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SGX Defeats Bid by China Sky Director to Quash Reprimand

Singapore Exchange Ltd. won a ruling against China Sky Chemical Fibre Co.’s former independent director Yeap Wai Kong, who had sought to quash the bourse’s public reprimand against him in December.

Singapore Exchange, also known as SGX, “fully and substantively” gave Yeap a fair hearing by giving him notice of its intention to reprimand and full opportunities between August and December to be heard, Singapore High Court Judge Philip Pillai wrote in a 44-page ruling yesterday. Yeap called the verdict “disappointing” in a mobile-phone text message.

The exchange had been “tyrannous in the use of its strength,” Yeap’s lawyer Tan Cheng Han argued in court at the start of the hearing in April. China Sky and its directors clashed with Singapore regulators following their refusal to heed a Nov. 16 directive by the exchange to appoint a special auditor.

The Commercial Affairs Department was also probing the Chinese nylon-fiber maker for possible breaches of securities laws after a “number of irregularities” were discovered by the SGX.

Yeap was “part of a collective and determined effort on the part of the directors of the company to stymie the exchange’s repeated efforts to get to the bottom of issues,” Singapore Exchange’s lawyer Davinder Singh of Drew & Napier LLC had argued.

China Sky had intended to comply with the exchange’s directive, contrary to the bourse’s impression, and had sought to understand the basis for appointing the auditor, Yeap, said in a Feb. 26 e-mailed statement.

Special Auditor

The bourse, in a statement yesterday following the court ruling, again urged China Sky to appoint a special auditor without delay.

“Listed companies and their directors have the responsibility to see to it that there is proper disclosure and adherence to listing rules,” SGX said.

Yeap, who was appointed to China Sky’s board in May 2011, quit in January. China Sky’s two other independent directors Er Kwong Wah and Lai Seng Kwoon quit on the same day as Yeap, citing non-compliance with the bourse’s order.

The case is Yeap Wai Kong v Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. OS72/2012 in the Singapore High Court.

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