Shares of Pacific Andes and its Singapore units plunge to record lows after news of probe

Mr Ng Joo Siang, executive director of China Fishery, a unit of Pacific Andes.
Mr Ng Joo Siang, executive director of China Fishery, a unit of Pacific Andes.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - Pacific Andes International Holdings Ltd. and shares of its units posted record declines after they said the companies are being investigated by regulators in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Pacific Andes International slid 30 per cent as of 11:04 am in Hong Kong, set for its biggest one-day drop as the city's Securities and Futures Commission obtained documents from its office for its probe this week. Pacific Andes Resources Development Ltd. lost 50 per cent in Singapore trading, while its unit China Fishery Group Ltd. plunged 54 per cent, both also set for a record low amid the investigation by the Singapore police and central bank.

"It's quite serious when Commercial Affairs Department gets involved," Bernard Aw, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte in Singapore, said by phone. "They won't announce such investigations unless they have strong evidence of wrongdoing. Investors should take a wait and see approach."

The probe into the frozen seafood and deep-sea fishing companies comes as Singapore seeks to boost investor confidence after an $8 billion stock rout in 2013. The city's financial police warned in its annual report there'll be "many" joint investigations with the central bank to come.

China Fishery's notes also slumped the most on record. The 9.75 per cent 2019 bonds slid 21 cents on the dollar to 73.25 cents as of 10:55 am in Singapore, the lowest since 2012.

The deep sea fishing group, with operations in Peru, said in a exchange filing late Thursday it received a notice from Singapore regulators on the offense under the securities law. The probe dealt a blow to the company, which reported a slump in its third-quarter profit.

China Fishery and its parent Pacific Andes Resources said they will cooperate with the investigation. Geoff Walsh, a spokesman for the Hong Kong parent, said the group is bound by confidentiality rules about the nature of investigations and has no further comments beyond its stock exchange announcements.