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Hot stock: Hyflux shares jump 16%; company says talks ongoing with potential investors

HYFLUX continues to be in talks with several potential investors, the company said on Thursday following a query by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) as its shares jumped in early trading.

The stock traded at 29.5 Singapore cents as at 2.51pm, up 15.7 per cent or 4 Singapore cents on the day with 25.9 million shares traded, prompting SGX to issue a trading query on Thursday.

Hyflux, a water treatment specialist, told the exchange that it was unaware (see amendment note) of any undisclosed information that could explain the trading in its stock. It noted, however, that it had previously announced on Feb 27 that it had been approached by several potential investors interested in a strategic collaboration, with the intent to inject additional funds for the group's growth activities.

The company said on Thursday that these discussions are ongoing with no agreement reached at present.

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A trader told the Business Times that traders had also noticed 15 million shares traded off-market on Wednesday at a steep 20 per cent discount to Wednesday's closing price of S$0.255.

On April 6, Hyflux announced it had been awarded a contract by Asia Water Development Engineering Company (AWDEC) to design, manufacture and supply a seawater reverse osmosis desalination package in Bandar Abbas, Iran.

The project excludes local marine, civil and structural works, and is valued at about 68.7 million euros (S$110 million), with an additional 10.5 million euros for optional add-ons such as equipment and technical advisors.

Hyflux has also been looking to divest up to 70 per cent of Tuaspring, its power generation project in Singapore. The group holds the plant at a value of S$1.3 billion on its books, and has said it wants to sell its stake at book value.

The company has also been planning to spin off its consumer business through an initial public offering.

Amendment Note: An earlier version of the article had mentioned that Hyflux was not unaware of any undisclosed information that could explain the trading in its stock. This is incorrect as the firm was unaware of any undisclosed information that could explain the trading in its stock when queried by the SGX. We apologise for the editing error.