Buying by directors up for fourth week while buy-backs drop to HK$444m in nine deals
The buying by directors rose for the fourth straight week based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange from March 6 to 10 with 12 companies that recorded 50 purchases worth HK$121.7 million. The figures were up from the previous week’s nine firms, 28 purchases and HK$22.3 million. The selling, on the other hand, fell with three companies that recorded 17 disposals worth HK$27.7 million. The figures were down from the previous week’s eight firms, 20 disposals and HK$32 million.
Meanwhile, the buy-back activity fell for the second straight week with only three firms that posted nine repurchases worth HK$444 million based on filings on the exchange from Monday to Thursday. The number of firms was unchanged while the number of trades and value were down from the 16 transactions worth HK$1.2 billion from the same period in the previous week.
The market has been volatile in the run-up to expectations of a rise in US interest rates this month. An increase in rates will have a negative impact on property stocks and a recent insider sale in Sun Hung Kai Properties may be early signs of bearish sentiment in the sector. Meanwhile, there was active buying in the Xinyi group of companies with purchases in Xinyi Glass Holdings and Xinyi Automobile Glass Hong Kong Enterprises following the sharp rebound in their share prices. Another stock that recorded insider buys following the sharp gain in its share price is Nine Dragons Paper Holdings with an executive director recording his first buy since 2013 despite the 59 per cent rebound in the counter since November last year.
Non-executive director Woo Po-shing recorded his first on-market trade in blue chip property developer SHKP since April 1999 with 120,000 shares sold on March 1 at HK$115.60 each. The trade reduced his holdings by 8 per cent to 1.421 million shares or 0.05 per cent of the issued capital. The sale was made on the back of the 19 per cent rebound in the share price since December 2016 from HK$97.15. The counter is also up since February 2016 from HK$80.80.
Although the sale was made following the sharp rebound in the share price, the director sold at below his purchase price based on the 10,000 shares that he acquired in May 2008 at HK$127.30 each. The blue chip closed at HK$113.50 on Friday.
Chairman Lee Yin-yee resumed buying shares of car and construction glass manufacturer Xinyi Glass at a higher price with five million shares purchased on March 2 at HK$7.29 each. The trade increased his holdings to 851.228 million shares or 21.85 per cent of the issued capital. The acquisition was made on the back of the 16 per cent rebound in the share price since January from HK$6.30. Lee previously acquired six million shares in December 2016 at an average of HK$6.19 each and 4.32 million shares in May 2016 at HK$5.25 each. Prior to his purchases since 2016, the chairman acquired 24.36 million shares from August to September 2015 at HK$4.10 to HK$3.35 each or an average of HK$3.72 each and 53.4 million shares from May to December 2014 at HK$5.60 to HK$3.87 each or an average of HK$4.53 each. The stock closed at HK$7.02 on Friday.
Non-executive chairman Tung Ching-sai picked up where he left off in vehicle glass repairs and replacement services provider Xinyi Automobile Glass in December 2016 with 7.76 million shares purchased from March 2 to 8 at HK$1.52 to HK$1.65 each or an average of HK$1.57 each. The trades, which accounted for 54 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, increased his holdings to 324.583 million shares or 60.1 per cent of the issued capital.
The purchases were made on the back of the 16 per cent rebound in the share price since January from HK$1.35. Tung previously acquired 8.5 million shares in December 2016 at HK$1.31 to HK$1.57 each or an average of HK$1.40 each, 2.5 million shares in September 2016 at an average of HK$1.68 each and 17.6 million shares in July 2016 at an average of HK$1.28 each. His purchases since July 2016 are the first corporate shareholder trades in the company since the stock was listed in July 2016. The chairman’s purchase prices were higher than the IPO prices of 55 HK cents to 70 HK cents. The stock closed at HK$1.59 on Friday.
Executive director Lau Chun-shun recorded his first on-market trades in paperboard products manufacturer Nine Dragons Paper since October 2013 with 2.8 million shares purchased from February 28 to March 1 at an average of HK$9.87 each. The trades increased his deemed holdings to 3.001 billion shares or 64.25 per cent of the issued capital. The purchases were made on the back of the 59 per cent rebound in the share price since November 2016 from HK$6.22. The counter is also up since January 2016 from HK$3.86. He previously acquired 1.83 million shares in October 2013 at HK$5.45 each. Lau, who joined the group in 2006, is the son of chairlady Cheung Yan and chief executive Liu Ming-chung. The stock closed at HK$8.93 on Friday.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider