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Singapore Press Holdings tumbles by most since 1998 on spin-off

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(Source: SPH press release)
Singapore Press Holdings announced a plan to spin-off its media business into a non-profit entity.(Source: SPH press release)

By Ishika Mookerjee

(Bloomberg) — Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. plunged by the most in 23 years on Friday after the firm announced a plan to spin-off its media business.

Shares fell as much as 16% to S$1.51, the most since January 1998, after they resumed trading following a halt on Thursday. The owner of Singapore’s flagship daily newspaper said it will carve out the media unit into a non-profit entity, and the government has said it supports the planned restructure.

Once the business is spun off, “it’s basically a property company” that is trading at a higher valuation than most other property developers in Singapore, said Joel Ng, an analyst at KGI Securities (Singapore) Pte. A post-restructuring net asset value of S$2.08 per share gives it a price-to-book valuation of 0.86 times, based on the last closing price, he said.

Shares of SPH, which publishes the Straits Times, doubled from a 2020 low to a new peak in April before paring some of those gains. The company said in March that it is undertaking a strategic review to consider options for its various businesses.

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