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Hong Kong securities regulator orders rare trading halt for GME Group

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on Wednesday ordered a trading suspension in shares of underground construction services firm GME Group, in a rare move by the regulator on what was the company's first day of trade.

The SFC used a provision that allows it to halt trading if it believes the company concerned has distributed "any materially false, incomplete or misleading information" in relation to its affairs, has failed to comply with SFC rules, or if the SFC deems it is in the public interest to do so.

The SFC, which gave no reason for the trading halt, has only intervened in trading on a small number of occasions.

GME did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Previous examples of SFC intervention involved Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd, a solar panel maker currently subject to an SFC investigation; China High Precision Automation Group Ltd, a manufacturing holding company; and sports fabric maker Hontex International Holdings Co Ltd.

China High Precision, which was suspended in August 2012, is still awaiting a trading restart from the SFC, which has not disclosed details of the case.

Hontex shares were first suspended in March 2010 before their eventual delisting after the regulator investigated information provided to investors in the firm's initial public offering (IPO) prospectus.

GME's shares last traded at HK$3.47, surging more than six-fold from its IPO price of HK$0.54.

Among some of the major contracts listed on GME's website is one for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, in which it is involved in the construction of a tunnel.

The SFC and Hong Kong exchange last month issued a joint notice expressing concern over potential instances of rule-breaking with respect to listings on the Growth Enterprise Market, where GME Group is listed.