The stock of property developer OKH Global plunged yesterday after millions of shares that its chief executive had pledged to financial companies were force-sold.
OKH Global stock had been suspended from trading last Wednesday after the Singapore Exchange (SGX) queried a 33 per cent fall in the stock that day.
When trading resumed yesterday, the stock came under immediate pressure, eventually shedding 79.7 per cent or 27.9 cents to close at 7.1 cents, with a whopping 247.4 million shares changing hands.
The firm said in an SGX filing last night that the stock price dived yesterday due to force-selling of shares that were pledged by chief executive and executive chairman Bon Ween Foong to financial institutions.
"(He) has pledged part of his share holdings to various financial institutions... some of these financial institutions have force-sold some of the pledged shares, resulting in the drop in share price of the company," it stated.
The statement added that Mr Bon is "deemed to be interested" in about 22 million shares pledged to UBS AG Singapore, 3.2 million shares pledged to Bank Julius Baer and 30 million shares pledged to Credit Agricole (Suisse). All the shares are registered under his name.
The firm had announced last Friday that it was in discussions with Zana Investor, the holders of redeemable convertible preference shares, on a "potential disposal of certain assets which is expected to be a disclosable transaction", and also to vary the terms of the preference shares. No details were provided.
NRA Capital research director Liu Jinshu told The Straits Times that the preference shares likely matured early this month, "with payment due around now".
"But the company announced last week about discussions with investor(s) to change the terms. Hence, the risk of heftier redemption terms or even a potential default is higher," Mr Liu noted.
OKH Global reported a net loss of $2.1 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, compared with a net profit of 34.8 million a year before, while revenue fell 98.6 per cent to $3.3 million.
It attributed the sharp fall in turnover to "an absence of any income from property development and a reduction in third party construction contracts".
OKH Global posted a net loss of $7.8 million for the first six months of the year on revenue of $5.9 million.
In January, OKH Global said Mr Bon had an Interpol "red notice" issued against him.
This stated he was wanted by Indonesian authorities in connection with a charge of "providing false statement for official document".
The company stated then that Mr Bon told OKH Global that the notice relates to a commercial dispute that started in 2012 between himself in a personal capacity and a former business partner in Indonesia in connection with a company known as PT Alliancz Asia Pacific.
The Singapore-based developer said it has no interest in PT Alliancz Asia Pacific and is not involved in that dispute.