Hong Kong company directors unload shares after sharp gains
The buyback activity slowed last week with 22 firms that posted 133 repurchases worth HK$488 million
The director activity fell based on filings on the Exchange in the second week of July with 48 companies that recorded 193 purchases worth HK$302 million versus 16 firms with 44 disposals worth HK$630 million. The buy figures were down from the previous week’s 56 companies, 233 purchases and HK$516 million. On the selling side, the number of firms and trades were sharply down from the previous week’s 22 companies and 72 disposals. The sell value, however, was sharply up from the previous week’s sales worth HK$176 million.
Aside from directors, the buyback activity slowed last week with 22 firms that posted 133 repurchases worth HK$488 million. The figures were down from the previous week’s 29 companies, 151 trades and HK$782 million.
The focus turned to sellers last week as directors of Tencent Holdings, China Conch Venture, NetDragon Websoft and Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing unloaded shares following the sharp gain in their share prices.
Chairman and CEO Ma Hua Teng resumed selling shares of blue chip internet business services provider Tencent Holdings at a higher price with 2 million shares sold on July 14 at HK$181.42 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 827.508 million shares or 8.79 per cent of the issued capital. The sale was made on the back of the 18 per cent rise in the share price since May from HK$153.44. He previously sold 25.94 million shares from April 12 to 15 at an average of HK$162.94 each. Prior to his disposals this year, the chairman sold 68.9 million shares from April to December 2015 at an average of HK$149.39 each and 57 million shares from July 2005 to December 2014 at HK$6.20 to HK$130.30 each or an average of HK$70.85 each.
Also negative this year are Executive Director Martin Lau Chi Ping and Non-Executive Director Li Dong Sheng. Martin Lau sold 600,000 shares on July 4 at HK$178.55 each, which lowered his stake to 45.018 million shares or 0.48 per cent. He previously sold 1.4 million shares in March at an average of HK$158.71 each and 6.5 million shares from May 2014 to November 2015 at an average of HK$138.12 each. Li Dong Sheng, on the other hand, sold 14,000 shares on June 3 at HK$170.33 each, which reduced his holdings by 27 per cent to 0.360 million shares. He previously sold 40,000 shares in November 2013 at HK$418.55 each. The stock closed at HK$184.80 on Friday.
Deputy General Manager Li Jian recorded his first trade in energy preservation and environmental protection solutions provider China Conch Venture Holdings since the stock was listed in December 2013 with 250,000 shares sold on July 4 at HK$15.27 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 7.502 million shares or 0.42 per cent. The sale was made on the back of the 42 per cent rebound in the share price since February from HK$10.79. Despite the rebound in the share price, the counter is still down since May 2015 from HK$23.78. The stock closed at HK$15.18 on Friday.
Independent Non-Executive Director Lee Kwan Hung recorded his first trade in online games developer NetDragon Websoft since July 2015 with 14,000 shares sold on July 5 at HK$23.70 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 1.023 million shares or 0.2 per cent. The sale was made on the back of the 36 per cent rebound in the share price since January from HK$17.48. He previously sold 270,000 shares from April to July 2015 via options-related sales at an average of HK$25.82 each and 9,000 shares in April 2014 at HK$14.54 each. Prior to those disposals, Lee acquired a net 948,000 shares from December 2009 to July 2013 at HK$5.07 to HK$17.90 each or an average of HK$11.89 each. The stock closed at HK$24.80 on Friday.
Independent Non-Executive Director Tony Wong Kai Tung recorded his first trade in paper products manufacturer Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing since March 2013 with the sale of his entire holdings of 500,000 shares on June 28 at HK$5.58 each. The sale was made on the back of the 16 per cent rise in the share price since May from HK$4.81. He previously sold 100,000 shares in March 2013 at HK$6.10 each. Investors should note that there were buybacks by the company earlier this year with 22.4 million shares purchased from January to May at an average of HK$4.13 each. The group previously acquired 177 million shares from January 2013 to December 2015 at an average of HK$4.67 each. The stock closed at HK$6.04 on Friday.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider