Fashion retailer Giordano International is back in play, with renewed rumours it is the target of a takeover bid sending its shares to a 10-month high. Brokers said institutional investors were the major buyers and had sucked in some retail investors who were speculating a takeover bid for the cash-rich company could be in the offing. Giordano executive director Terry Ng Sze-yuen ruled out any deal was pending. 'We believe the share rise was related to demand and supply [of retail stocks]. We are not aware of any deals going on,' he said. Giordano yesterday closed up two cents at $1.89 after gaining 16.87 per cent in the previous two trading days. Yesterday's trading was the heaviest in recent months with 7.25 million shares changing hands. Brokers said the company - a favourite target of speculators - could be a takeover target given its almost $300 million in cash. Analysts last week met Giordano directors and said the company saw improved operating profit during the second-half of last year due to lower operating costs. They said Giordano's anchor market - Hong Kong - had generated a 'small profit' in the second-half from a loss in the first-half. 'This means the company is likely to see a slight profit increase in the full-year basis,' one analyst said. ING Baring Securities (Hong Kong) analyst David Li said profit margin at Giordano should improve given an up to 30 per cent decrease in rents and a 20 per cent drop in staff expenses. Mr Ng declined to comment on the company's profitability as auditing work on last year's results was being conducted and would be made public next month. During the first half of last year, attributable profit tumbled 84 per cent to $20.75 million.