Focus moves to sellers' market

SELLERS dominated proceedings this week, collecting about $37 million compared with just $3 million spent by directors doing a bit of buying.

SELLERS dominated proceedings this week, collecting about $37 million compared with just $3 million spent by directors doing a bit of buying.

Weighing in first was James Pherous, chief of Corporate Travel Management, who sold nearly $11 million of stock.

The group's scrip ran up nicely following its recent interim report that disclosed earnings were up 23 per cent, with similar growth forecast for the current year.

The company took the opportunity to raise $10 million from professional punters and Mr Pherous and other executives sold about 3.6 million shares.

They did the business at $4.10 a share and the shares closed the week at $4.47. Nice.

Mr Pherous retains 31 per cent of the company, worth $107 million.

Elsewhere, Sir Ronald Brierley took up where he left off before Christmas, this time selling 10 million Guinness Peat shares.

Guinness chairman Robert Campbell, who bought shares on Friday, said Waldemar Szlezak had been appointed as a non-executive director of the company.

Mr Szlezak is a representative of Soros Fund Management - investment adviser to Quantum Strategic Partners, which holds nearly 9 per cent of Guinness.

The share price of Collection House continues on its merry way and co-founder John Pearce and US resident Dennis Punches once again reached into their kit, came up with 2 million shares, and sold them at $1.51 apiece.

K2 Asset Management became a substantial shareholder with 5.6 per cent of the capital on the same day the directors sold.

On the buying side, there was repeat director buying in Coventry Resources, Villa World, Folkestone, Hills Holdings, Ambition and Avexa.

On February 22, Sims Metal Management said Daniel Dienst would retire in June, and a few days later the chief executive sold a few shares.

Sam Kaplan lightened his load in Qube Holdings while carsales.com chief Gregory Roebuck did likewise.

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