Top Glove edges closer to becoming the biggest stock on Bursa

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by TMR FILE

TOP Glove Corp Bhd’s market value is only RM2.9 billion short of becoming the most valuable company on the exchange after its share price rose another 35 sen to RMM9.60 yesterday.

On paper, its share price is only 40 sen away from becoming the most valuable company on Bursa Malaysia, overtaking Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) which has a market capitalisation of RM80.94 billion as at yesterday.

The glovemaker’s market capitalisation hit RM78.1 billion yesterday as investors bought into healthcare players like glovemakers on the rising number of Covid-19 infections across the world.

Top Glove also announced that it has resolved issues raised by the US Department of Labour (DoL) regarding child or forced labour at its factories in Malaysia.

Maybank maintained its position as the most valuable listed firm on the bourse as its shares rose five sen to RM7.20 yesterday. At intraday, Top Glove’s trade share price hit a high of RM9.72.

The demand for rubber glove stocks yesterday also added 75.83 points or 1.79% to the healthcare index as it closed at 4,303 points.

The remaining Big Four glovemakers also saw gains with Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s shares rising 3.37% or 62 sen to RM19, which took its market capitalisation to RM65.12 billion and ahead of Public Bank Bhd, which had a capitalisation of RM61.5 billion as at yesterday.

Supermax Corp Bhd rose 20 sen to RM10.70 and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd ended 1.12% or nine sen higher to RM8.13.

Top Glove is seeking an “expeditious resolution and revocation” of the ban policy. The US DoL previously released its “2020 List of Goods Produced by Child Labour or Forced Labour” report that includes rubber gloves produced in Malaysia which has affiliates with forced labour.

Top Glove revealed it is looking at a possible dual primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to access a larger capital pool, enlarge and diversify its investor base, and provide an alternate and larger fundraising platform.

If it proceeds down this road, the company is expected to raise more than US$1 billion (RM4.14 billion) from the public offering.

Its share price yesterday rose 3.7% for the day, almost four times against the country’s benchmark index, and traded at RM9.6 on an ex-dividend basis from RM9.34 in the previous session.

According to Bloomberg data, 54% of the shares traded were at the asking price and 39% was at the bid.

The company’s stock price advanced 565% in the past 52 weeks, while the shares were up 7% in the past five days and up 20% in the past 30 days.

Top Glove trades at 9.4 times its estimated earnings per share for the coming year.

For its first quarter ended Nov 30, 2019, Top Glove recorded a net profit of RM111.43 million and revenue of RM1.21 billion, attributing the high earnings to its nitrile and natural rubber glove segments amid the spike in demand of healthcare products.