Directors have been buying these ASX 200 bank shares. Should you?

Is it time to look at these two stocks?

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Some S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) bank shares have been too attractively priced for their directors to ignore. We're particularly talking about Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) in this article.

It's normally a troubling sign when management sells shares because it can mean bad news might be ahead. Of course, there may be other legitimate reasons for the sales such as execs needing to buy property or requiring cash for large tax bills. But an on-market buy usually means one thing: that the company looks good value.

Let's look at recent investments in these two ASX 200 bank shares.


According to the ASX announcement released by NAB on 13 November 2023, NAB director Alison Kitchen decided to invest a total of $49,555 in 1,740 NAB shares. This was an on-market trade, just like you or I would make.

Based on the investment, Kitchen paid an average of $28.48 per NAB share.

The NAB share price is down 4.3% since 6 November and it's down 12.4% from February 2023. That's despite the ASX 200 bank share recently reporting its FY23 result which showed cash earnings increased 8.8% year over year to $7.7 billion. This allowed the bank to declare a final dividend per share of 84 cents , taking the full-year dividend to $1.67 per share (up 24%).

The NAB CEO Ross McEwan said:

While the Australian economy is slowing, it is proving resilient. Our focus remains on managing NAB for the long-term to drive sustainable growth in earnings and shareholder returns over time.


Meantime, over at Macquarie, the global investment bank announced last week that two directors had been buying shares.

Michelle Hinchliffe bought 266 Macquarie shares for $159.75 per share for a total of $42,493.50.

Entities related to Mike Roche bought 796 Macquarie shares for $160.64 each and 700 Macquarie shares for $160.78 each, a total of around $240,000.

Currently, the Macquarie share price is down around 10% from July 2023. It's up more than 4.3% since 30 October though, so it was down even further before today.

The recent FY24 first-half result saw net profit after tax (NPAT) decline by 39% to $1.4 billion. Despite the difficulties of interest rates, Macquarie was able to grow its assets under management (AUM) to A$892 billion at 30 September 2023, up 2% from 31 March 2023.

Foolish takeaway

I think both of these ASX 200 bank shares are quality and could be two of the best in the sector. If the directors' moves are anything to go by, it could be a good time to look at these financial giants.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Macquarie Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Macquarie Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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