Calbee Falls up to 17% Amid Trading Error Speculation

Calbee (2229) Inc., a Japanese maker of potato chips, fell as much as 17 percent today, prompting the company to investigate the cause amid speculation the trade was made in error.

The shares lost 17 percent to 8,350 yen at 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo, its biggest drop on record, with 10,200 shares changing hands at that time. The shares were untraded afterwards as bids outnumbered offers by about 18-to-1 as of 9:24 a.m. Shares later pared declines to 1.2 percent, trading at 10,000 yen as of 10:23 a.m.

Calbee is unaware of the cause of the decline in its shares and is making inquiries with brokerages, the company’s equity department manager Hirofumi Noine said today. The brokerages suggested to Calbee that the share drop looks like a trading error, Noine said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange hasn’t been given notice and the bourse is unaware if the trade was an error, exchange spokesman Ryo Takahashi said.

“While we don’t know for sure, looking at the move in its shares, there’s a high chance it was a trading error,” said said Mitsuo Shimizu, a Tokyo-based analyst at Iwai Cosmo Holdings Inc. (8707) “There was a sudden sell order, and after shares fell to their lower limit there were immediate buy orders. If it was a normal trade, shares would fall and activity would slow down.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net; Toshiro Hasegawa in Tokyo at thasegawa6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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