Showing posts from 2013

Penny stock probe: don’t keep market guessing

In any discussion with retail trading representatives (TRs) about the current depressed state of penny stocks, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is invariably singled out as being somehow responsible because of its sudden and unprecedented handling of the infamous trio of Asiasons, Blumont and LionGold on Oct 7 when it slapped a “designated” status on them and suspended trading in three stocks for two weeks.

Scrapping penny stocks not the solution

While equity markets around the world have been climbing steadily, led by Wall Street, amid signs of a recovery in economic conditions in key economies, the Singapore bourse has gone into something of a hibernation. Yes, the benchmark Straits Times Index has held steady but overall volumes have plunged, reflecting a major loss of trading interest over the past two months.

NY-based firms deny links to penny stock saga

Hedge fund Platinum Partners and financial adviser Jett Capital have rejected suggestions of links between the two firms and a share price dive in three penny counters in October.

Asiasons salvages deal with US oil firm

Black Elk agrees to sell smaller stake at reduced valuation to Singapore firm

Deadline passes for Blumont chairman-designate deal

A key deadline for a Blumont Group investor to buy 135 million shares of the company and become its chairman came and went on Friday without any official confirmation on whether the transaction had been completed.

China Rongsheng ghost town reflects shipbuilder's struggle to survive

Lawsuits cloud Blumont’s mining ambitions

Grand plans by Alex Molyneux, Blumont Group’s incoming chairman, to transform the struggling diversified business group into a full-fledged mining company may have hit more roadblocks.

Allow stop-loss, cash market for retail players

In a few months’ time, the local stock market should see the introduction of dynamic circuit breakers in daily trading, which are aimed at giving traders a five-minute cooling-off period to think about what they are doing when prices move by more than 10 per cent in either direction.

Coal miner seeks payment from Blumont

Resource Generation says A$22.6m payment for 15% stake not received on due date

Penny stock players named in lawsuits

Some of the parties in October’s penny stock collapse have popped up in a couple of soured deals making their way through Singapore courts involving Malaysian dealmaker John Soh Chee Wen.

LionGold partners new PE fund

LionGold Corp, together with a subsidiary of associated firm ISR Capital and Chinese firm Suzhou Power, is partnering a new private equity (PE) fund that invests in natural resources.

Three penny stocks suffer further pounding

Erroneous reporting by Goh Eng Yeow to write that MSCI would be dropping the trio from the prestigious market benchmark. The trio are still in MSCI indices.

Financial adviser, bank new players in penny stock saga

Algo Capital’s mailing address is in Bishan, which is the residential address of its owner and chief executive Ken Tai Chee Ming.

Goldman Sachs sued in Singapore penny stock saga

Iskandar developers seen taking a big hit

Heftier taxes, scrapping of easy financing will deter buyers, says RHB Research

Penny stock debacle: More stakeholders take court action

The fallout from the penny stock debacle involving Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp continues as more stakeholders head to the courts.

Lawsuits may provide answers on $8b meltdown

The legal action being taken against Goldman Sachs could throw new light on the $8 billion share meltdown in Blumont Group, LionGold Corp and Asiasons Capital last month.

Interactive Broker seeks to recover US$68m from 10 clients

Global broking giant Interactive Brokers has launched the largest legal action so far in the wake of October’s penny stock collapse, taking aim at at least 10 clients as it seeks to recover about US$68 million of losses.

Third penny stock case against Goldman

Blumont director says bank breached duty by force-selling his shares

How the URA’s Masterplan 2013 Will Affect the Property Market

Should investors pick Noble, Olam or Wilmar?

Shares of commodity firms Noble Group, Olam International and Wilmar International have lagged the broader market over the last three years. But sentiment seems to be turning.

Reforming OLAM

The commodity supplier responded to short-selling attacks by reducing its capital expenditure and lightening its balance sheet. That could spell slower growth, but it might also boost the company’s profitability and cash flows. Is it safe to get back into the stock?

Singapore Exchange divides role of regulatory, risk chief

Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) said on Friday it had split the role of its regulatory and risk chief officer, a move that follows a penny stock crash that raised questions about the firm’s regulatory abilities.

Lawsuits shine light on Goldman’s role in Asiasons, Blumont and LionGold crash

Ipco International CEO Quah Su-Ling is taking a unit of Goldman Sachs to court for losses suffered during the collapse of Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp early last month. According to legal papers filed on Nov. 20 with the High Court in the UNK and seen by The Edge Singapore, the case revolves around a loan that Quah took from the bank to buy shares in two of these companies.

No Sugarcoating It: A Hard Landing Is Likely

Blumont independent director resigns

When contacted by The Business Times last night, the 49-year-old said one of the main reasons for her stepping down was to pursue legal action against Goldman Sachs International and Goldman Sachs Singapore.

Not all sub-dollar penny stocks are sub-value

To say that that the penny stock segment of the Singapore market has pulled back would be an understatement - crash landed and still smouldering would be a more apt description.

AmFraser Securities reveals losses from Oct 4 crash; management changes expected

The dust has yet to settle after the collapse last month of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp, but at least one brokerage firm initially said to have suffered substantial losses from trades linked to the stocks has disclosed its exposure.

Capital-hungry Myanmar firms cautiously drawn to Singapore listings

At Yangon International airport, large blue and white signs in the arrival and departure halls promote Singapore’s stock exchange as the go-to destination for Myanmar businesses seeking capital.

Penny stock fiasco cost AmFraser ‘up to $47m’

AMMB clears air on its brokerage here but traders say figure may rise

Time for structural review of local bourse

Contra trading, share of penny stocks among issues that need addressing

SGX looking at new penny stock rules

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is mulling new rules on penny stocks after last month's meltdown in these counters caused huge losses to some investors.

SIAS chief calls for heavy fines on those who breach listing rules

He also highlights price swings distorting thresholds requiring shareholders’ nod

Are public consultation papers useful?

Vincent Khoo
Letter to Editor, Business Times
08 November 2013

Was Black Elk the black swan that sank Asiasons, Blumont and LionGold?

A US-based hedge fund called Platinum Partners, and entities linked to it, had agreed to provide US$560 million in funding to Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp in August, September and October as shares in the three companies peaked strongly and then crashed spectacularly.

Platinum Partners invested in Asiasons, Blumont, LionGold before share collapse

In tracing the sudden collapse of the shares of three listed Singapore-based companies with reported Malaysian links, The Edge cast a spotlight on US hedge fund Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund’s role had in inflating share prices beyond their value.

Badly hit penny stocks


SGX should consult public on HFT

There is a sense of painful resignation, infused with no small amount of frustration and even impending doom among retail players and their brokers following news that the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pressing ahead with plans to introduce high-frequency trading (HFT) to the local equities market. Since it appears to be a question of when and not if, the exchange should address the myriad issues before opening its doors to a mode of trading that is controversial and has yet to prove beneficial to markets as a whole.

SGX faces delicate balancing task

Clearer communication can help in curbing speculation without using a heavy hand

Brakes put on penny stocks

Broking houses impose stiff curbs on purchases amid price gyrations

Some investors facing legal action over losses

The penny stock debacle has cost many local investors dearly and left some facing legal action from brokers and banks determined to get their money.

SGX seeks high-frequency traders

Singapore Exchange, Southeast Asia’s biggest bourse operator, wants to lure more high-speed traders onto its stock market as it grapples with lower volume.

Why SGX suspends, designates and investigates

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been asked about the differences in regulatory actions taken in the case of Sky One Holdings and in the case of Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp.

‘No threat’ to fair trading in Sky One, says SGX

Singapore Exchange (SGX) has found “no threat to fair, orderly and transparent trading” in the sharp drop of Sky One Holdings stock earlier this week.

Why SGX suspends, designates and investigates

SGX has been asked about the differences in regulatory actions taken in the case of Sky One Holdings Limited and in the case of Asiasons Capital Limited, Blumont Group Ltd and LionGold Corp Ltd. Our explanation is given below. We would also refer readers to our regulatory announcement of 25 October 2013 on “SGX corrects misconceptions.”

Brokers raise shields with Sky One falling

Sky One Holdings’ collapse on Monday prompted a number of brokers to update their lists of restricted stocks this week, raising questions about why the Singapore Exchange (SGX) did not impose trading curbs as it had done with three other stocks a few weeks earlier.

No issue with SGX on penny stocks action: Sias

Investor lobby group says it is satisfied with the explanation on steps taken

Take a holistic relook at HFT

Communication is key in penny regulation

Investors spooked by penny stock saga

Growing number of trading curbs seen as harbinger of more volatility ahead

Penny stock drama likely to hold traders’ attention

Many investors unhappy with how fiasco is being handled

Singapore’s penny stock mystery increases pressure on exchange

Singapore Exchange Ltd ‘s role as the city-state’s equity market regulator is coming under increasing scrutiny in the fall-out from a penny stock crash earlier this month.

Singapore’s penny stock mystery increases pressure on exchange

Singapore Exchange Ltd ‘s role as the city-state’s equity market regulator is coming under increasing scrutiny in the fall-out from a penny stock crash earlier this month.

Penny stocks drop on news of investigation

MAS and SGX to conduct review of activities leading to meteoric rise of Asiasons, Blumont and LionGold

MAS, SGX reviewing penny stock saga

Extensive and thorough review may lead to public consultation on broader issues raised

Singapore retail investors call for probe into penny stock crash

An association representing Singapore’s retail investors has called for a probe into a recent plunge in the share prices of three companies, putting more pressure on the Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) to explain the volatility.

Brokerages snowed under by cash influx

For two weeks, they had to verify money source for purchase of ‘designated’ stocks

Stock broking houses brace for hit from collapse of Blumont, Asiasons and LionGold

More than a week after the Oct 4 crash involving Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp, remisiers and securities houses are still counting their losses. Broking firms contacted by The Edge Singapore say their contra losses on the three counters are manageable, but the situation on the ground for other houses, as their traders tell it, is a lot messier.

Lim, Azlan claim no link to Soh

Datuk Jared Lim and Datuk Mohamed Azlan Hashim have denied any links to tycoon Datuk Soh Chee Wen, whose name has become a topic of conversation at coffee tables and trading rooms of late.

Board to focus on repairing damaged reputation

Asiasons is picking up the pieces after a spectacular collapse in its share price. The controlling owners of the company – Datuk Azlan Hashim, Datuk Jared Lim and Ng Teck Wah – have been fighting fire since the freefall of the company’s shares. Comforting investors, stakeholders and employees that nothing has changed within the operations of the company is the No. 1 priority as the company and its owners go about rebuilding their reputation. Below is an extract of an interview with StarBizWeek.

We’re not a bunch of cowboys

Embattled Asiasons’ heads to close chapter on stock gyrations and move on

Contra trading is not the cause

In the past week, there has been significant press coverage on the now infamous trio of designated stocks - Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp.

Curbs lifted off Asiasons, Blumont, LionGold

SGX removes ‘designated stocks’ label as trading has stabilised; Blumont execs disclose forced selling of their shares

US-based bank triggered sell-down

The sell-down of three stocks two weeks ago on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) was mainly triggered by a leading US-based investment bank followed by a Singapore broker, said industry executives.

Asiasons to relook Black Elk deal after SGX rejects new share issue

Asiasons Capital Limited said on Thursday that it would relook the terms and conditions of its planned purchase of 27.5 per cent of US Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC.

The Big Crash

Blumont, Asiasons Capital and Lion Gold have lost billions  of dollars in market value this past week. Yet, they are still  pressing ahead with ambitious growth plans, with Blumont even claiming it is on its way to becoming Asia's BHP Billiton. Should investors give them a second chance?

Shares of Blumont execs hit by forced selling

Shares of key executives of Blumont Group have come under forced selling as Singapore Exchange (SGX) maintains trading restrictions on the company’s stock and those of two others for a fifth day today.

Malaysian play in Singapore gone awry

Linked stocks form a troubled past

Cross-holdings, management relationships and Asiasons, Blumont and LionGold becoming ‘designated’ stocks

LionGold placement called off on stock price volatility

LionGold Corp said the trading restrictions imposed on its shares put it at a “significant disadvantage” as they hinder its efforts to acquire undervalued assets.

Blumont chairman sold stock days before plunge

Move due to ‘bank forced selling’, but investors question late disclosure

Circuit breakers cannot replace stringent policing

The rise and fall of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and other penny stocks have dominated the Singapore stock market, culminating in the Singapore Exchange (SGX) imposing restrictions on the trading of some of the stocks.

Circuit breakers cannot replace stringent policing

The rise and fall of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and other penny stocks have dominated the Singapore stock market, culminating in the Singapore Exchange (SGX) imposing restrictions on the trading of some of the stocks.

Confusion continues over trading curbs on ‘designated’ stocks

Confusion reigned for a second day yesterday over three stocks “designated” by the Singapore Exchange: Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp.

Blumont denies knowledge of stock price manipulation

Blumont Group said on Tuesday that it was not aware of any manipulation of its share price, calling it the job of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to find out and not that of the management.

Fund managers hit by penny-stock crash

Retail investors are not the only victims feeling the pain after the share price plunges of LionGold Corp, Blumont Group and Asiasons Capital when they resumed trading yesterday.

Savage selling wipes $8.6b off 3 counters

SGX curbs on short-selling, contra trading also dent other small counters

Has SGX acted too late?

Last Friday, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) took the drastic step of cleaning up what had been left smelling in its backyard over the years.

Blumont, Asiasons, LionGold shares tumble as SGX lifts suspensions

Three Singapore-listed companies resumed their steep decline on Monday as trading halts were lifted - suspensions which have raised more questions than answers about the stocks as well as how the country’s exchange regulates sudden price moves.

Level the playing field on trading curbs

Advance notice on restrictions will add to transparency

Counters’ plunge raises questions

Not hard to grasp SGX’s concern over firms’ sharp share price falls

SGX suspends trading in three stocks

The share market was rocked yesterday when the Singapore Exchange (SGX) suspended trading in three stocks that have all recorded huge price swings recently.

Blumont scraps $146m bid for Cokal as shares dive

Blumont shares plummet 59% in the morning before SGX suspends trade

Dollar stocks built on penny towers in ruins

SGX suspends 3 of 6 firms it queries after their counters plummet overnight

Blumont beats retreat after relentless surge

Share trading halted today pending announcement by company

Blumont ‘could have attracted international interest’

In its second reply to a Singapore Exchange (SGX) query on the sharp rise of its share price since the beginning of the year, Blumont Group said its recent flurry of activities could have attracted international interest in its stock.

Blumont’s staggering stock performance raises many questions

Investors of Blumont Group, whose stock is arguably one of the best performing this year, would be laughing all the way to the bank had they held on to the shares they bought early this year.

LionGold inks deal with gold exploration firm

Move set to double its ore throughput at Ballarat plant

Blumont invests in Brisbane copper firm

A$116m shares, bonds deal could give it control of Discovery Metals

What lies behind Asiasons’ run-up?

It can be an investor’s dream or nightmare. In just a week, Asiasons Capital Ltd, a Singapore-listed Malaysian- based investment group, saw its share price more than double from its last traded price of $1.325 on Sept 12 to $2.72 yesterday. This came after shares in the company resumed trading following a trading halt from Sept 13 to Sept 16 pending an announcement.

Asiasons soars on plans for US oil firm stake

Asiasons also raising $254m from share placement to four new investors

Asiasons to buy 27.5% of US oil firm for US$171.65m in new share issue

Asiasons Capital Limited said on Tuesday that it will buy 27.5 per cent of Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, a US-based oil and gas company, for US$171.65 million.

Blumont Group buying 15% stake in coal miner Resource Generation

Blumont Group has made another foray into coal mining, announcing yesterday a move to take a 15 per cent interest in Resource Generation Limited (RES) - a coal-miner in which Noble Group also has a stake - for up to A$22.11 million.

Ramba receives offer from Sugih for 51% stake in firm

Oil and gas exploration and production firm Ramba Energy has received an offer from Jakarta-listed Sugih Energy for a 51 per cent stake in the firm.

SGX says bye to offshore AGMs, show of hands

Observers welcome new rules by market operator, calling them way overdue

Scary days panning for gold stocks

The scary movie "The Conjuring" may be a winner at the box office this summer, but on Wall Street the real horror show is the gold mining sector.

Yangon in need of more office space

Foreign businesses face limited, unsuitable options

5 Phillip Securities employees charged with fraud

Five employees of Phillip Securities Pte Ltd were charged yesterday with a total of 40 criminal counts of fraud under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) for allegedly conducting trades that were against the retail brokerage’s interests.

LionGold plans to raise $100m, eyes spin-offs, stake sales

Mainboard-listed LionGold Corp could list one of its subsidiaries in one to two years time.

Preparing for China bubbles to burst: Andy Xie

China’s per capita income could reach $20,000 by 2030

Heavenly iron ore prices bound for purgatory as China reforms

From building scores of new towns to constructing state-of-the-art rail networks, China’s demand for steel to feed its modern-day industrial revolution has driven a spectacular rally in the price of the raw material iron ore.

China Resources investors await answers after overpaying accusation

Sources say asset valuations used by buyers to justify prices amid doubts about impartiality of mine appraisers

Condo rental yields break psychological support

Overall gross median yields at 3.9% against 4.2% in 2012, 4.4% in 2011

Investor interest in H shares on the wane

Twenty years after the first listing, mainland enterprises are underperforming the market, posing a challenge to investment managers

Former top China Sky execs no-show at trial

The former chief executive officer and the financial controller of China Sky Chemical Fibre were a no-show yesterday at a trial involving the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) efforts to permanently freeze US$3.7 million of the ex-CEO’s funds ahead of the completion of a probe of China Sky for possible breaches of securities law.

Banks gear up to tackle tax dodging

Extensive effort to ensure new measures are complied with

Courage is needed for financial change

Beijing can prove its determination for reform by letting enterprises fail and products default

Mid-Year Resolutions

China Is Sold on America

First, it was the Japanese. Moneymen from Tokyo blew into the United States to buy famous pieces of the American landscape, from Rockefeller Center in New York to the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

Buying second home no longer child’s play

Investors who do so in a relative’s name to avoid ABSD can’t hide any more

Property loan pegged to total debt profile

To promote financial prudence banks must ensure that loans stay within 60% of total debt servicing ratio

Short sharp shock

Li Keqiang has fired a shot across the bows of the mainland's financial institutions, ensuring they get the message on reining in credit expansion

Minsheng Bank tells the story of Beijing's credit worries

The funding crunch prompted by China's central bank was meant to teach a lesson to the Chinese banks that continue to embrace risky lending tactics.


Scalpel in hand, Chinese Premier Li stirs reform hopes

Investors getting stung by China's worst financial market rout in years should find solace in the fact that the government, in particular Premier Li Keqiang, is willing to play hardball to force through much-needed policy change.


Asiasons founders put in $190m, tighten control

The three primary founders of listed private equity firm Asiasons Capital have tightened their grip on the company via injection of some $190 million in additional capital.

Small and medium banks worst hit by liquidity crunch

Shares of lenders slump in Shanghai trading, reflecting panic in the market, particularly in banks with a large proportion of interbank assets

‘Black Monday’ in Shanghai as China shares plunge over cash crunch

‘Black Monday’ in Shanghai as the index registers its biggest fall in four years with investors spooked by the squeeze on the interbank market

China firms stir crisis as they push into lending

Firms borrow to lend to others at higher interest, adding to debt risks

When A nonagenarian investor speaks, investors should pay attention

Here are three stock market tips from this very senior investor, already  into his ninth decade of life.

China cash squeeze exposes risks from short-term funding

The mirror that China's central bank is holding up in front of the country's banks is providing uncomfortable viewing. Too many banks are reliant on short-term funding markets to survive, and a shake up in the sector is needed.

Read on...

China Sky faulted for rule violations in scathing report

Auditors cite failure to make mandatory disclosures or get approval for transaction

Iskandar follows the Shenzhen script

Links to Hong Kong are replicated in the Malaysian economic zone’s ties to Singapore

Dr. Boom? Roubini Sees Two Years of Stock Gains

7 Things You Need As A Trader

Carson Block: Why We Are Betting Against StanChart

Standard Chartered's asset quality is deteriorating and investors are miscalculating risk in the loan book of the British lender, according to Carson Block, founder of U.S.-based short seller Muddy Waters Research.

The Next Big Move - Broad Based Rally

Listed gold miners shrug off gold price dive

LionGold, CNMC bank on robust demand for physical gold

China Affair with Cheap Diamonds Heats Mass Market

China’s burgeoning middle class is buying diamonds so quickly that the price of mass-market stones is rising faster around the world than for top-quality jewels affordable only to the super-rich.

Remisiers scrambling to clear new exam

Many fear loss of livelihood, clients if they miss deadline