SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) – Activist investor Quarz Capital Management Ltd has turned its sights on Singapore, calling on retailer and real-estate developer Metro Holdings to return excess cash to investors.

Metro’s net cash holdings of S$393 million is high compared with other companies listed on the Singapore stock exchange, and accounts for more than half its market capitalization, Quarz said in a letter to the management and board obtained by Bloomberg News. Metro shares rose 2.2 per cent at 10:13 am in Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 4).

The shares, which closed on Monday at 91.5 cents, trade about 40 per cent below book value, Quarz said in the letter. The company should pay a 21 cents-a-share one-off dividend to return cash to investors, as well as provide a clearer strategy for its real estate division, strengthen investor relations and align management pay more with the firm’s long-term profitability and share price, according to the letter.

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