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Biotech stock fluctuation monitoring standard procedural behavior: GTSM

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- GreTai Securities Market (GTSM), Taiwan's over-the-counter securities exchange, yesterday defended its decision to heighten alert on biotech company shares that have been undergoing sizable price fluctuations recently.

GTSM's statement came in the wake of plunges in both over-the-counter and listed biotech shares after local media reported that GTSM recently wrote to securities brokers calling on them to actively remind clients on the investment risks of the volatile biotech stocks.

A dozen listed biotech companies, including Medigen Biotechnology Corporation (基亞), Level Biotechnology Inc. (進階), Genovate Biotechnology Co., LTD. (健亞) and GlycoNex Incorporation (醣聯), saw their prices drop at the limit-down rate of 7 percent in midday trade yesterday.

Fulung Ko, senior vice president of GTSM's trading department, said that as per the market monitoring system, companies that see their share prices decline or rise more than 20 percent in three days, 50 percent in five days, or 100 percent in 30 days will be informed about the price shift.

Ko said this is standard operation and is not designed to cause market panic but rather to notify the company about its current price situation.

Ko said the GTSM never asks firms to inform clients about price changes, adding that it only requests related firms to adopt more caution. Ko noted that GTSM cannot account for individual companies, which may adopt a range of policies about advising investors.

According to Ko, software at the firm analyses prices and automatically informs affected firms, therefore GTSM is not intentionally picking out certain firms.

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