Dataprep gets ‘red-carded by Bursa after UMA fails to curb price hike

INFORMATION communications technology (ICT) service provider Dataprep Holdings Bhd whose share price has ballooned more than 1,800% in a span of one month has been served a ‘red card’ by Bursa Malaysia.

The market regulator has today issued an advice to investors, urging them to exercise caution and make informed decisions in the trading of Dataprep shares.

“The exchange will not hesitate to take appropriate regulatory action to ensure fair and orderly trading of Dataprep shares,” the market regulator pointed out in a statement.

From a low of 16.5 sen on Feb 11, Dataprep has skyrocketed by leaps and bounds to end at RM3.15 at the close of today’s trading.

The counter added 50 sen or 18.87% from yesterday’s price of RM2.65 with a hefty 63.68 million shares traded which enabled the company’s market capitalisation to breach the RM1 bil mark to RM1.92 bil.

Recall that Bursa Malaysia has issued the company an unusual market activity (UMA) query on March 1 following its recent sharp rise in price.

The company has in its response to UMA Query confirmed that it was not aware of any corporate development or explanation that could give rise to the unusual trading activities in its shares save and except for the announcements it made on Feb 15, 16 and 23.

A darling among retail investors during its heydays, Dataprep which was listed in 1991 had earned the distinction of being the first Malaysian information communications technology (ICT) company to be listed on the local bourse

In the quest to restore interest in the stock, the company’s new management has set its sight on long-term growth potentials, primarily by capitalising on several promising areas under the robustly-growing Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4).

For the record, Bumiputera-owned Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd (WBG) acquired the entire 64.2% stake belonging to Dataprep’s major shareholder VXL Holdings Sdn Bhd via its subsidiary Wardah Communication Sdn Bhd in July 2017.

This triggered a mandatory general offer which subsequently raised WBG’s stake in Dataprep marginally to 64.4%.

For its 9M FY2020, Dataprep extended its net loss to RM6.76 mil from RM3.64 mil in the same period a year ago although its revenue was slightly higher at RM23.63 mil (9M FY2019: RM21.07 mil). – March 10, 2021

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