IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Insider Trading in Hong Kong: Tests of Stock Returns and Trading Frequency

  • Michael Firth


    (Department of Finance and Insurance, Lingnan University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

  • T. Y. Leung


    (Department of Accountancy, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)

  • Oliver M. Rui


    (Faculty of Business Administration, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong)

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the legal insider trading activities by directors of companies listed on the Hong Kong Exchange over the period 1993 to 1999. One characteristic of insider trading in Hong Kong is the high frequency of transactions and the large amounts of money involved. Inside purchases appear to signal and correct undervaluation and inside sales appear to signal and correct overvaluation. In contrast to research from Britain and the United States, insider sales are more informative than purchases. On average, insiders earn HK$91,297 per trade, while outsiders who mimic insiders' transactions earn minimal returns. Many firms suffer from infrequent trading and our results are consistent with directors engaging in inside transactions so as to help create a market for the shares. In additional tests, we find that the frequency of insider trading is a function of information asymmetry.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies.

Volume (Year): 14 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 ()
Pages: 505-533

in new window

Handle: RePEc:wsi:rpbfmp:v:14:y:2011:i:03:p:505-533
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Barth, Mary E. & Kasznik, Ron, 1999. "Share repurchases and intangible assets," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 211-241, December.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-deSilanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1999. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," NBER Working Papers 7403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gregory, Alan, et al, 1994. "UK Directors' Trading: The Impact of Dealings in Smaller Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 37-53, January.
  4. B. Espen Eckbo & David C. Smith, 1998. "The Conditional Performance of Insider Trades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 467-498, 04.
  5. Alan Gregory & John Matatko & Ian Tonks, 1997. "Detecting Information from Directors' Trades: Signal Definition and Variable Size Effects," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 309-342.
  6. Givoly, Dan & Palmon, Dan, 1985. "Insider Trading and the Exploitation of Inside Information: Some Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 69-87, January.
  7. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 1999. "What triggers market jitters: a chronicle of the Asian crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 634, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  9. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  10. Sylvain Friederich & Alan Gregory & John Matatko & Ian Tonks, 2002. "Short-run Returns around the Trades of Corporate Insiders on the London Stock Exchange," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 8(1), pages 7-30.
  11. Michael S. Rozeff & Mir A. Zaman, 1998. "Overreaction and Insider Trading: Evidence from Growth and Value Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 701-716, 04.
  12. Demsetz, Harold, 1986. "Corporate Control, Insider Trading, and Rates of Return," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 313-16, May.
  13. H. Nejat Seyhun, 1992. "Why Does Aggregate Insider Trading Predict Future Stock Returns?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1303-1331.
  14. Ke, Bin & Huddart, Steven & Petroni, Kathy, 2003. "What insiders know about future earnings and how they use it: Evidence from insider trades," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 315-346, August.
  15. Seyhun, H. Nejat, 1986. "Insiders' profits, costs of trading, and market efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 189-212, June.
  16. Bernhardt, Dan & Hollifield, Burton & Hughson, Eric, 1995. "Investment and Insider Trading," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(2), pages 501-43.
  17. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  18. Fama, Eugene F., 1998. "Market efficiency, long-term returns, and behavioral finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 283-306, September.
  19. Finnerty, Joseph E, 1976. "Insiders and Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1141-48, September.
  20. Krishnaswami, Sudha & Subramaniam, Venkat, 1999. "Information asymmetry, valuation, and the corporate spin-off decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 73-112, July.
  21. Lin, Ji-Chai & Howe, John S, 1990. " Insider Trading in the OTC Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1273-84, September.
  22. Cornell, Bradford & Sirri, Erik R, 1992. " The Reaction of Investors and Stock Prices to Insider Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1031-59, July.
  23. Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1985. "Using daily stock returns : The case of event studies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-31, March.
  24. Lakonishok, Josef & Lee, Inmoo, 2001. "Are Insider Trades Informative?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 79-111.
  25. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  26. Utpal Bhattacharya & Hazem Daouk, 2002. "The World Price of Insider Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 75-108, 02.
  27. Lee, Inmoo, 1997. " Do Firms Knowingly Sell Overvalued Equity?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1439-66, September.
  28. David Aboody & John Hughes & Jing Liu, 2005. "Earnings Quality, Insider Trading, and Cost of Capital," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(5), pages 651-673, December.
  29. Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 1992. "Insider Trading and the Efficiency of Stock Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 106-122, Spring.
  30. Finnerty, Joseph E., 1976. "Insiders' Activity and Inside Information: A Multivariate Analysis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 205-215, June.
  31. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
  32. Jaffe, Jeffrey F, 1974. "Special Information and Insider Trading," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(3), pages 410-28, July.
  33. Seyhun, H Nejat, 1990. " Overreaction or Fundamentals: Some Lessons from Insiders' Response to the Market Crash of 1987," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1363-88, December.
  34. Lee, Moon H & Bishara, Halim, 1989. "Recent Canadian Experience on the Profitability of Insider Trades," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 24(2), pages 235-49, May.
  35. Kahle, Kathleen M., 2000. "Insider trading and the long-run performance of new security issues," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 25-53, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wsi:rpbfmp:v:14:y:2011:i:03:p:505-533. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tai Tone Lim)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.