UPDATE 1-Singapore suspends trading in three stocks after prices plunge
SINGAPORE Oct 4 (Reuters) - The Singapore Exchange Ltd suspended trading in three stocks on Friday, warning the market may not be fully informed after a plunge in their share prices, with one falling more than 60 percent.
The bourse first halted trading in diversified company Blumont Group Ltd, whose stock has risen as much as 12 fold this year, after it slumped 56 percent in morning trade. It later suspended gold miner LionGold Corp Ltd and investment company Asiasons Capital Ltd.
Shares in Asiasons, which is the biggest investor in LionGold, fell 61 percent before trading was halted. LionGold was down 42 percent.
None of the three companies responded to requests by Reuters for comment. The SGX declined to give any immediate comment beyond its statement that trading had been temporarily suspended "as there could be circumstances that would result in the market not being fully informed."
The move from the Singapore bourse comes after a spate of reverse takeovers in the market, which has seen many smaller companies break away from their core businesses and enter into unrelated areas, raising issues of corporate governance.
"Many penny stocks are taking a big hit today after the suspension news. Looks like the SGX is cracking down on these speculative counters," said a trader at a local brokerage.
Smaller capitalised shares are the most actively traded on the Singapore bourse, which has been pushing for greater retail participation in the market.
Blumont's shares jumped to a record of S$2.54 on Tuesday, and this year's rally has seen the company's market value catapult to S$6.6 billion ($5.4 billion) from around S$340 million at the end of 2012.
Blumont, which has businesses in investment and property, moved into energy and mining industries late last year. Blumont and LionGold have a non-executive independent director in common.
Earlier on Friday, Blumont said it had agreed on the terms of a proposed takeover bid of a foreign-listed coal mining company for up to S$146 million.
It had called a news conference for Friday afternoon in Singapore, but then postponed it without giving details. ($1 = 1.2493 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Anshuman Daga, Rujun Shen and Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Richard Pullin)
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