SAIC Motor Corp, China's biggest automaker, said on Thursday it suspended its trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange as it plans a major asset restructuring.
SAIC said it would hold a board meeting before Dec. 9 to discuss the restructuring, and its shares would resume trade after the details of a planned restructuring have been announced.
The trading suspension spurred speculation that the Shanghai-based automaker was in talks with General Motors or other partners over their Chinese joint ventures.
SAIC and GM are 50-50 partners in Shanghai GM, the maker of Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet models, while SAIC-GM-Wuling is a three-way tie-up between SAIC, GM and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile, which makes popular mini vans and mini trucks.
GM, which currently holds a 34 percent stake in SAIC-GM-Wuling, has been seeking to increase its stake in the venture -- SAIC owns 50.1 percent and Liuzhou Wuling 15.9 percent.
Volkswagen AG is another partner of SAIC in China, now the world's biggest auto market.
SAIC and GM have also been exploring business opportunities in India, another major auto market with great potential, SAIC President Chen Hong told reporters recently.
SAIC's spokeswoman declined to comment on market speculation.
GM said in a statement it was constantly holding discussions with its partner to ensure that both companies were improving and prepared for the future.
SAIC's shares have more than quadrupled this year, leading a roughly 80 percent gain on the benchmark index .SSEC. (Reporting by Fang Yan and Jacqueline Wong; Editing by Lincoln Feast)