SingPost to appoint special auditors to probe corporate governance issues

Singapore Post Ltd said it will appoint special auditors to investigate corporate governance issues raised by a shareholder.
Singapore Post Ltd said it will appoint special auditors to investigate corporate governance issues raised by a shareholder.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POST

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost) said on Wednesday (dec 23) it will appoint special auditors to investigate corporate governance issues raised by a shareholder, a day after the company said it had not disclosed a director's interest in a 2014 acquisition announcement.

The company had said in a statement on Tuesday it didn't disclose independent director Keith Tay Ah Kee's interest in a 2014 buyout of freight forwarder FS Mackenzie due to an "administrative oversight".

Mr Tay is non-executive chairman and a shareholder of corporate finance advisory firm Stirling Coleman Capital Ltd, which arranged the deal.

SingPost said Mr Tay's position was disclosed during the company's 2013 deal to buy Famous Holdings Pte Ltd, which was also arranged by Stirling Coleman. His position at the firm is also mentioned on SingPost's website and in annual reports.

Mr Tay had abstained from all voting by the board in relation to the FS Mackenzie transaction, said SingPost, whose shareholders include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding.

"I would like to see the special audit go into issues like how was Stirling Coleman selected as the arranger," said Mak Yuen Teen, a professor at a business school in Singapore who holds 1,000 SingPost shares and wrote commentary in Singapore's Business Times on SingPost's corporate governance in December.

The news comes a few days after the company said group chief executive Wolfgang Baier, who oversaw the expansion of the company into businesses related to e-commerce, had resigned to pursue new opportunities.

SingPost shares were flat on Wednesday, while the broader market was up 0.5 per cent.