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Bosses hunger for fatter stakes in defiance of market bears

WITH earnings results and outlook statements on the table for everyone to see, directors from a range of companies ignored market bearishness and opened their wallets.

WITH earnings results and outlook statements on the table for everyone to see, directors from a range of companies ignored market bearishness and opened their wallets.

The scorecard registered about $6.8 million to $4.1 million in favour of buyers.

A lot of the buying was in companies that had just released earnings reports and like horses out of the barrier directors wasted little time in adding to their stakes.

Take QBE directors Belinda Hutchinson, chairman, and Leonard Bleasel, non-executive director, who have seen the insurer's scrip fall 20 per cent-plus in the past month.

A trading day or two after QBE chief Frank O'Halloran talked about the effect of worldwide catastrophes and a fall in risk-free interest rates on insurance earnings, the two directors bought nearly $550,000 of stock.

Bleasel paid $13.28 a share and got the 62? a share interim dividend on two thirds of what he bought, while Hutchinson paid $13.49 and collected the dividend on all of them.

The stock closed the week at $13.80 without the dividend.

Robert Every and Wayne Osborn bought soon after Wesfarmers' results, as did Achim Drescher over at the company where musical chairs is the order of the day in the boardroom.

He paid $21.65 for Leighton scrip it closed the week at $21.

Elsewhere, Terrence Campbell returned to the Australian Foundation Investment Company market, reached into his fob pocket and spent about $208,000 on the stock, paying $4.15 a share.

Multiple director-buying occurred in stocks such as Amcor, LogiCamms, Talent2, BlueScope and Tassal.

In the steel sector, Peter Nankervis, a non-executive director, outlaid about $29,000 on OneSteel shares, while Penelope Bingham-Hall was no slouch when it came to BlueScope. She paid 71? a share the day after the group's $1 billion loss, as did fellow non-executive director Kenneth Dean who paid about 73? .

Yesterday, the shares closed at 82?.

Also buying one or two days after an earnings result was John Thorn and Armin Meyer, non-executive directors of Amcor. Paying $6.75 and $6.93 respectively, the shares closed the week at $6.68.

Talent2 managing director and big shareholder Andrew Banks was one of the week's larger buyers paying $1.30 a share, as did chairman Kenneth Allen. Both collected the 5.5? a share final dividend. The scrip closed the week at $1.23.

Coca-Cola Amatil managing director Terry Davis sold about $565,000 worth of stock.

The reporter owns BSL shares.


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