THE appetite of insiders for GuocoLeisure shares is growing even as bearish market conditions deter other investors.


Executive chairman Quek Leng Chan snapped up another 170,000 shares in the firm at 78 cents apiece on Wednesday, according to a company statement yesterday.


This is on top of the numerous purchases the Malaysian tycoon has made since April, at prices ranging from 75 to 82 cents.


In all, the deals have lifted Mr Quek’s GuocoLeisure stake from 59.04 per cent to 61.39 per cent.


Apart from GuocoLeisure, Mr Quek has also been raising his stakes in GuocoLand.


He has snapped up 1.8 million shares at between $2.197 and $2.202 apiece over the past two weeks, according to website ShareInvestor.


Dealers feel his purchases might simply mean share prices of both firms have fallen to attractive levels.


The stocks of GuocoLeisure, which owns hotels and resorts, have fallen by more than half since hitting a high of $1.67 last July, just before the sub-prime mortgage crisis flared.


The counter ended 2.5 cents down at 75.5 cents yesterday, with 399,000 shares traded.


GuocoLand, a property developer with projects in Singapore, Malaysia and China, has fared even worse.


The stock has lost more than two-thirds of its value, after hitting a 15-year high of $5.85 last October.


Yesterday, it closed unchanged at $2.20 with 235,000 shares traded.


Source: Straits Times




MALAYSIAN property tycoon Quek Leng Chan has raised his deemed stake in his property developer GuocoLand.


Mr Quek acquired 592,000 shares on the open market last Monday and Tuesday at $2.197 apiece via GuocoLand Assets.


This was followed by a further open market purchase of 278,000 shares through the same holding company last Wednesday and Thursday at $2.202 apiece. The total outlay amounted to about $1.9 million.


The announcements were made to the Singapore Exchange last Wednesday and Friday respectively.


Mr Quek’s purchases raised his deemed stake to 570.018 million shares, or 64.23 per cent of issued share capital.


He also has a direct stake of 20.063 million shares, or 2.26 per cent of issued share capital.


GuocoLand shares climbed one cent, or 0.46 per cent, to $2.19 yesterday. It has lost over 60 per cent of its value so far this year, on the back of a cooling property market in Singapore and across the region.


GuocoLand, which also has projects in China, Malaysia and Vietnam, reported a 93 per cent drop in its most recent quarterly earnings to $2.6 million, compared with $34.4 million a year earlier.


Last Friday, Mr Quek also raised his deemed stake in GuocoLeisure, the investment company in which he is the executive chairman.


He bought 370,000 shares at 78 cents apiece through Sharington Management. This raised his deemed stake to 839.71 million shares, or 61.38 per cent of issued share capital.


Mr Quek also has a direct stake of 150,000 shares, or 0.01 per cent, in GuocoLeisure. The company, formerly known as BIL International, is a unit of Hong Kong-listed Guoco Group and focuses on investments in hotels and resorts development.


Source: Straits Times