Colonial hit badly after share trading halt lifted

4th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Shares of Spanish property company Inmobiliaria Colonial took another hammering yesterday after resuming trading.

4 January 2008

MADRID - Shares of Spanish property company Inmobiliaria Colonial took another hammering yesterday after resuming trading.

The National Securities Commission suspended trading in Colonial on Wednesday as it sought an explanation for sharp falls in the company's share price at the end of last year. The company attributed the 40-percent fall in its share price in the two days before the New Year break to the unwinding equity-swap positions on its stock.

Colonial's shares at one point were down 23 percent on Thursday, at a new all-time low of EUR 1.44. The stock subsequently recovered some ground to close off 13.30 percent at EUR 1.63. Despite having a relatively small free float of 23 percent of its capital, the number of shares changing hands yesterday amounted to over 90 million.

Colonial has lost about three quarters of its market value since reaching a record high last year of EUR 6.30.

The plunge in Colonial's share price prompted chairman and leading shareholder Luis Portillo to step down from the board. Portillo, who has a 40.4-percent stake, said Wednesday he had not exercised positions he holds in Colonial and was not responsible for the steep falls in the share price.

Colonial pulled other property firms lower, with the sector index going down 4.13 percent.

[Copyright El Pais / Adrian Soto 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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