MORE shares nosedive in return to trade

MORE shares nosedive in return to trade

More Return Plc (MORE) shares plunged to a new price floor shortly after the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) resumed trade of the stock on Monday, with the bourse warning the price could continue to slide.

At a press conference on Monday, SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) notified brokers to freeze 34 suspicious transactions of MORE stock that occurred on Nov 10. The freeze lasts for 90 days.

The SET removed the SP (suspension) sign on Monday on MORE stock, which is listed on the Market for Alternative Investment. Once the stock returned to trading, the price plunged to 0.96 baht on Monday, down 0.41 baht or 29.9% from 1.37 baht before the suspension.

Mr Pakorn said the worst-case scenario is the MORE stock price continues to plunge, but he insisted all brokers that trade the stock have solid financial status to sustain the impact.

"The SET assessed the impacts of ending the suspension of MORE and we are confident it should resume normal trade," he said.

Mr Pakorn advised all investors to monitor information and make a careful consideration before investing in MORE. All brokers can support their clients, even though the value of the securities used as collateral may be much lower than before the incident occurred, he said.

The SET suspended trading of MORE shares from Nov 14-18 after it noticed unusual trades on Nov 10, when the share price rose by up to 4.3% from the previous day and trading value tallied 7.13 billion baht, compared with an average of 360 million baht during the previous 30 days. The stock price slumped from 2.90 baht to 1.95 baht within 20 minutes after the SET opened trading on that day and continued to fall the following day to 1.37 baht apiece.

Mr Pakorn said the SET sent all the evidence it gathered on the case to the police, the Amlo and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Pichet Sithi-Amnuai, president of the Association of Securities Companies, said legal responsibilities are split: for fraud, securities firms serve as the plaintiff; for price manipulation or share manipulation, the SEC is in charge.

In related news, the SEC said on Monday Asia Wealth Securities (AWS) missed the deadline of Nov 20 to return 157.99 million baht to its clients. The amount was used by AWS to buy shares without the clients' consent.

The SEC ordered AWS to temporarily suspend operations from Nov 17 while the SEC and related agencies investigate the case.

Sources from securities companies who requested anonymity said AWS chief executive Chanachai Joonjiraporn resigned from his position on Nov 18.

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