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Cordlife share price climbs 16.5%, prompting another SGX query

THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Wednesday afternoon flagged "unusual price movements" in Cordlife Group’s shares.

As at 2.27pm, the counter had climbed 16.51 per cent or 8.5 Singapore cents to S$0.60. It had earlier hit an intraday high of S$0.625, shortly after the midday break.

Some 34.77 million shares of the mainboard-listed cord blood banker had changed hands as at 2.25pm, making it one of the most heavily traded securities on the Singapore bourse on Wednesday.

In a letter filed in the afternoon, SGX asked Cordlife whether it knew of any possible explanation for the trading activity and whether the company could confirm its compliance with listing rules.

“The board of directors (of Cordlife) shall collectively and individually take responsibility for the accuracy of the reply to the query,” SGX said in the letter.

On June 4, the company said it had made an indicative, non-binding and conditional proposal to merge with New York-listed Global Cord Blood Corporation, which provides cord blood collection, laboratory testing and stem cell storage services in China. If the proposed transaction is successfully implemented, Global Cord Blood will be privatised and its shares would be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Before the Wednesday query, Cordlife’s latest bourse filing was on June 6, when it announced the resignation of a non-independent non-executive director, and the change in composition of its remuneration committee.

SGX’s query on Wednesday was the second one issued to Cordlife in the past three months.

The first was issued on May 3, after the share price surged as much as 20 per cent in the early session. Cordlife then requested a trading halt on the same day, before responding to the query at night.

After the market closed on May 3, it said in a filing that it "conducts regular reviews from time to time of strategic options available with a view to enhance shareholder value. There is no assurance that any transaction will materialise from its strategic review".