SGX reprimands Dapai, three execs for breaches

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has reprimanded suspended backpack maker Dapai International Holdings along with three of its present and past officers for breaches of the listing rules.

Singapore-listed companies are advised to consult the market regulator before appointing Dapai executive chairman Chen Xizhong, former chief executive Chen Yong and former chief financial officer (CFO) Lawrence Lam Pong Sui as directors or management.

SGX made its decision based on findings from separate independent probes by BDO LLP and Kordamentha into transactions by the Dapai Group in China. It said the company had made non-factual, false and misleading statements about the supposed opening of 500 retail outlets in China, as well as payments to certain distributors and contractors involved.

The company's statements in its 2009 and 2010 annual reports - about how its internal controls systems were adequate for Dapai's needs in its business environment - were also found to be non-factual, false and misleading, while the board's confirmations were false and misleading, said SGX.

It asserted that Dapai "had no procedure in place to keep track on how and when the 500 retail outlets were started".

It added that no further action on internal controls was taken, even though both the internal auditor and Mr Terence Ng Kiat Peen, who was CFO from June 2011 to May last year, had highlighted the issue at two meetings in 2012.

SGX said it was of the view that the three executives, who were held responsible for the payment and reporting of the transactions relating to the opening of the outlets, "failed to demonstrate the character and integrity expected of directors and management of listed issuers".

Mr Lam did not ensure that Dapai had a robust system of internal controls addressing financial, operational and compliance risks, and made significant payments for the 500 outlets without supporting documents and without verifying the outlets' existence, said SGX.

It also said the two Mr Chens "have failed to act in the interest of shareholders as a whole by failing to safeguard the interest of the company and shareholders", and none of the trio responded to the show-cause letters issued in relation to their breaches of listing rules.

SGX said it "has referred the case to the relevant authorities".

Dapai faces delisting, and trading has been suspended by the exchange since August last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2018, with the headline 'SGX reprimands Dapai, three execs for breaches'. Print Edition | Subscribe