Friday, April 06, 2012

NASDAQ briefly halts trade of Global Sources’ shares

On 3rd April, NASDAQ suspended the trade of shares of B2B media company, Global Sources. According to NASDAQ, the reason for the suspension was that NASDAQ had requested “additional information” from Global Sources.

Trading of Global Sources shares resumed on 4th April. Prior to the suspension, Global Sources share last traded at US$6.20. The share price closed down nearly 14% on 4th April at US$5.34.

Global Sources has opted not to issue a press release to elaborate on the move by NASDAQ.

Under the "SEC Filings" section of its corporate website, Global Sources has posted a Form 6-K SEC Filing.

Even after reading the Form 6K, I am not clear what information NASDAQ wanted or what information Global Sources supplied to allow shares to begin trading again. I am not even entirely clear what the SEC Form 6K is for - something about foreign private issuers of securities and providing information uniformly across markets. Investopedia helped somewhat.

Unless the company was legally prohibited from doing so, it is clear to me that Global Sources should have issued a press release simply clarifying what information NASDAQ requested, why the company had not provided it previously and what information was subsequently sent to NASDAQ.

It seems likely that this was a very minor issue which was obviously easily resolved - judging by how quickly trading of shares resumed. So from an investor relations and communications standpoint, why ignore the halt in trading and potentially allow uncertainty to creep into the market?

In the current climate, investors in the U.S. are exceedingly suspicious of China-related companies listed in the U.S. (see Sino-Forest, China Forestry, RINO International, China MediaExpress, and on and on).

I know from following the company closely for years that Global Sources is obviously a financially healthy, well-managed company which continues to grow both its top and bottom line. So opting to not issue a simple, short press release offering some additional clarity seems misguided at best.

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