Sias to meet SingPost's top management

Singapore Post will meet with the Securities Investors Association Singapore (Sias) to discuss concerns about corporate governance issues raised by minority shareholders.

SingPost said the talks will be held once an independent audit has been completed.

The firm has said it will appoint independent auditors to look into corporate governance issues after acknowledging that it had not properly disclosed a director's interest in a 2014 deal due to an "administrative oversight".

Mr Jason Lim, SingPost's assistant vice-president of investor relations, said last Friday: "We would like to assure our shareholders and stakeholders who have supported us over all these years of transforming our postal business that we take corporate governance seriously.

"To the best of our knowledge, there is no serious lapse, but an administrative oversight in the SGX filing of the acquisition of F.S. Mackenzie on July 18, 2014."

Sias had asked for a meeting with SingPost's chairman and independent director, said Sias chief executive David Gerald.

He added yesterday: "We will raise all the issues so far canvassed in the media."

The concerns centre on the "administrative oversight" that resulted in SingPost telling the Singapore Exchange (SGX) that none of its directors had any interest in its 2014 purchase of F.S. Mackenzie, a British-based freight forwarder.

But director Keith Tay Ah Kee had disclosed his interest in the deal and abstained from voting when the board gave its approval in July last year, SingPost said last Tuesday.

SingPost added that Mr Tay's position as non-executive chairman and a shareholder of corporate finance advisory firm Stirling Coleman Capital was disclosed in an announcement on SingPost's 2013 deal to buy Famous Holdings.

Corporate governance expert Mak Yuen Teen, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore Business School and an investor in SingPost, had raised the issues in a series of letters published in the local media.

In a Dec 22 letter, Prof Mak asked about SingPost's public disclosures relating to Mr Tay's possible interest in three acquisitions.

He asked SingPost to clarify whether Mr Tay had recused himself from board discussions about SingPost's acquisition of stakes in local freight forwarder Famous Holdings, F.S. Mackenzie and Famous Pacific Shipping (NZ).

SingPost shares closed up 0.9 per cent or 1.5 cents to $1.625 yesterday from a 12-month low of $1.61 on Thursday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2015, with the headline 'Sias to meet SingPost's top management'. Print Edition | Subscribe