SGX suspends trading in three stocks

It meant clients would have to make upfront payments to buy the shares and were prevented from trading the stock online.

The rumour mill went into overdrive yesterday, with talk that a team from the Monetary Authority of Singapore had been sent to Asiasons, a Malaysian- linked private equity firm and major investor in miner LionGold, to carry out investigations.

Asiasons told the SGX: "The company confirms that such market rumours are false." Its co-founder and managing director Jared Lim told The Straits Times that operationally, "nothing has changed and the direction we've set remains intact".

"It's (the trading suspension) a trading issue," he remarked.

Asiasons shares have soared from 80.5 cents at the end of last year to a high of $2.83 on Tuesday. It recently announced that it was acquiring a 27.5 per cent stake in a Houston-based energy firm for US$172 million (S$214.5 million) payable in new shares.

Blumont was trading between 20 cents and 30 cents late last year, but skyrocketed to a record high of $2.45 on Monday before slipping to 88 cents yesterday.

There were warnings from the SGX on Monday when it flagged that Blumont's market value had jumped from $508 million to $6.3 billion over nine months, and demanded an explanation.

It was an unusually specific query and alerted market watchers that the regulator was concerned. LionGold stock has also drawn spectacular interest, gaining 40 per cent this year.

"Gravity will soon set in and these counters that have shot up irrationally will get their just deserts," said an analyst.

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