Aspen clarifies timeline leading up to price surge in another response to SGX

The counter was also the fourth most traded by volume at Sept 22's close, with 49.1 million shares changing hands. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Aspen (Group) Holdings clarified that it received the notification of its latest 510(k) clearance for one of its glove products only on Wednesday (Sept 22), even though it "successfully obtained" said clearance on Monday.

The Malaysian developer and glove maker was responding on Thursday to further questioning from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) regarding Aspen's first response to queries on "unusual price movements" on Wednesday - where Aspen said it was not aware of any explanation which may account for the trading.

On Thursday, the bourse operator asked Aspen to elaborate why it claimed it was unaware even though the 510(k) premarket notification clearance for its latex examination powder free (LEPF) gloves was "successfully obtained" on Monday, citing another Aspen announcement released that morning.

To this, Aspen said the 510(k) clearance was dated Sept 20, but its glove unit had received it from its appointed consultant only at 7.46pm on Sept 22, hours after its first response to SGX at noon.

Prior to the first SGX query on Wednesday morning, Aspen's shares jumped as much as 28.6 per cent. It hit a high of 16.5 cents at 9.31am before closing at 14.6 cents, up two cents or 15.9 per cent.

The counter was also the fourth most traded by volume at Wednesday's close, with 49.1 million shares changing hands.

SGX's latest query also asked Aspen to disclose if the 510(k) clearance for the LEPF gloves would have a significant impact on its financials, to which Aspen said it would not, as it relates to a future product.

Aspen added that its glove making unit is focusing on nitrile medical examination gloves to capitalise on existing demand. Manufacturing other products like the LEPF gloves would come in future phases.

The 510(k) clearance, issued by the US Food and Drug Administration, allows the company to design, manufacture and directly distribute the LEPF gloves in the United States. Aspen on Sept 16 obtained similar approvals for its nitrile examination gloves and latex surgical gloves, it said on Monday.

Aspen shares were trading 2.9 per cent or 0.4 cent lower at 13.3 cents as at the midday trading break on Friday.

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