absorbed the relevance of the Entertainment Building sale, Mr Pang said. Mr Pang referred to SFC transaction records listing the price movements on the crucial days in November. This prompted an objection from Mr Lau's counsel, John Griffiths SC, who stressed that requests made to the stock exchange for such information had been refused. Chairman of the tribunal, Mr Justice Michael Hartmann, responded by making a 'respectful request' that the SFC hand over the relevant details. 'It seems to me we are interested in the price movements on these days and as and when they moved,' Justice Hartmann said to the tribunal. Parties representing the accused have an 'absolute right' to view these statistics, he stressed. The hearing continues today.