STOCK MARKETS
The Insider
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Director purchases fall for fifth straight week, selling remains high

Seven companies record 26 purchases worth HK$21m, compared with 15 companies, 70 buys, and HK$83m the previous week

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 August, 2016, 4:51pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 10:28am

Buying among directors fell for a fifth week while selling remained high, based on filings on the Hong Kong exchange in the second week of August.

A total of seven companies recorded 26 purchases worth HK$21 million, and six firms with 49 disposals worth HK$196 million.

The buy figures were sharply down from the previous week’s 15 companies, 70 purchases and HK$83 million.

On the selling side, the number of firms dropped from 10 firms previously while the number of trades was consistent with the 48 disposals recorded a week earlier. The sell value, however, was sharply up from HK$81 million.

Meanwhile, buy-back activity rose for the first time infive weeks with four companies posting 32 repurchases worth HK$295 million.

The number of firms was unchanged but the number and value of trades were sharply up from the previous week’s 20 repurchases worth HK$111 million.

Last week saw several significant trades in property stocks with buy-backs in Logan Property Holdings and insider purchases in Liu Chong Hing Investment. On the negative side, there were first-time sales by a director in Hysan Development.

Last week saw several significant trades in property stocks with buy-backs in Logan Property Holdings and insider purchases in Liu Chong Hing Investment

Logan Property resumed buying back at a higher price with 13.4 million shares purchased from August 9 to 11 at an average of HK$3.30 each. The trades, which accounted for 30 per cent of the stock’s trading volume, were made on the back of the 30 per cent rebound in the share price since May from HK$2.54. The acquisitions were also made after the property developer announced on August 8 a 23.9 per cent gain in first-half profit to 1.28 billion yuan.

The group previously acquired 7.85 million shares from January 22 to April 20 at an average of HK$2.52 each. The repurchases since January are the company’s first buy-backs since listing in December 2013. Its last buy-back price was higher than the listing price of HK$2.50.

The stock closed at HK$3.36 on Friday.

Chief executive and managing director Liu Lit-chi resumed buying shares of property developer and investor Liu Chong Hing Investment at higher than his acquisition prices earlier this year with 184,000 shares purchased on August 5 at HK$9.81 each. The trade increased his holdings to 4.93 per cent of the issued capital.

The purchase was made after the company announced on August 3, a 4 per cent gain in first-half profit to HK$213.3 million.

Liu previously acquired 2.9 million shares from April to June at an average HK$8.84 each.

Before his trades this year, he acquired 4.67 million shares from July to December last year at an average of HK$9.06 each and 632,000 shares in March 2014 at HK$15.90 each.

The stock closed at HK$10.48 on Friday.

Non-executive director Lau Siu-chuen recorded his first sales in property developer and investor Hysan since he joined the group in December 2010 with 363,000 shares sold from August 8 to 9 at an average of HK$36.01 each. The trades reduced his holdings to 0.04 per cent of the issued capital.

The disposals were made on the back of the 14 per cent rebound in the share price since May from HK$31.60. The counter is also up since January from HK$28.19.

The sales were made at a profit, based on the 363,000 shares that he acquired through exercise of options on July 26 at HK$33.14 each.

Lau previously acquired 230,000 shares from March to June last year at an average of HK$34.48 each and 80,000 shares in September 2012 at an average of HK$34.71 each.

Investors should note that there were buy-backs by Hysan this year with 65,000 shares purchased from June 13 to 24 at an average of HK$32.83 each. The group previously acquired 2.2 million shares from May 4 to 24 at an average of HK$32.31 each and 9.5 million shares from January 4 to April 8 at an average of HK$30.70 each.

Before the buy-backs this year, the company acquired 6.75 million shares from August to December last year at an average of HK$31.78 each, 24.2 million shares from August to November 2007 at an average of HK$21.11 each and 30.7 million shares from May 1994 to September 2001 at an average of HK$12.58 each.

The stock closed at HK$37.25 on Friday.

Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider

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