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When a sale's not just a sale, and thereby hangs a tale?

IT'S said by the experts that selling by directors does not really mean anything the proceeds might be needed, say, for a divorce settlement or maybe a new boat.

IT'S said by the experts that selling by directors does not really mean anything the proceeds might be needed, say, for a divorce settlement or maybe a new boat.

It's buying transactions that really matter, so they say, as that means only one thing that a director thinks the shares are cheap.

But it's clear that some directors sell shares because they think they are overpriced and sometimes they buy shares just to fly the flag, as in the case of someone who has just joined a board.

Sometimes, directors elaborate on their transactions. How nice it is when they tell the market why they sold, or bought, for that matter.

Take Dr Alan Stein, a geologist who is chairman of Neon Energy, a Perth-based oil and gas explorer with interests in Vietnam and California.

He had an interest in nearly 15 million Neon shares and this week he peeled off 1.5 million of them and sold them at about 46? a share.

The chairman explained that he had sold the shares he collected about $684,000 to pay part of the cost of a family residence. The scrip closed yesterday at 43.5?.

Elsewhere on the real estate front, Simon Farrell, deputy chairman of Coal of Africa, did some selling a few weeks ago.

He explained that the $441,000 or thereabouts that he received from the sale of some shares was to assist with the purchase of a home in London.

Meanwhile, trading by directors was quiet ahead of the profit reporting season. Those doing a bit of buying spent $4.4 million, while those selling collected $4 million, helped along by Territory Resources directors selling into an on-market bid by Jonesville.

There was little activity in industrial stocks. An exception was in CSR. Michael Ihlein joined the board this month, and a few days ago the former Brambles chief opened his account, picking up 50,000 shares at $2.90 apiece.

CSR has been weak in recent days, closing yesterday at $2.69.

George Wang, the executive chairman of MacarthurCook Property Securities Fund, as surely as night follows day, continued buying and now holds 13.9 million units.

Gary Stafford, the managing director of PanAust, which runs a copper-gold mine in Laos, did some mighty profitable option exercising and selling.

He exercised 210,000 options at $1.90 apiece and sold 500,000 shares at $3.98 each. Nice.


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