Many of the observers of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange say it is the world's hottest exchange right now, and that is a hard point to dispute. The Hang Seng Index, which keeps track of daily movements of the largest companies in the exchange and is the primary indicator of the market's track record, has been on a tear, and Hong Kong wants to raise the limit on cash flows from mainland China by 30% to keep pace with demand.
Stocks are up 10.9% since March 27, when the exchange's rules were eased.
Based on his investment history, guru Martin Whitman ( Trades , Portfolio ) seems likely to buy stocks on the Hong Kong exchange again, perhaps in this quarter, but he hasn't bought a stock on the Hong Kong exchange since the fourth quarter of 2014; his most recent activity on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has been to sell holdings, not buy them.
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For example, in January Whitman sold more than 3.5 million shares of the fourth-largest stake in his portfolio, Wheelock and Co Ltd ( HKSE:00020 ), a Hong Kong-based financial real estate company that deals primarily in property investment, development and management but also dabbles in distribution and retail businesses. Whitman sold the shares for an average price of HK$38.25 (about $4.94 in U.S. currency) per share.
Whitman also sold nearly 7.8 million shares of Wheelock in the fourth quarter of 2014. He sold the shares for an average price of HK$39.46 (slightly more than $5.09 in current U.S. dollar value) per share.
Wheelock has a market cap of $80.56 billion and an enterprise value of $319.5 billion. It has a P/E of 5.1, a Price/Book of 0.3 and a Price/Sales of 2.5.
Also in January, Whitman sold about 2 million shares in his third-largest stake, Hang Lung Group Ltd (HKSE:00010), a Hong Kong company that is involved in property development and management, car park management and dry cleaning businesses. Whitman sold shares in that company for an average price of HK$36.11 (roughly $4.66 in American dollars) per share.
Whitman also reduced his stake in Hang Lung in the third and fourth quarters of 2014, selling 1,602,000 shares for an average price of HK$42.93 (nearly $5.54 at present U.S. exchange rates) in the third quarter and 4,351,000 shares for an average price of HK$41.02 (about $5.29 in U.S. currency) in the fourth quarter.
Hang Lung has a market cap of $47.9 billion and an enterprise value of $116.34 billion. It has a P/E of 7.3, a Price/Book of 0.3 and a Price/Sales of 3.0.
In the third quarter of 2014, Whitman sold his stake in Henderson Land Development Co Ltd (HKSE:00012), a Hong Kong company that specializes in property development and investment, project management, construction, hotel operation, department store operation, finance, investment holding and infrastructure. Whitman sold his stake in that company for an average price of HK$52.04 (about $6.71 in American currency).
Henderson Land Development has a market cap of $146.96 billion and an enterprise value of $176.84 billion. The company has a P/E of 11.1, a Price/Book of 0.7 and a Price/Sales of 7.6.
Whitman's most recent purchase on the Hong Kong exchange was in CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (HKSE:00001) in the fourth quarter of 2014. Whitman added 447,000 shares to his existing stake in the Hong Kong conglomerate for an average price of HK$138.08 (nearly $17.82 at prevailing U.S. exchange rates) per share.
CK Hutchison has a market cap of $367.81 billion and an enterprise value of $377.68 billion. It has a P/E of 11.0, a Price/Book of 1.0 and a Price/Sales of 18.1.
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This article first appeared on GuruFocus .