SPH holds about 0.1% of South Korean e-commerce company Coupang

Shares of SPH surged 9.4 per cent or $0.12 on Feb 26, to close at $1.40, on unusually high trading volume. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) said its indirect stake in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang is estimated at 0.1 per cent.

The announcement on Saturday (Feb 27) follows a report by The Business Times (BT) last Thursday ( Feb 25) highlighting potential returns for Coupang's existing investors if a proposed initial public offering (IPO) takes place.

SPH shares fell when trading opened on Monday, following Saturday's statement, reversing from a 9.4 per cent jump to $1.40 on Friday. The counter was down 11 cents or 7.9 per cent to $1.29 at the midday break, with a heavy 19.6 million shares traded.

SPH, which publishes The Straits Times and BT, said in Saturday's statement that it had invested US$3.9 million (S$5.2 million) in Coupang back in 2014 via a special purpose vehicle.

"SPH continually explores and evaluates all opportunities across its portfolio to enhance shareholder value and strengthen its financial performance," the statement said.

"SPH is not involved in the management of Coupang nor in the IPO process. The potential IPO of Coupang is not expected to affect the recurring financial performance of SPH," the statement continued, advising shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in the company's shares.

On Feb 12, Coupang filed its prospectus to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Its expected valuation of US$50 billion could make it the largest listing by a foreign company in New York since Alibaba's 2014 IPO.

On that valuation, SPH's stake would be worth US$50 million.

• With additional information from The Straits Times

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