Hyundai Merchant stock manipulation probe
Seoul-based Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is at the center of a probe into possible stock manipulation by investors in the shipping line, The Korea Times reports.
HMM called in the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) after its share price more than doubled to Korean Won 49,000 ($43) at the end of May from Won20,000 ($21.50) in April.
“We believe that a third party spread merger and acquisition rumors in a bid to boost share prices,' said a spokesman for HMM.
The carrier has been the subject of speculation of hostile takeovers from foreign investors and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilder.
HHI and HMM were once both part of the Hyundai Group founded by Chung Ju-yung, but have since split to go their separate ways.
The shipbuilder has built up its stake in HMM after buying shares from Geveran Trading, a Cyprus-based investment fund of Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen. HHI and its subsidiary Hyundai Samho have a combined 25.47 percent stake in HMM.