Surge in stock purchases by British bosses after Brexit vote

There has been a surge in stock purchases by British bosses since the UK voted to leave the European Union last week.

According to a report by The Financial Times1, one hundred directors of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies snapped up shares worth £14.3 million in the five working days following the Brexit vote.

The plummet in stocks shortly after the Brexit vote prompted an ‘unprecedented wave of buying’.

Fifteen Lloyds Banking Group executives acquired nearly a million of the lender’s shares after the country voted to leave the European Union on Friday, including chief executive António Horta-Osório.

Other notable examples include stock purchases made by Royal Mail boss Moya Greene and Debenhams’ chairman Sir Ian Cheshire.

The chief executive of Provident Financial, Peter Crook, bought £570,000 worth of stock.

Leo Quinn, chief executive of the construction group Balfour Beatty, bought £200,000 worth of the groups’ stock.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, snapped £173,000 worth of the group’s stock.

Between Friday 24 June and Thursday 30 June a total of 33 directors in the FTSE 100 made stock purchases of £8.5 million, while 67 FTSE 250 directors bought £5.8 million worth of shares.

“The buying has been unprecedented,” Bella Brandon, strategist at Olivetree told the FT. “We have seen nothing like this since we first started collecting the data.”

She said it is “a clear case of bargain hunting from directors who think the shares have fallen far too much. It is opportunistic buying and a demonstration that these directors think markets have overreacted and sold off too sharply.”

Reference:

1David Oakley, Mark Vandevelde, and Judith Evans. “Chiefs of UK Groups Snap up Shares after Brexit Vote.” The Financial Times, 1 July 2016.

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