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Hot stock: SGX queries iFast after shares rise 12%

THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Friday morning queried mainboard-listed wealth management and brokerage platform iFast Corporation about its "unusual price movements" after iFast shares rose more than 12 per cent.

iFast shares hit an intra-day high of S$2.17 as at 11.41am on Friday, up 12.4 per cent or S$0.24. They eased slightly to trade at S$2.14 by 1.33pm, up 10.9 per cent or S$0.21 from the previous day's close, after 4.4 million shares changed hands. ShareInvestor data showed there were no married trades.

SGX asked iFast whether it was aware of any possible explanation for the trading activity.

iFast responded during the midday break, noting a Bloomberg article earlier this week that Hong Kong had shortlisted two finalists to digitise its retirement funds system. The finalists are a consortium led by Oneconnect Financial Technology and a group led by telecommunications provider PCCW, with the latter said to be working with iFast, according to Bloomberg's report.

In its reply to SGX, iFast said it did not provide comments in the media report, and that it may from time to time take part in the bidding for projects or tenders.

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"Due to the confidentiality requirements and uncertainty of outcome linked to the bidding of projects or tenders, the group would like to add that it is unable to provide any comments at this point of time," it said.

iFast also noted that the trading in its shares has increased in recent months. This could be linked to the group's net profit doubling year-on-year to S$8.2 million in H1 2020, and its assets under administration reaching a new high of S$11.15 billion as at June 30, it said. iFast reported its latest results on July 23, when chief executive and chairman Lim Chung Chun also said that the company was growing its staff size in anticipation of a Singapore digital banking licence, and on "considerable" growth in its business in the city-state.

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