Bank of East Asia Jumps Most in Six Years as Li Raises Stake

Updated on
  • Chairman David Li bought shares in Hong Kong lender last week
  • Hedge fund Elliott Management is urging bank to sell itself

Bank of East Asia Ltd., the Hong Kong lender targeted by billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., jumped the most in six years after a major stockholder increased his stake in the company.

The shares rose 9.2 percent Monday, to HK$25.55, the biggest gain since November 2009. Chairman David Li bought 110,000 shares last week, raising his holding to 86.74 million shares, according to disclosure filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange Friday. His brother, Arthur Li, a deputy chairman and non-executive director of the bank, bought a total of 60,000 shares last week, filings to the exchange Monday showed.

Bank of East Asia rejected earlier this month a call by Elliott Management to consider selling itself. The company did so after posting a bigger-than-expected, 17 percent drop in 2015 profit. The bank intends to focus on improving and executing on what it already has, it said Feb. 15.

David Li bought 100,000 shares at an average HK$22.28 each on Feb. 16 and a separate 10,000 shares at an average HK$22.35 apiece on Feb. 17, the filings showed. Meanwhile, Arthur purchased 43,200 shares at an average HK$22.70 each on Feb. 17 and another 16,800 shares at an average HK$23.00 apiece on Feb. 18, according to the other filings. The bank was co-founded by the brothers’ grandfather.

A Bank of East Asia spokeswoman declined to comment in an e-mail.

— With assistance by Aipeng Soo

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