Hong Kong directors’ trades take spotlight in week of heavy insider activity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 September, 2016, 5:53pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 10:28am

Buying among directors rebounded sharply while selling surged for a second week, based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange from August 29 to September 2.

A total of 28 companies recorded 133 purchases worth HK$109 million, compared with 19 firms with 71 disposals worth HK$637 million. The figures were sharply up from the previous week’s 19 companies, 86 purchases and HK$58 million on the buying side and nine firms, 30 disposals and HK$182 million on the selling side.

Buy-back activity also rose for a fourth week with 19 companies that posted 110 repurchases worth HK$901 million. The figures were sharply up from 15 firms, 81 trades and HK$651 million.

Directors took the spotlight last week. There was a rare acquisition by the managing director of Transport International Holdings while there were buy-backs and a purchase by the chairman of Sino Land following the sharp gain in the share price. On the negative side, an executive director recorded his highest sale price in Tencent Holdings. There was also a first-time sale by an executive director of Wheelock and Co following the sharp gain in the share price.

Managing director Roger Lee Chak-cheong recorded his first on-market trades in public transportation operator Transport International since his appointment in January last year with 55,600 shares bought from August 29 to 31 at an average of HK$24.03 each. The shares bought represented 0.01 per cent of the issued capital.

The purchases were made on the back of the 25 per cent rise in the share price since June from HK$19.20. The stock is also up since July 2014 from HK$12.35.

Another director that recorded an initial purchase this year is non-executive director Winnie Ng with 140,000 shares bought on January 21 at HK$20.62 each. She acquired a further 943,000 shares in July through options at an undisclosed price, which boosted her stake to 5.41 per cent.

The stock closed at HK$23.85 on Friday.

There was a buy-back and purchase by chairman Robert Ng Chee Siong in blue-chip developer Sino Land with a combined 990,000 shares bought from August 25 to 26 at HK$13.52 each. Ng resumed buying at higher than his acquisition prices earlier this year with 418,000 shares purchased on August 26 at HK$13.48 each. The trade increased his holdings to 53.85 per cent of the issued capital.

The purchase was made after the stock rose 21 per cent from his acquisition price in May. He previously acquired 180,000 shares on May 13 at HK$11.10 each and 200,000 shares on April 14 at HK$12.70 each.

The company also resumed buying back at a higher price with 572,000 shares purchased on August 25 at HK$13.54 each. It previously acquired one million shares on June 24 at HK$11.66 each and 1.76 million shares from January 8 to 11 at an average of HK$10.44 each.

The stock closed at HK$13.18 on Friday.

Executive director Martin Lau Chi-ping recorded his highest sale price in blue-chip internet business service provider Tencent since he started selling the company’s shares in 2007 with 1.3 million shares sold from August 24 to 26 at HK$201.16 each. The trades reduced his holdings to 0.46 per cent of the issued capital. He previously sold 600,000 shares on July 4 at HK$178.55 each and 1.4 million shares from March 23 to 30 at an average of HK$158.71 each.

Also negative this year are chairman and chief executive Ma Huateng, independent non-executive director Ian Stone and non-executive director Li Dongsheng with a combined 28 million shares sold from April 12 to July 14 at an average of HK$164.30 each. The trio previously sold a combined 254 million shares from July 2005 to December last year at an average of HK$56.55 each.

The blue chip closed at HK$201.80 on Friday.

Executive director Wong Kwong-yiu recorded his first trade in property developer Wheelock, based on filings on the exchange since 1994, with 300,000 shares sold on August 26 at HK$44.27 each. The trade reduced his holdings to 0.28 per cent of the issued capital. The sale was made at a profit, based on the 300,000 shares he acquired through options on August 17 at HK$36.60 each. The disposal was also made on the back of the 62 per cent rebound in the share price since January 22 from HK$27.36.

The stock closed at HK$43.90 on Friday.

Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider