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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Hong Kong Stock Exchange  >  Next Digital Limited    282   HK0000271764

NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED

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Next Digital : Hong Kong's Next Digital shares dive, then surge as police arrest 15 over August rally

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09/10/2020 | 05:50am EDT
FILE PHOTO: An employee takes a copy of the Apple Daily newspaper, published by Next Media Ltd, with a headline

Next Digital Ltd shares swung sharply on Thursday as Hong Kong police arrested 15 people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering in relation to the rally last month that followed the arrest of the company's owner.

The stock closed 36.7% higher at HK$0.410, having earlier tumbled some 20% after local newspaper South China Morning Post first reported the arrests. It was unclear what drove the wide price swings. The stock has a broad retail investor base.

The media company's shares had surged in August after tycoon Jimmy Lai became the highest profile arrest under a broad national security law imposed by Beijing on the Asian financial hub.

The August rally was attributed to retail investors buying amid an online campaign to show support for Lai, a longtime pro-democracy activist and critic of Beijing. Pro-democracy supporters also woke up early to snap up Next Digital-published anti-government tabloid Apple Daily to show support.

Police on Thursday said 15 people were arrested as their actions seemed coordinated. They transacted the stock 13,000 times over three days, sometimes roughly at the same time, while drumming up buying interest on social media, the police said.

They were aged 22 to 53, and six were unemployed and one was a civil servant, Narcotics Bureau Chief Superintendent Chung Wing-man told reporters, saying the group earned HK$38.7 million ($5 million) in total from the scheme. One person in the group made most of the money, around HK$25 million.

"Given the age and occupation status, we have serious doubts on their financial resources. This is exactly what we are going to find out, where the money comes from and where will it go," Chung said.

New Digital shares climbed from HK$0.10 to HK$1.96 over two sessions in August, before plunging just as fast.

Upon his release from detention, Lai, who is yet to be charged with violating the new security law, told his supporters not to touch the stock as its rally would not last.

(Reporting by Clare Jim, Donny Kwok and Marius Zaharia; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Tom Hogue)


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
APPLE INC. -0.61% 115.04 Delayed Quote.56.70%
NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED 3.92% 0.265 End-of-day quote.1.92%
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Financials
Sales 2020 1 158 M 149 M 149 M
Net income 2020 -415 M -53,6 M -53,6 M
Net Debt 2020 537 M 69,2 M 69,2 M
P/E ratio 2020 -1,02x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 699 M 90,1 M 90,1 M
EV / Sales 2019 0,51x
EV / Sales 2020 0,83x
Nbr of Employees 2 369
Free-Float 28,1%
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Managers
NameTitle
Kim Hung Cheung Group Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Chee Ying Lai Executive Chairman
Chi Keung Hung Chief Financial Officer
Yut Kin Ip Non-Executive Director
Tat Kuen Chow Secretary & Executive Director
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