The Chain: BREAKING – IOI shares trade 5% higher on 3x daily average volume after RSPO lifts suspension, key palm oil buyers response uncertain

IOI Corporation’s (IOI:MK) shares railed 5% to 4.45 ringgit from 4.23 ringgit on the news that the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) informed IOI that it will lift its suspension of IOI effective August 8, 2016.

Volume of shares traded was 3x higher than the 12-month average of 5.26 million shares traded daily after the news was announced as investors saw a potential upside to IOI returning to selling its palm oil into the higher-margin RSPO market.

While trading closed at 4.45 ringgit, intraday trading volume was greatest at 4.42 ringgit with close to 4 million shares traded, slightly less than the 12-month average volume.

RSPO lifted its suspension of IOI because IOI has agreed to submit periodic updates over the next 12 months describing their achievements at stopping illegal deforestation by their subsidiaries and resolving specific cases of illegal deforestation. The RSPO Complaints Panel will also commission an independent “boots on the ground” team of experts to verify IOI’s mitigation efforts.

After six years of complaints by NGO watchdogs, RSPO suspended IOI in March because IOI failed to prevent its subsidiaries from illegal deforestation in Indonesia contrary and against RSPO’s principles and criteria. As a result, 27 large corporate buyers suspended or terminated business relationships with IOI.

In response to its RSPO suspension effective April 1, 2016, IOI’s share price fell 17% from 4.96 ringgit to 4.14 ringgit.

NGO watchdog Aidenvironment reacted cautiously to the news. Peter de Haan, Aidenvironment’s Asia head stated:

“It’s just too early. We can only hope that IOI will stay true to the agreement.”

Chain Reaction Research previously reported financial analysis of IOI’s suspension given that 27 of its major corporate buyers – including Cargill – had suspended or terminated business relationships with IOI given IOI’s inability to stop illegal deforestation by its subsidiaries.