Next Media's share price closed up 45.45 per cent yesterday on the back of a number of rumours. The counter rose as high as 72 per cent to 38 HK cents in morning trading, but softened to finish at 32 HK cents. The share price peaked at HK$5.55 in February last year at the height of the technology boom. Analysts said yesterday's surge was driven by rumours, including one that controlling shareholder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying planned to cash out by selling to an independent party. Next Media, which operates Chinese Magazine, EasyFinder, and a number of information Web sites, denied the speculation. 'There are no negotiations or agreements relating to intended acquisitions or realisations,' the company said. Analysts said another rumour in the market was that the company would soon get the green light from the stock exchange for its assets injection plan. Under the plan, unveiled last November, Next Media will acquire four of Mr Lai's privately owned Chinese publications through an issue of new shares. Analysts said that since then the proposed deal had stalled because a new listing status was needed for Next Media. Under the exchange's listing rules, the net profit of an acquired asset cannot be more than double that of the new listed parent, or a new listing for the parent is required. The four publications - Next Magazine, Apple Daily, Sudden Weekly and Eat & Travel Weekly - were expected to generate net profits of about HK$300 million this year. Analysts expected the transaction could help turn around Next Media's persistent losses. The company made a loss of HK$78.47 million in the year to March 31 last year. Another loss of HK$43.43 million was recorded in the six months to September 30 last year.