$41 bn gone in a flash: Centuries-old Singapore-listed conglomerate suffer huge loss of value

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Updated: January 24, 2019 9:08:07 AM

The Singapore-listed stock sank in pre-market trading as shares changed hands at $10.99, compared with a Wednesday close of $66.47.

Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., the centuries-old conglomerate, plunged 83 percent before quickly recovering, with traders speculating that a fat finger error may have caused the dramatic drop.

The Singapore-listed stock sank in pre-market trading as shares changed hands at $10.99, compared with a Wednesday close of $66.47. It’s now reversed most of the loss with a 0.1 percent drop as of 10:03 a.m. in Singapore. The price action suggested that the plunge could have been caused by human error, according to four traders.

“Looking at the price recovery, it looks like a fat finger at the moment until we have more updates,” said Marc Tan, a research analyst at KGI Securities Pte.

A spokesperson for Singapore Exchange Ltd. said in an e-mail that the bourse is looking into the stock slide. Jardine Matheson didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kay Van-Petersen, a global macro strategist at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore said by e-mail that someone may have made a mistake with the timing of their trade.

Jardine Matheson, a diversified business that was established in China in 1832, is Singapore’s most valuable stock with a market cap of $49 billion as of Jan. 23. Its business units provide financial services, supermarkets, engineering and construction, among others.

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