Gutnick shows magic touch in offloading wedge of Merlin

Sellers were once again to the fore this week, with Joseph Gutnick at the head of proceedings.

Sellers were once again to the fore this week, with Joseph Gutnick at the head of proceedings.

He got a guernsey due to his Legend International Holdings' sale of a chunk of Merlin's capital to offshore interests.

Merlin, which has diamond interests in the Northern Territory, is the subject of a paper takeover offer from a company listed on the Singapore stock exchange.

Elsewhere on the disposals front, Michael Kay resumed selling scrip in McMillan Shakespeare, a salary-packaging concern. The transaction continues the extraordinarily successful playing out of an options issue to Kay when he took the reins at McMillan in 2008.

The board let him choose the exercise price of nearly 4 million options and he nominated $4.70 an option - nearly double what McMillan scrip was fetching in the market at the time.

Kay has just disposed of stock at $14.41 - compared with a recent high of $15.57 - and shareholders who have stuck with him since July 2008 are looking at around 52 per cent compound a year growth in the share price.

Also helping to boost the selling tally was Bruce McWilliam, an executive director at Seven Group, who exercised options at $8 apiece and sold the shares at close to $11 each.

Ryan Mount, chief of Axiom Mining, which has a nickel deposit in the Solomon Islands, sold most of his shares and said he had done so to "satisfy personal financial obligations".

"Mr Mount is fully committed to leading the operations of the business as evidenced by his recent signing for a further three-year term as CEO," a statement from the company said.

Fiona Harris opened her account at Oil Search following her appointment to the board this month, joining Richard Lee, the chairman, as a recent buyer.

Elsewhere, Bruce Ballantine Teele resumed selling Djerriwarrh shares.