SGX issues warning over S-chip

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has told investors to be cautious when dealing in the shares of mainboard-listed Zhongmin Baihui Retail Group.

The firm's shares have defied the bearish market sentiment, remaining steady from Oct 26 last year to Feb 4. It closed up one cent or 0.57 per cent at $1.75 yesterday.

"SGX's review of the trades in Zhongmin Baihui shares during the relevant period showed that a small group of individuals was responsible for over 90 per cent of the on-market buy volume of the shares. This group of individuals appears to be connected to each other," the exchange said in a statement released yesterday after the market closed.

The bourse is reviewing the trading and will take the necessary actions, it added.

Zhongmin Baihui owns and operates department stores in Fujian and Jiangsu in China.

The warning came as the SGX continues to enhance its regulatory framework to improve the market.

S-chips like Zhongmin Baihui have remained at the centre of the discussion, with some questioning the governance of these companies based in China.

However, warnings issued by the SGX on trading irregularities have not been reserved for S-chips, with local engineering service provider Koyo International being targeted last month.

A small group of individuals was responsible for 60 per cent of its share trading between last Oct 26 and Jan 14, during which the price remained largely resilient against the sell-off that hit the overall market, the SGX said in a statement.

Koyo shares closed flat at 6.8 cents yesterday, more than 80 per cent below the level prior to the SGX warning.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline 'SGX issues warning over S-chip'. Print Edition | Subscribe