Singapore exchange steps up stock trading scrutiny; confusion over curbs
SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Several brokerages in Singapore could lose millions of dollars in the wake of recent sharp price falls in three stocks, traders said, and as the stock exchange probes short-selling in two of the stocks early this week when they were subject to trading curbs.
Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX), both the market operator and regulator, suspended trading in shares of Blumont Group Ltd, Asiasons Capital Ltd and LionGold Corp Ltd last Friday following the big price moves. On Sunday, it declared them "designated securities" - its first such move in five years.
Under the rules imposed by the SGX, traders cannot short-sell the stocks and buyers have to pay cash up-front. Once bought, the shares cannot be sold until they are deposited into the buyer's account, at least three days later.
Traders now say there is widespread confusion over the trading curbs, and particularly over when they were allowed to sell. Some bought shares after the trading suspension was lifted on Monday and sold on the same day - so falling foul of the SGX rules and risking a fine.