Stefanie Yuen Thio comments in the Edge: “The Big Reckoning”

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27 November 2018

Stefanie Yuen Thio comments in the Edge: “The Big Reckoning”

Features Stefanie Yuen Thio

In an article published by The Edge Singapore in the 26 November – 2 December 2018 edition on the CAD, MAS and ACRA investigation into Noble Group, Stefanie Yuen Thio said: “Noble, in its heyday, was a large group with complex businesses spanning the globe. With a complex group, there could be a lot of transactions to look into and it is not unreasonable for this to take a longer time. The authorities from the various regulatory agencies have been working closely together throughout the process and, with the high stakes involved, I’m sure they have worked expeditiously.”

On the impact of the investigation on Noble’s restructuring plan, she added: “If any stakeholder feels that he has been prejudiced by any misstatement, then he would probably have to go to court to get an injunction on the restructuring proceeding. The question is whether that stakeholder would have sufficient information to back up the application and whether stopping the restructuring would be for anyone’s benefit. Bear in mind that minority shareholders do not currently have a ready market for their shares. Any injunction might leave them in trading limbo, to their detriment.”

On the whether the regulators have failed in their duty, she commented: “The SGX, unlike the SEC in America, does not have wide-ranging powers of investigations and the ability to impose hefty sanctions. Its role is to be a guardian of the gates, not executioner; and to be diligent in its duties, which it has been. It has been proactive in asking probing questions and in protecting minority shareholders. The fact that the MAS and ACRA are still investigating this is due, in part, to the collaborative efforts of all the regulators to delve into the affairs of the troubled group.”

“I think it’s important that Singapore show that we are dogged in getting to the bottom of issues and that the regulators will investigate with rigour and diligence. It burnishes our reputation for transparency and good governance.”

The article can be found here (The Edge – Paywall)