HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Sinolink Worldwide Holdings Ltd (1168.HK) said it is not in talks with Wah Sang Gas Holdings Ltd (8035.HK) over the possible acquisition of assets.

However, it said its 64.24%-owned unit, Panva Gas Holdings Ltd (8132.HK), has been conducting studies on possible merger and acquisition opportunities for a gas-related business.

“These studies are performed on various companies that engage in the gas industry which include, but are not limited to, assets of Wah Sang Gas,” said Sinolink director and chief executive officer Francis Tang Yui Man in a statement.

“The company does not have any negotiations in relation to the possible acquisition,” he added.

He said the studies are at a “preliminary stage” and may or may not lead to any agreement, adding the company will make an announcement when appropriate.

Sinolink’s share price has risen over the past week on strong earnings results and speculation about the acquisition. The China-based gas supplier and property developer reported its net profit jumped to HK$778.05 million in 2003 from 294.43 million a year earlier. (US$1=HK$7.78).

Apart from its strong 2003 net profit, Sinolink has attributed the gains in its share price to its proposed dividends and bonuses. Sinolink proposed a final dividend of HK$0.03 per share and a bonus issue of two new shares of HK$0.01 each for every 10 held.