SINGAPORE: Authorities have launched a joint investigation into Hyflux and its current and former directors for suspected false statements and disclosure requirement breaches, as well as potential non-compliance with accounting standards.
In a joint statement on on Tuesday (Jun 2), the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) said the investigation follows a more than year-long review of Hyflux-related disclosure, and compliance with accounting and auditing standards.
In April 2019, ACRA, MAS and the Singapore Exchange Regulation started a review to see if Hyflux had breached any regulations.
The review disclosed reasons to suspect that offences may have been committed.
“The investigation will ascertain whether there were lapses in Hyflux’s disclosures concerning the Tuaspring Integrated Water and Power Project (Tuaspring IWPP), as well as non-compliance with accounting standards between 2011 and 2018,” the statement said.
CAD, MAS and ACRA have also obtained accounting and other corporate records from the firm and its subsidary, Tuaspring, as part of the investigation.
Hyflux’s directors and key officers involved in the Tuaspring Integrated Water and Power Project have also been interviewed by the authorities.
The authorities said the review by the regulators was an “extensive exercise covering the announcements and financial statements issued by Hyflux a period of eight years between 2011 and 2018 inclusive”.
“The current investigation was launched as soon as the review was completed, as the review disclosed reason to suspect that offences had been committed,” they said.
When asked how long the investigation would take, CAD, MAS and ACRA said an update will be provided when an outcome is available to the investigation.
This marks the latest twist in events surrounding Hyflux’s high-profile debt restructuring attempt which started in May 2018 and has since been marked by unexpected developments, including a public protest by angry retail investors and national water agency PUB seizing control of its biggest asset, the Tuaspring IWPP, last May.
READ: From making waves to drowning in red ink: Hyflux, Tuaspring and how a business giant came undone
Hyflux’s fate appears to be hanging in the balance again after it said on May 30 that its S$400 million rescue deal with Middle Eastern suitor Utico has “ceased”.
Hyflux’s ongoing reorganisation process will not be affected by the criminal investigation, the authorities said.
“The investigations are not intended to interfere with Hyflux’s current reorganisation plans as they focus on determining the role of the subjects in the alleged disclosure lapses and non-compliance with accounting standards between 2011 and 2018,” they added.
Published at Tue, 02 Jun 2020 12:10:49 +0000