Do southern Europeans know something?
Slightly strange data from Deutsche Börse. Its latest survey of what top European executives have been doing shows increasing signs of optimism. That is, management board and supervisory board members and their families have been buying shares in their own companies.
All well and good. But the strangeness kicks in when it becomes apparent that a lot of this buying has been done by the top people in the south. Of 10 companies listed for the largest insider buying, seven were from southern Europe. Of the top sells, seven were from more northern climes.
Deutsche Börse notes this — “After Spain posted high purchase volumes last month (January), Italy has now awakened from hibernation” — but gives no particular guidance.
There are plenty of reasons when top executives by and sell their firms, some due to M&A or simply personal need. But overall the Deutsche Börse report does point to a more confident managerium. The February insider buy-sell ratio was 1.29, the highest since January 2009 just before the global stock market rally took off.