Sincap director quits over disclosure issues

An executive director of Catalist-listed Sincap Group resigned recently in protest against the company's disclosure practices, after just a few weeks in the role.

Ms Linda Ong felt its executive officers did not disclose enough information and was concerned that it did not make disclosures in a timely manner. She added she was unable to discharge her responsibilities over the firm's half-year results, "given the lack of information and time".

Ms Ong, who had been in the role from July 7, resigned on Aug 12. She had been in charge of devising the group's business strategy and direction, and overseeing operations.

The company announced her resignation on the Singapore Exchange website on Aug 14, prompting the bourse operator to follow up with a request for elaboration on her reasons for quitting and what actions the firm has taken since.

Sincap responded, after markets closed yesterday, that it understood from Ms Ong the reason for her resignation was the lack, or untimely provision, of the draft announcement of the group's half-year results ending June 30, which it posted on Aug 14.

Late last month, Ms Ong had asked chief financial officer Liu Cheng for a draft of the results announcement and other related information to be given to her before anyone else and by Aug 6 - to prepare herself to answer any questions the board might have.

But Mr Liu was able to send it to her only on Aug 7 and, at the same time, circulated it to the rest of the board, the firm's sponsor and the company secretary.

"Mr Liu explained that the reason for his failure to provide the requested information to Ms Ong before Aug 6 was... his tight schedule as, on top of his usual responsibilities as chief financial officer... he was required to spend a considerable amount of time assisting Ms Ong (who was relatively new on the board) on other matters," the company said. These included the proposed acquisition of Orion Energy Resources, first announced on April 1; the irregularities of SCL Murray, announced on May 21; and the misappropriation of funds in Shandong Luneng Taishan Mining, announced on July 28.

The company's audit and risk committee and its board are of the view that "nothing has come to their attention which may render (the unaudited consolidated financial results of the group) false or misleading", the company added.

Sincap shares were unchanged following the announcement of Ms Ong's resignation on Aug 14, but fell 0.6 cent over Wednesday and yesterday to close at 5.3 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2015, with the headline 'Sincap director quits over disclosure issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe