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