SembMarine shares stage turnaround amid privatisation rumours

Sembcorp shares rose as much as 7.2 per cent to S$1.565 as of 2.05pm on Feb 16, 2016, in Singapore.
Sembcorp shares rose as much as 7.2 per cent to S$1.565 as of 2.05pm on Feb 16, 2016, in Singapore.PHOTO: SEMBCORP MARINE

SINGAPORE - Sembcorp Marine shares are surging on Tuesday (Feb 16) amid speculation that it could be taken private.

Around 2.40pm it was trading at S$1.575, up 11.5 cents or 7.9 per cent from Monday's close.

It was a sharp reversal of fortunes for the stock, which began the day almost 4 per cent lower. Within an hour of trading however, SembMarine shares had broke even with Monday's finish and begun zooming upwards.

The rigbuilder on Monday posted its first quarterly loss since quarterly reporting was first introduced 12 years ago.

It said it had made a net loss of S$537 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, taking impairment charges and provisions of S$609 million for projects of major client Sete Brasil, which is now facing bankruptcy as it is embroiled in a massive corruption scandal in home country Brazil.

Rumours are now swirling around the market that Temasek Holdings could take SembMarine private.

An offer from Temasek would help investors cut losses, as the weak outlook for the oil rig industry could drive down shares from here, KGI Securities analyst Joel Ng told Bloomberg News.

Temasek owns 49.5 per cent of Sembcorp Marine's parent Sembcorp Industries.