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Hot stock: NOL shares rise on sale talks with France's CMA CGM

The headquarters of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (NOL) stand in Singapore, on Friday, Mar 19, 2010.

[SINGAPORE] Shares of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd opened 4.5 per cent higher after it said its controlling shareholder had entered into exclusive sale talks with France's CMA CGM, the world's third-largest container shipping firm.

NOL said in a statement on Saturday said that its single-largest shareholder, Lentor Investments, a unit of state investor Temasek Holdings, had entered into an exclusivity agreement with CMA until Dec 7.

Temasek owns nearly 67 per cent of NOL, which has struggled in a prolonged downturn in the global shipping market.

NOL shares, currently trading at S$1.165. have surged over 39 per cent so far this year on acquisition talks.