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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): The craze for rubber glove stocks has yet to dissipate. The evidence of it is that the big four glove makers, namely Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, are among the top 30 largest stocks in terms of market capitalisation on Bursa Malaysia.

The big four rubber glove counters, collectively, have gained some RM147.42 billion worth of market cap. This is equivalent to 36% of the total market cap increase from all the stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia.

The surge in demand for rubber gloves as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has translated into exorbitant gains. Never before have glove makers made that much profit.

The glove makers succumbed to heavy selldown in August and the first half of September. Just when some quarters thought that the party was over, their share prices just rebounded and recouped most losses.

The world's largest rubber glove manufacturer Top Glove is now just 34 sen or RM2.76 billion market cap short of becoming the largest counter in Malaysia, based on the closing price on Oct 19.

Top Glove soared 409% to RM9.60 yesterday, valuing the company at RM78.17 billion, while Hartalega surged by 210% to settle at RM19, bringing its market cap to RM65.12 billion.

Supermax seems to be winning the race among the four. Its share price leapt more than 14 times, or 1,336%, to close at RM10.70, while Kossan has climbed 248% at RM8.13.

Both Supermax and Kossan joined the ranks of being the top 30 largest counters on Bursa in July. As a result, Maybank IB Research analyst Wong Chew Hann anticipates that the duo may become the 30-component stocks after the review in November or December, should their current rankings sustain.

Supermax is now the 16th largest counter on Bursa with a market cap of RM27.49 billion, from 124th at the start of this year, while Kossan (valued at RM20.8 billion) has climbed to the 23rd spot from the 62nd.

Among the smaller rubber glove makers, namely Comfort Gloves Bhd, Rubberex Corp (M) Bhd and Careplus Group Bhd, have also enjoyed astronomical gains.

Over the seven-month period, Comfort Gloves grew 677% to RM5.08 (valued at RM2.96 billion), while Rubberex jumped 1,223% to RM2.95 (valued at RM2.36 billion) and Careplus surged 1,880% to RM4.04 (valued at RM2.18 billion).

As their share prices have jumped multiple folds, these three rubber glove makers are now valued at more than RM2 billion. This is in contrast with their market cap of between RM100 million and RM361 million during the March equity rout.