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Top Glove: Delay in Hong Kong listing a temporary issue

10/06/2021 03:31 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 -- Top Glove Corp Bhd has viewed the delay in its Hong Kong listing caused by the United States (US) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import ban as a temporary issue and will not hamper its long-term vision from the flotation.

Founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said it would be a matter of time for the US CBP to lift the import ban over concerns about forced labour.

“The US CBP’s import ban that has caused us a delay in the Hong Kong listing is a temporary issue... we are talking about just a few more months.

“We see the listing in Hong Kong creating long-term benefits, such as upgrading the standard of gloves, branding and value (of the company),” he said at the company’s third-quarter ended May 31, 2021 (Q3 FY2021) virtual briefing today.

In March 2021, the CBP told ports in the US to seize Top Glove’s goods after having barred the import of its products in July 2020. 

The CBP cited evidence of forced labour practices at Top Glove’s production facilities across Malaysia.

Lim, in the same month, had said that Top Glove should be listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd by May or June this year.

Asked when the import ban would be lifted, managing director Datuk Lee Kim Meow said there was no fixed timeline given to the company.

“But we have tried our best and I hope it can be lifted soon,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lim emphasised that all the 11 International Labour Organisation indicators of forced labour had been resolved.

“We have done our part, now we just wait for them to verify the payment and remediation to the workers,” he said.

Responding to an analyst’s view that the US government had reduced glove purchases compared with last year after US hospitals claimed that they had enough supply of the protective gear, Lee believes that the US government would remain alert and there was a need for them to stockpile the essential item.

“Western governments had been caught by surprise when the pandemic broke out early last year.

“Now, given that the number of new cases has been stabilising, it would be a good time for them to look at stockpiling the item.

“This is because experts believe that the virus would still be around for a while, albeit on a much lesser scale,” he said.

According to the presentation slides, sales volume in Northern America shrank 68 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 FY2021, and sales contribution from the region also declined to eight per cent in Q3 FY2021 from 23 per cent in the previous quarter.


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