Shares in Sembcorp Marine and Sembcorp Industries remained halted for a second day on Friday, prompting speculation among some analysts about a potential deal between the Singapore rig builder and its parent company.
"Given the concurrent nature of the trading halts, we believe that any announcement would involve a form of transaction between the two companies," analysts at Citi said in a report.
Both Sembcorp Marine and Sembcorp Industries declined to comment.
Sembcorp Marine's shares closed up 17% at S$0.725 on Wednesday, giving the company a market value of S$1.78 billion ($1.28 billion). The shares have lost 36% this year.
State investor Temasek Holdings-backed Sembcorp Industries owns a 61% stake in loss-making Sembcorp Marine.
It has been viewed as a privatization or divestment target for the last few years due to a prolonged downturn in the rig-building sector.
Temasek's bid last year to buy control of conglomerate Keppel Corp, which owns an offshore and marine unit, boosted expectations of consolidation in the local rig building sector.
Earlier on Friday, Sembcorp Marine said its Brazilian subsidiary had entered into a revolving facility agreement for up to $500 million.
A condition in the agreement says terms would have to be reviewed if Sembcorp Industries ceased to be the company's majority shareholder.
($1 = 1.3929 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely)