As bulls run, big-money figures sell close to $800m in shares

WITH the bulls well and truly in charge of the market, some big-money heavyweights have taken close enough to $800 million off the table in recent days.

WITH the bulls well and truly in charge of the market, some big-money heavyweights have taken close enough to $800 million off the table in recent days.

The market is now about 65 per cent above the bear market low in 2009 and is back to levels prevailing when prices were on their down in 2008.

This week the scorecard registered $5 million to $761 million in favour of sellers, thanks to the sale by the Lowy family of its 7 per cent stake in Westfield Retail Trust, where the scrip price is 48 per cent above its low.

The Lowys said the sale was part of a broader investment strategy to diversify their investments internationally.

As the largest shareholder in Westfield Group, the family's interest and continuing commitment remained unchanged, they said.

Helping the selling tally along were Village Roadshow folk who disposed of a useful line of stock; the selling coming from Village Roadshow Corporation Pty Ltd chairman Robert Kirby and chief executive Graham Burke.

Village stock is up fivefold on its bear market low.

Rupert Murdoch featured for the second week in a row, this time disposing of $28 million of News Corp stock, in addition to the $39 million reported here last week.

Pat Davies bought some BHP Billiton plc scrip on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Wellcom Group, a printing and design group, saw its scrip slip from $3.15 to $2.45 after it unveiled a 32 per cent earnings decline.

Executive chairman Wayne Sidwell stepped in and bought.

David Thodey exercised options and sold some Telstra shares, while SEEK chief Andrew Bassat said he'd sold some shares for the first time since 2007 to pay tax and to fund future option exercises.

Mark Baillie, who has joined real estate funds manager Folkestone's board, put $556,626 into the shares.

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