Centuries-old Jardine Matheson loses US$41b as traders blame ‘fat finger'

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. is now the worst performer on the MSCI Singapore Index, as shares hover at a 25-year low, after a strategy to diversify into real estate has so far failed to offset sagging earnings from its media business.

SINGAPORE: Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., the centuries-old conglomerate, plunged 83 percent in early trading and quickly recovered with traders speculating that a fat finger may have been the reason behind the dramatic drop.

The Singapore-listed stock dropped 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 0.7 percent drop as of 9:31 a.m. in Singapore.

 The price action suggested that the plunge could have been caused by human error, according to four traders. 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.

”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. - Bloomberg

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