Hong Kong company directors’ share buying rises for a second week
51 companies recorded 314 purchases by directors worth HK$480 million, while seven firms reported 24 disposals worth HK$400 million.
Buying among company directors rose while the selling fell for the second straight week, based on filings on the Hong Kong stock exchange in the last week of September.
A total of 51 companies recorded 314 purchases worth HK$480 million versus seven firms with 24 disposals worth HK$400 million. The number of companies on the buying side was not far off the previous week’s 53 firms, while the number of purchases and buying value were up from the previous week’s 285 acquisitions worth HK$251 million. On the selling side, the number of companies and trades were sharply down from the previous week’s 22 firms and 87 disposals. The sell value, however, was sharply up from the previous week’s disposals worth HK$192 million. The huge sell value was mainly due to sales worth HK$346 million by executive director Martin Lau Chi-ping in blue chip Tencent Holdings.
Aside from directors, the buy-back activity rose with 30 companies posting 147 repurchases worth HK$914 million based on filings from September 22 to 28. The number of firms and trades were up from the previous five-day totals of 27 companies and 116 transactions. The value, however, was down from the previous week’s turnover of HK$1.284 billion.
Directors of blue chip property stocks led the buying last week with purchases in blue chips Sun Hung Kai Properties, New World Development and Hang Lung Properties. Aside from these three firms, there were also significant insider buys in property plays Longfor Properties and KWG Property Holding.
Independent non-executive director Richard Wong Yue-chim purchased 5,000 shares of Sun Hung Kai Properties from September 21 to 22 at an average of HK$130.94 each. The trades increased his holdings by 500 per cent to 0.006 million shares. The stock closed at HK$126.90 on Friday. The purchases are Wong’s first on-market trades since his appointment in 2005 and were made on the back of the 35 per cent rebound in the share price since the last week of December 2016, from HK$97.15
New World Development (NWD) bought back 4 million shares from September 22 to 26 at an average of HK$11.12 each. The group previously acquired 37.65 million shares from April to May 2000 at HK$10.60 to HK$7.75 each or an average of HK$9.65 each. Investors should note that there were sales by non-executive vice-chairman William Doo Wai-hoi, non-executive director Chen Guanzhan and executive directors Au Tak-cheong and Leonie Ki Man-fung earlier this year with a combined 30 million shares sold from January 3 to July 14 at HK$8.42 to HK$10.74 each or an average of HK$9.77 each. The stock closed at HK$11.22 on Friday.
The buy-backs are NWD’s first repurchases since 2000 and were made on the back of the 84 per cent rebound in the share price since February 2016 from HK$6.04. NWD acquired HK$22 million worth of shares on September 26, which is its largest buy-back in terms of value to date.
Executive director Adriel Chan Wen-bwo purchased 2.784 million shares of Hang Lung Properties from September 22 to 25 at HK$18.01 each. The trades increased his holdings to 2.510 billion shares or 55.82 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 1.66 million shares from December 15 to 30, 2016 at an average of HK$16.51 each. Chan was appointed to the board in November 2016. The stock closed at HK$18.54 on Friday.
The recent purchases are the director’s first on-market trades this year and accounted for 17 per cent of the stock’s trading volume. The purchases were made on the back of the 15 per cent drop in the share price since June from HK$21.15.
Chairwoman Wu Yajun purchased one million shares of Longfor Properties on September 26 at HK$18.78 each. The trade increased her holdings to 2.575 billion shares or 43.68 per cent of the issued capital. She previously acquired 245,000 shares in May 2010 at HK$6.97 each. The insider sentiment is not entirely positive this month as executive director Shao Mingxiao sold 1.14 million shares from September 20 to 21 at an average of HK$22.13 each. The trades reduced his holdings to 52.867 million shares or 0.90 per cent. He previously sold 1.6 million shares from July 3 to 5 at an average of HK$17.44 each and purchased 460,000 shares on March 27 at HK$13.47 each. The stock closed at HK$19.70 on Friday.
The purchase was Wu’s first on-market trade since May 2010. The purchase was made after the stock fell by 16 per cent from HK$22.40 on September 21.
Chairman and founder Kong Jianmin purchased 600,000 shares of KWG Property Holding on September 27 at HK$8.33 each. The trade increased his holdings to 1.931 billion shares or 61.21 per cent of the issued capital. He previously acquired 250,000 shares in June 2016 at HK$4.41 each, 5.8 million shares from February to May 2016 at an average of HK$4.79 each and 700,000 shares in September 2015 at HK$4.74 each. Before his trades since 2015, he acquired 59.6 million shares from January 2008 to June 2013 at HK$9.05 to HK$1.55 each or an average of HK$3.93 each. The sentiment is not entirely positive this month as independent non-executive director Tam Chun-fai sold 50,000 shares on September 8 at HK$8.34 each, which reduced his holdings by 63 per cent to 30,000 shares. The disposal was made at a profit based on the 50,000 shares that he acquired from August to September 2016 at HK$5.14 each. The stock closed at HK$8.35 on Friday. The purchase is his first on-market trade since June 2016. He resumed buying this month after the stock rose by 89 per cent from his acquisition price in June 2016
Robert Halili is managing director of Asia Insider