• Directors of JSE-listed companies purchased R709 million worth of equity in a two-month flurry of activity – while selling more than R1.4 billion worth of shares.
  • Thanks to Naspers and Multichoice dealings, much of that action was in the technology space, but banking and financial services came out top.
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Directors of JSE-listed companies sold R1.437 billion worth of shares in their companies over the past two months – slightly more than double the amount they invested in those companies. 

Between 2 September, the first trading day of that month, and the end of October, JSE-listed companies announced their directors had bought R709 million worth of shares, an analysis by Business Insider South Africa shows.

These announcements covered director dealings from August 28 to October 30.

The trades in own shares by directors were dominated by five individuals, four Naspers directors – as they swapped out shares during the split between Naspers and the new Prosus – and tycoon Christo Wiese, who is a non-executive director of investment holding company Brait.

Following the Naspers split non-executive director Steve Pacak sold shares in the company worth almost R455 million, then reinvested about R287 million buying shares in Naspers, Prosus, and the spun-off Multichoice.

Fellow Naspers non-executives Mark Sorour and Frederik Phaswana sold R22.3 million worth of shares, and R6.3 million in shares, respectively, while its company secretary Gillian Kisbey-Green sold R81 million shares, and bought R67.4 million worth of Naspers again.

Wiese sold R420 million shares in Brait to Mergence Investment Managers. At the time of the sale, Wiese was Brait’s largest shareholder.

Other financial services companies, and banks, also saw a flurry of sales, with listed companies in those sectors seeing directors sell R662.6 million worth of shares over the two-month period.

Key banking and financial companies where directors sold shares included: Capitec, Clientele, DiscoveryFirstRand, the JSE, Liberty, Purple Group , Santam, Standard Bank and Trustco.

Thanks to Naspers and Multichoice dealings, the technology sector came in second, with R566 million worth of equity sold by executives and non-executives in those two companies.

The healthcare sector was in third place and directors in this industry sold R84.4 million worth of shares in Bid Corporation, Life Healthcare and RH Bophelo.

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