Abterra board to appoint compliance adviser following rap from regulator

SINGAPORE - The board of Abterra said it will immediately take steps to comply with the Singapore Exchange's (SGX's) direction to appoint a compliance adviser to advise the company on its continuing listing obligations.

It also take a serious view of the public reprimand by SGX against two senior management staff for breaches of listing rules .

In a statement on Jan 7, the exchange said the firm's executive chairman and director Cai Sui Xin and chief executive and executive director Lau Yu had failed to act in the interest of shareholders in relation to the acquisition of a 22.8 per cent interest in Zuoquan Xinrui Metallurgy Mine Co (Xinrui).

The mainboard-listed minerals and resources company had also failed to make immediate announcements on two occasions, which would likely have resulted in the establishment of a false market for Abterra shares.

SGX said it has directed Abterra to appoint a compliance adviser to advise the firm on its continuing listing obligations and referred the case to the relevant authorities.

SGX-listed companies were also advised to consult SGX before appointing Mr Cai and Mr Lau as a director or member of their management.

In a statement on Jan 8, Abterra board said the nominating committee had convened a meeting to consider the matters raised in the reprimand, and to draw up recommendations for its consideration.

The board will then convene a meeting at the next earliest opportunity to discuss and consider the recommendations.

It added that since the breaches occurred in 2009 and 2010, the company had also taken steps to safeguard the interests including appointing PwC to conduct an external and independent review in respect of certain matters in relation to the 2010 financial statements.

PwC completed its review and issued its report to the audit committee on March 20, 2013.

The company immediately took steps to adopt the various recommendations set out in the report including strengthening its merger and acquisition policy.