Simon Murray, a director of Sino- Forest Corp. and chairman of Swiss commodity trader Glencore International Plc, said he has no intention of stepping down from either company.
“I am not planning to resign from Glencore and not from Sino-Forest,” Murray, 71, said today in a telephone interview from Cameroon.
Sino-Forest Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Allen Chan resigned Aug. 28, two days after the Ontario Securities Commission ordered the suspension of share trading in the Chinese timberland operator. Canada’s main securities watchdog said some directors of the Hong Kong- and Mississauga, Ontario- based company may have engaged in acts “related to its securities” that they “knew or should have known” perpetuated a fraud. Murray was not named in the agency’s statement.
Murray declined to comment on Sino-Forest pending the outcome of an independent review of allegations by Carson Block’s Muddy Waters LLC research firm that the company overstated its timber holdings.
Sino-Forest has tumbled 67 percent in Toronto since Muddy Waters’ June 2 report. The company has denied Muddy Waters’ allegations and established an independent committee of directors to examine and respond to the accusations.
Chan and Murray were among Sino-Forest insiders who sold C$81 million ($83 million) of shares in the tree-farm operator since the end of 2006, regulatory filings show. Chan sold C$3 million and Murray C$10.8 million.
Murray said he used proceeds to acquire a stake in Greenheart Group Ltd., Sino-Forest’s Hong Kong-listed unit.
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