COVID outbreak hits top rubber glove maker

A COVID-19 outbreak has hit Malaysia's Top Glove, the world's biggest rubber glove maker.

After nearly two and a half thousand workers tested positive, hostels on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur went into lockdown.

With police and the army keeping watch.

The firm said some deliveries could be delayed by four weeks, and new orders could take longer to process.

Top Glove's shares slumped by 7.5% on Tuesday (November 24), after the government said 28 factory buildings would be temporarily shut in phases.

The company has about 16,000 employees and runs 47 factories across Malaysia, Thailand, China and Vietnam.

It commands a quarter of the global latex glove market, and has racked up record profits as demand has sky-rocketed due to the pandemic.

Its shares have surged more than four-fold this year, even after Tuesday's fall.

Malaysia makes just under two thirds of the world's rubber gloves -- with Hartalega Holdings and Supermax the other two top manufacturers there.

The coronavirus cluster around the Meru factory and dormitory area is the country's largest active one, and its second largest since the pandemic started.