SGX publicly reprimands SingPost over FSM deal

SGX has reprimanded SingPost for breaching listing rules during the acquisition for F.S. Mackenzie in 2014.
SGX has reprimanded SingPost for breaching listing rules during the acquisition for F.S. Mackenzie in 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore Post was reprimanded by the Singapore Exchange for breaching the listing rules in F.S. Mackenzie (FSM) acquisition.

In the deal announcement in July 2014, SingPost had stated that none of its directors had any interest in the deal, when in fact then independent director Keith Tay was a 34.5 per cent shareholder of the arranger of the acquisition.

This was later revealed in 2015, triggering scrutiny from the public and the authorities while forcing SingPost to undergo special audit and corporate governance review.

The findings from these reviews showed that SingPost did not comply with listing 703(4)(a), which requires disclosures to be "factual, clear and succinct", the bourse said in a press release on Thursday (May 4).

There was also a breach of listing rule 719(1), which requires robust and effective internal controls to address financial, operational and compliance risks.

Mr Tay was said to have noticed the omission of his interest in the deal, but a follow-up clarification was not made immediately due to the legal adviser's view that it would not be necessary.

SingPost board was not informed of the inaccuracy, and a public clarification was not made until 17 months after the initial announcement.

The SGX noted the efforts taken by SingPost to tighten its governance policies since then. The case has been referred to the relevant authorities.