May 25, 2017 / 5:59 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 2-Hong Kong regulator orders trading halt of Tianhe Chemicals shares

* Tianhe says seeking legal advice regarding its rights

* Chemical producer seeks advice on how to address SFC’s concerns

* SFC did not immediately respond to requests for comment (Adds SFC declines to comment in 4th paragraph)

HONG KONG, May 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s securities regulator on Thursday ordered a trading halt in all shares of Tianhe Chemicals Group Ltd, without giving further details.

The move comes despite shares in the specialty chemical producer not having traded since early 2015, when Tianhe requested a halt.

Last month, Tianhe said media reports claiming financial irregularities had been uncovered at the company and that the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) had directed a trading halt of the stock were “factually incorrect and misleading”.

Tianhe said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange it was seeking legal advice regarding its rights and how to address the SFC’s concerns. It did not elaborate. The SFC declined to comment.

The SFC can issue so-called Rule 8 directions under Hong Kong’s listing rules “on grounds that the market is misinformed, disorderly or unfair”.

Tianhe requested a trading halt in its shares in March 2015 due to a delay in the publication of its 2014 annual results and the company launched an investigation into audit issues at the time. Its shares had remained suspended since then.

Previous SFC trading halt orders include China Huishan Dairy Holding Co Ltd and Hanergy Thin Film Power Group , which the regulator investigated after its shares mysteriously tumbled 50 percent in a matter of minutes.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Jacqueline Wong

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