Malaysia’s Top Glove sells for $347 million in Hong Kong – source

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SYDNEY, March 8 (Reuters) – Malaysian company Top Glove Corp Bhd has postponed a plan to raise $347 million via a Hong Kong listing as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine weighs on investor sentiment and boosts market volatility, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The company, which has benefited from demand for disposable rubber gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic, has a primary listing in Kuala Lumpur and a secondary listing in Singapore, and had planned the listing in Hong Kong to broaden its investor base.

The person declined to be identified because the information was not public. Top Glove did not respond to a request for comment.

The glover initially aimed to raise $1 billion in what would have been a dual primary listing.

In December, shareholders approved the issuance of up to 793.5 million shares which, at the current price of RM 1.83, would have raised approximately $347 million.

Top Glove had planned to launch the deal in February, but market volatility surrounding the invasion caused the delay, the person said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

Shares of Kuala Lumpur-listed Top Glove fell 29.3% in 2022. The company will release its second-quarter results on Wednesday.

A growing number of Asian equity sales are on hold as markets remain disrupted by the invasion.

MSCI’s broadest global equity index has fallen 13% year-to-date as geopolitical uncertainty drives investors to flee stocks and pile into safer assets.

Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein has postponed its U.S. listing ambitions due to the shake-up, Reuters previously reported.

Life Insurance Corp’s plan to raise $8 billion before the end of March in India’s biggest-ever initial public offering (IPO) is also in doubt.

“The prospect of ever-increasing sanctions against Russia, the ongoing crackdown on real estate, technology and other sectors in China, the passing of the peak of accommodative monetary policy in the West and all of this portends a period pretty quiet for capital market activity until equity and commodity markets stabilize,” Sumeet Singh, research director at Aequitas, which publishes on Smartkarma, told Reuters.

Hong Kong had the slowest start to the year for IPOs and secondary listings in six years with $1.17 billion raised in 2022, according to Refinitiv data.

That compares to $10.16 billion for the same period of 2021 and the lowest since 2016. (Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney; Additional reporting Liz Lee; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Christopher Cushing)

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