KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 2): The world's largest rubber glove maker Top Glove Corp Bhd, whose subsidiaries are being investigated by the Government over worker housing issues, is continuing with its share buyback spree from last month, spending RM69.94 million today.
The second day of December also marked the second consecutive trading day of share buyback for Top Glove, with RM119.87 million spent. It spent RM49.93 million yesterday for 7.41 million shares.
Today, it bought 10.35 million shares, priced at between RM6.70 and RM6.86 per share, its stock exchange filing showed. This raised its net outstanding treasury shares to 177.78 million, equivalent to a 2.17% stake.
Top Glove has now spent RM1.28 billion on share buybacks since September, with RM802.55 million spent in November and RM354.74 million in September.
For perspective, the sum is about 68% of the group’s net profit of RM1.87 billion for its financial year ended Aug 31, 2020 (FY20).
Meanwhile, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has sold another 5.84 million Top Glove shares on Nov 27, after the 10 million it sold on Nov 26.
Following the latest disposal, which was announced in a separate filing today, the EPF is now left with 478.98 million shares or a 5.97% stake in the glove manufacturer.
The EPF re-emerged as Top Glove’s substantial shareholder on Sept 21 with a 5.05% stake, which it raised to 6.64% or 534.31 million shares on Nov 20, before it started trimming its stake.
It was reported yesterday that the Human Resources Ministry had opened 19 investigation papers into six subsidiaries of Top Glove, after enforcement operations found that they did not comply with the minimum standards for workers housing and amenities, as provided under the law.
The main offence was the firms’ failure to apply for an accommodation certificate from the director-general of the Peninsular Malaysia Labour Department, which led to the discovery of other offences, including congested and uncomfortable accommodations that lacked proper ventilation, according to a statement from the Ministry.
Following the news, Top Glove shares, which fell 33 sen yesterday, sank another 11 sen or 1.62% to close at RM6.68 today, valuing it at RM54.75 billion, after some 69.78 million shares were traded today. Nevertheless, the stock is still up 331% year to date.