Singapore Airlines proposes to change auditors to KPMG after 43 years with Ernst & Young

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines is proposing to appoint KPMG as its auditor in place of Ernst & Young, the company announced in a letter to shareholders which was released on Wednesday.

Ernst & Young has served as external auditor of the carrier since 1972, it said.

The letter said that the directors of the airline were of the view that the proposed change was "timely", and in accordance with the carrier's corporate governance initiatives.

Ernst & Young LLP will not be seeking re-appointment at the airline's coming 2015 AGM, said the letter.

The airline said KPMG was selected for the proposed appointment after the airline's audit committee evaluated proposals from various audit firms. It said its audit committee took into consideration the adequacy of the audit firm's resources, its experience, which partner it would assign to the audit and the size and complexity of the company and its subsidiaries.

KPMG's audit partner who will be in charge of the audit is Tham Sai Choy, who is a Fellow of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, as well as of the Singapore Institute of Directors.

Mr Tham has had more than 30 years of experience in providing audit and advisory services to a variety of clients, including companies listed on the SGX. He has been the managing partner of KPMG Singapore since 2010 and currently also serves as chairman of KPMG in the Asia Pacific.

Separately, SIA's board of directors has also proposed the renewal of the company's share buyback mandate at the 2015 AGM.

At the 2014 extraordinary general meeting, shareholders had approved the renewal of a mandate to enable the company to purchase or otherwise acquire issued ordinary shares in the capital of the company. This mandate is set to expire on the date of the 2015 AGM.

As at June 3, the company had purchased or acquired an aggregate of 6.98 million shares by way of on-market share buybacks. The total consideration paid for all purchases was S$68.98 million, excluding commission, brokerage and goods and services tax.

The AGM is scheduled to be held on July 30.

jkoh@sph.com.sg