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Chairman's vote of confidence in company he presides over

INVESTORS who look for multi-director buying have several candidates for consideration this week.

INVESTORS who look for multi-director buying have several candidates for consideration this week.

Take Select Harvests, the almonds group whose scrip has been out of favour for the last half decade.

Hitting $15 in 2005, the shares recently got down to $1.29 where they were priced at close enough to 5 times earnings.

This month, though, things seem to be stirring the scrip has moved from $1.62 to as high as $2 yesterday.

The reason appears to be the appointment of Michael Iwaniw as chairman.

Iwaniw started as a chemist with the Australian Barley Board and as managing director presided over enough growth to see it valued at about $1.6 billion when it was taken over by the Canadians in 2009.

Apparently a tough operator, Iwaniw joined the Select Harvests board in June and was appointed chairman on November 3.

He now has 80,000 shares, paying in recent times, $1.50, $1.70 and, this week, $1.94, for modest parcels of scrip.

Fellow director, Frederick Grimwade has also been topping up his holding, paying $1.93 for 5000 shares this week.

Elsewhere in the boardroom- change-department, several directors of stockbroking and funds management group Wilson HTM Investment Group have been increasing their holdings, including Andrew Coppin.

Late last month, Coppin was appointed managing director following the retirement of Steven Wilson.

Two Telstra directors surfaced including Nora Scheinkestel who was appointed a non-executive director in 2010. Non-executive director Russell Higgins was also a buyer.

Telstra lays down guidelines for its non-executive directors concerning share ownership. It encourages them to hold the equivalent of at least half of their annual fees in Telstra scrip.

Elsewhere, Neil Balnaves, the non-executive chairman of Ardent Leisure, the Gold Coast theme park operator, came back for more shares this week. He has spent close to $700,000 this month.

On the selling side, Flight Centre founder, Graham Turner, peeled off 346,001 shares, raising nearly $7 million.

Also cashing in some chips was Geoffrey Davis, the chairman of Medusa Mining, owner of gold mining interests in the Philippines.

Davis said yesterday that the $6.7 million proceeds would be used to pay personal income tax and to provide funds for charitable undertakings and medical research.

At the company's annual meeting this week, Davis told shareholders that a well-known London broker used to advise his clients that "Medusa has the best piece of real estate on this planet."

Davis retains more than 4 million shares worth $27.5 million.


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