Privatisation unhappiness: market is to blame

Published Tue, Apr 22, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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TAKEOVER/privatisation fever has gripped the local market in recent days as a flurry of these exercises have been announced. UIC kicked things off with its offer for Singapore Land, CapitaLand then grabbed the headlines with its plan to buy out all of CapitaMalls Asia (CMA), and a private consortium headed by Hotel Properties' boss Ong Beng Seng tabled a takeover of HPL that could eventually lead to HPL being delisted.

This, in turn, has sparked off a search for the next big privatisation play and driven the local market higher, as if this was something to be celebrated and trumpeted.

Truth be told, it isn't.

On the contrary, it is a damning indictment of a market aspiring to be a major gateway for global finance that good quality companies are being persistently mispriced by a supposedly efficient market. It isn't really efficient by any stretch, but let's pretend for argument's sake that it is. But onc…

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