Container manufacturer Singamas Container Holdings has denied market speculation Cosco Pacific - China's largest shipping group - is interested in buying a stake in the company. As rumours of the possible acquisition spread, shares in the loss-making company surged to a year high of $1.23, up 36.6 per cent yesterday before being suspended in the afternoon. Singamas vice-president Sylvia Tam Shuk-ping said she had not been in contact with Cosco Pacific. 'Even if we do a private placement, the shares would not necessarily be placed to Cosco Pacific,' she said. 'We have no intention of conducting a share placement for the time being.' The company reported an attributable loss of $69 million in 1996 largely due to start-up losses incurred by its mid-stream and refrigerated container manufacturing operations. An analyst at a European-based securities firm said any acquisition by Cosco Pacific would add synergy to Singamas' container manufacturing businesses. He warned investors that rumours could stem from overzealous red chip investors who have increasingly ignored fundamentals in favour of speculation. Trading is expected to resume today.