Universal Resource suspends trading amid investigation

SINGAPORE - Universal Resource and Services has requested to suspend trading of its shares pending an investigation into what appears to be missing cash at one of its subsidiaries.

Universal Resource and Services was known as Sky China Petroleum Services until a name change in April 2013.

In a statement to the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday, the oil services provider said that initial reports from its auditors showed a mismatch between the management accounts of wholly-owned unit Renqiu Kai Yuan Petroleum Technology Development and its actual cash balances.

Although the management accounts of Renqiu Kai Yuan provided to Universal showed that it had a cash balance of 44.6 million yuan (S$9.21 million) as at Dec 31 last year, bank statements from Renqiu City Rural Credit Union show that Renqiu Kai Yuan's bank account only had a cash balance of 186 yuan and 166 yuan as at Dec 31, 2016 and Feb 12, 2017 respectively.

"These are Moore Stephens' initial report and the company is awaiting further reports from Moore Stephens," Universal said.

It said it had engaged auditing firm Moore Stephens in Singapore last Friday (Feb 10) to verify and confirm the cash balances of Renqiu Kai Yuan and another wholly-owned unit in China, SKY Petroleum Technology Development (Tianjin).

Universal has also set up an independent working committee, comprising independent directors Mr David Chin Yew Choong and Mr Chow Wai San, to deal with the matters.

The committee is seeking legal advice and the shares are suspended pending further reports and the completion of a special audit.

"In the meantime, the company has taken immediate steps to secure the assets, documents and seals of its subsidiaries and to protect the interests of the group," Universal said.