Hoi Sing plunges on low takeover offer

THE price of construction firm Hoi Sing Holdings plummeted yesterday as hopes for a good price in the event of a takeover offer were dashed.

Hoi Sing and its substantial shareholder Shougang Concord Grand (Group) revealed in a joint statement the unnamed prospective buyer for Shougang Grand's stake in Hoi Sing would not exceed 40 cents.

The offer price, which represented a substantial discount of 52 per cent to the closing price of 84 cents on Tuesday, would also be the offer price for a general offer which might result from the takeover bid.

Trading in the counter was suspended on Wednesday pending the announcement on the offer price.

The statement urged investors to exercise extreme caution in trading in Hoi Sing shares and warrants before the outcome of negotiations was known.

The announcement triggered a plunge in Hoi Sing's price to 55 cents, down 29 cents, or 34 per cent. More than 15.3 million shares changed hands on turnover of $8.9 million.

The fall was significant because the price was pushed up 75 per cent from 48 cents on Friday to 84 cents on Tuesday.

The surge on Tuesday was fuelled by hopes for a higher offer price following an announcement on Monday, which revealed that an unnamed third party proposed to acquire 36.1 per cent of issued share capital and 44.9 per cent of outstanding warrants in Hoi Sing from Shougang Grand.

The counter's price had not dropped below 40 cents; its low was 42.5 cents, recorded on April 3.

Hoi Sing dropped about 60 per cent in price terms while the Hang Seng Index had risen 74 per cent since February 1992.

The counter has under-performed the Hang Seng Index 24 per cent in the year to date.

The performance of Tungtex (Holdings), also the subject of a takeover bid, was just the opposite with its share price surging 41 cents, or 40.5 per cent, to $1.42 on a turnover $18.9 million.

The controlling shareholders are to sell not less than a 50.01 per cent stake to Mak Hing Cheong Hon (Holdings) at $1.50 per share, a premium of 49 per cent to the closing price of $1.01 on its last trading day.