Hi-P International: Controlling shareholder weighing possible transaction

A Singapore 10-dollar note Photo by Leslie Shaffer

A controlling shareholder of Hi-P International is considering a possible transaction involving its shares, the contract manufacturer said on Tuesday in response to a query from SGX about the stock’s more than 30 percent surge on Monday.

The possible transaction in the shares may or may not lead to transaction for the stock, Hi-P said in the filing to SGX before the market open on Tuesday.

“To-date, the company has not been approached by any party regarding any transaction involving the shares of the company. Shareholders and investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares,” it said.

A trader told Shenton Wire on Monday that he had heard rumors the controlling shareholder was considering taking the company private.

Yao Hsiao Tung, who bought Hi-P in 1983 when it was a small toolmaker, controls 83.8 percent of the company’s shares, according to SGX data. Yao, age 78, is No.46 on Forbes’ list of the 50 richest Singaporeans, as of July.

On Monday, Hi-P’s shares surged more than 30 percent to S$1.06 amid high volume on Monday, with DZHI data showing large blocks of shares changing hands.

Despite the surge, the stock remains well below the high of S$2.79 it touched in mid-March. Sentiment on the shares have been hit by concerns over the U.S. trade war with China, which has weighed on the company’s customers ordering decisions and has been a factor in its lowered earnings guidance.

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