CapitaLand Declines After CEO Sells Shares: Singapore Mover

CapitaLand Ltd. (CAPL), Southeast Asia’s biggest developer, fell for the first time in 11 days after Chief Executive Officer Liew Mun Leong divested a portion of his stake after announcing his retirement about a month ago.

Leong sold 1 million shares for S$3.08 a piece, according to a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange yesterday. Liew’s holdings after the transaction fell to 2.55 million, or 0.06 percent of the issued capital, according to the statement.

The shares dropped 1.9 percent to S$3.07 as of 11:59 a.m. in Singapore trading, the first decline since July 23. The stock climbed 39 percent this year, and Liew sold the shares after the gains made CapitaLand the second-best performer on the benchmark Straits Times Index. (FSSTI)

“There was a ’Liew Mun Leong’ effect that used to be talked about in the past when he sells, typically three to six months on there is some weakness,” said Vikrant Pandey, an analyst at UOB Kay Hian Pte in Singapore. “It’s more that now that he is planning for retirement. I don’t see any fundamental reason for selling the stock.”

Liew, who helped create CapitaLand almost 12 years ago, will retire on June 28, 2013, when he turns 67, the company said June 22.

“The sale of shares is part of Mr. Liew’s personal financial management,” the company said in an e-mail yesterday.

In the past year, the developer named a new chief financial officer and swapped the jobs of senior managers including the head of its serviced apartment unit.

Under Liew, CapitaLand expanded beyond the limited Singapore market with a population of 5.2 million. China made up 41 percent of CapitaLand’s S$33.4 billion of assets as of June, exceeding Singapore’s 31 percent, according to data from CapitaLand. Australia contributed 16 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Chen in Singapore at schen462@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Linus Chua at lchua@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.