Executives of Freeman FinTech, Dingyi, Lee’s Pharm and PC Partner cash in as shares surge
The value of shares sold by company directors in January was nearly three times higher than the previous year
Directors of Freeman FinTech, Dingyi Group Investment, Lee’s Pharmaceutical Holdings and PC Partner Group have been involved in heavy selling last month as share prices rose sharply after the Hang Seng Index touched record highs, according to filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Overall, company executives racked up huge sales in the first month of the new year with 82 board members of 66 listed firms recording 387 disposals worth HK$1.664 billion, up significantly from the 52 directors, 39 companies, 195 disposals and HK$584 million in January 2017.
The heavy selling in the past month came as a surprise as many directors are not even waiting for anticipated gains in the market because of the Lunar New Year.
Freeman FinTech executive director Chow Mun-yee sold 2.06 million shares in the financial services provider on January 30 at HK$0.86 each, which reduced her holdings to 103.988 million shares or 0.66 per cent of the issued capital.
Investors should note that the group bought back 55.64 million shares from December 20 to 29, 2017 at an average of HK$0.47 each. The group previously acquired 4.76 million shares from April 1994 to April 2000 at HK$1.52 to HK$0.30 each or an average of HK$0.42 each.
The stock closed at HK$1.35 on Friday.
The sale by Chow is her first market trade since her appointment in February 2011 and was made on the back of a 100 per cent rise in the share price since December 2017 from HK$0.43.
Dingyi Group Investment’s chief financial officer Cheung Sze-ming sold 3 million shares in the restaurants and bars operator and securities trading firm on January 29 at HK$1.13 each, which reduced his holdings to 9 million shares or 0.14 per cent of the issued capital.
The insider sentiment was not entirely negative as chairman Li Kwong-yuk bought 2.96 million shares on January 19 at HK$0.70 each. The trade increased his holdings to 5.089 billion shares or 79.12 per cent of the issued capital. (This was the equity interest that was stated in the filing, which exceeds the private shareholder limit of 75 per cent). He previously sold 71.6 million shares in September 2017 at HK$0.25 each. Before that sale, the chairman acquired 55.37 million shares from July to August 2017 at HK$1.20 to HK$0.97 each or an average of HK$1.13 each, 1.92 million shares from August to September 2016 and eight million shares in January 2016 at an average of HK$0.67 each.
The stock closed at HK$1.09 on Friday.
It is worth noting that the sale by Cheung is his first market trade since his appointment in October 2011 and it reduced his holdings by 25 per cent.
The sale was made after the stock surged by 61 per cent from HK$0.70 on January 22. The stock is also sharply up since September 2017 from HK$0.35.
Lee’s Pharmaceutical Holdings chief executive officer Li Xiao-yi sold one million shares in the biopharmaceutical products manufacturer and distributor on January 26 at HK$13.49 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 59.407 million shares or 10.05 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 2.76 million shares from April to July 2017 at HK$6.80 to HK$6.24 each or an average of HK$6.71 each. Before his trades last year, the CEO sold 168,000 shares in September 2016 at HK$7.34 each and 100,000 shares in April 2016 at an average of HK$6.43 each. Before those disposals, Li acquired 113,000 shares from March to April 2016 at HK$5.13 to HK$5.40 each or an average of HK$5.32 each and 157,000 shares in January 2016 at HK$8.00 to HK$7.30 each or an average of HK$7.46 each.
The stock closed at HK$12.20 on Friday.
The recent sale by Li was made after the stock rose by as much as 116 per cent from his acquisition prices last year.
PC Partner Group chief executive officer Tony Wong Shik-ho, executive directors Ho Nai-nap and Wong Fong-pak and non-executive director Mary Ho Wong Mee-tak sold a combined 2.5 million shares in the video graphics cards developer and manufacturer from January 8 to 26 at HK$4.39 to HK$6.60 each or an average of HK$6.08 each. The CEO recorded his first trade since the stock was listed in January 2012 selling 500,000 shares on January 26 at HK$6.50 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 54.406 million shares or 12.2 per cent of the issued capital. Ho, on the other hand, recorded his first trade since listing with one million shares sold on January 26 at HK$6.53 each, which reduced his stake to 20.785 million shares or 4.66 per cent. Meanwhile, executive director Wong Fong-pak, recorded his first market trades since December 2016 with 500,000 shares sold on January 26 at HK$6.48 each, which reduced his holdings to 28.266 million shares or 6.33 per cent. He previously sold one million shares from November to December 2016 at an average of HK$2.45 each. Lastly, non-executive director Ho picked up where she left off in September 2017 with 500,000 shares sold on January 8 at HK$4.39 each. The trade reduced her stake to 129.550 million shares or 29.05 per cent. She previously sold 2.55 million shares from July to September 2017 at HK$2.11 to HK$4.30 each or an average of HK$3.05 each. The stock closed at HK$6.47 on Friday.
The four directors unloaded shares after the stock rose by as much as 99 per cent from HK$3.32 in December 2017, much higher than the IPO price of HK$1.60.
The sales were made after the company issued on January 24 a positive profit alert for its upcoming year-end results announcement in March. The group expects to achieve more than double the net profit from the previous year.
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider