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Cordlife's 20% share price surge in morning trade prompts SGX query

SHARES in mainboard-listed Cordlife surged almost 20 per cent on Friday morning, prompting a query from the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The counter eventually closed up by S$0.07 or 16.09 per cent at S$0.505.

The board of directors also responded, late on Friday night, that Cordlife regularly reviews "strategic options available with a view to enhance shareholder value" - the only possible reason that it was aware could explain the unusual trading activity.

"There is no assurance that any transaction will materialise from its strategic review," said the board, noting that the company will announce any material developments appropriately.

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SGX had flagged the unusual price movements and asked the cord blood banker if it knew of any information which could explain the trading. It also asked the company to confirm its compliance with mainboard-listing rules, in particular Rule 703, which requires issuers to announce any known information concerning it or any of its subsidiaries or associated companies. 

At 12.55pm, Cordlife called for a trading halt of its shares with immediate effect, pending the release of an announcement.It applied to resume trading on the morning of the next market day, May 6.

The company had held its annual general meeting on April 26, where all resolutions were passed.

In Feb 28, it appointed Tan Poh Lan as its executive director and group chief executive officer following the exit of former group CEO Michael Weiss. Prior to the change of guard, Ms Tan was Cordlife's group chief operating officer.

In a separate announcement on the same day, it released its fiscal 2018 results for the full year ended Dec 31, 2018, where it recorded S$5.2 million in net profit, from a net loss of S$1.7 million the year before.

Earnings per share was at 2.19 Singapore cents, up from a loss per share of 0.46 cent a year ago. It also proposed a final tax exempt 1-tier dividend of 0.4 cent per share, from no dividend a year ago.