Top Glove shares under selling pressure

EPF disposes of over 4.1m shares, which account for a 5.54% stake in the company

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By RAZAK GHAZALI

TOP Glove Corp Bhd’s shares continued to remain under selling pressure despite sustained buying from its directors and top executives last week.

Company filings to Bursa Malaysia showed Top Glove’s executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai acquiring some 2.69 million shares in two separate transactions, including 2.39 million shares purchased under its employees’ share option scheme.

The acquisitions were made in addition to the 3.62 million shares Wee Chai had purchased in January. He currently owns nearly 2.8 billion shares, which is equivalent to a 34.8% stake in the glovemaker, making him the company’s single-largest shareholder.

Other directors who were on a buying spree included Lim’s wife Puan Sri Tong Siew Bee, EDs Lim Hooi Sin and Lim Cheong Guan, as well as board members Datuk Lim Han Boon and Datuk Noripah Kamso.

In contrast, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) disposed of over 4.1 million shares last week, reducing its direct units further to 444.21 million shares which account for a 5.54% stake in the company.

Top Glove’s share price rose over 8% to as high as RM7.08 on Jan 29, with 155.14 million shares traded as retail investors drew inspiration from the GameStop Corp trading frenzy in the US.

To compare, the previous day saw only 17.82 million Top Glove shares traded. Higher trading volumes were also seen in other glovemakers including Hartalega Holdings Bhd with 14.66 million shares traded and Supermax Corp Bhd (45.23 million shares).

Similar to the US movement, BursaBets aimed to push up stocks of under-pressure glove manufacturers in an attempt to punish short sellers by sending prices soaring.

The impact of the move, however, was nowhere close to what transpired on Wall Street as short-selling activities are regulated and capped at 4% of the shares outstanding.

Top Glove’s share price has since been under selling pressure, falling by 95 sen or 13.5% from RM7.05 on Feb 2 to close at RM6.10 last Friday. The company is currently valued at RM54.21 billion.

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