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Oriental Group auditor disclaims opinion

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 21:02
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PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS (PwC), the auditor for suspended Catalist-listed steel trader and manufacturer Oriental Group, has disclaimed its opinion for the company's 2015 financial statements.

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS (PwC), the auditor for suspended Catalist-listed steel trader and manufacturer Oriental Group, has disclaimed its opinion for the company's 2015 financial statements.

In Oriental's delayed annual report, released on Thursday, PwC said that it was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion.

This was due to various reasons, such as the ongoing investigation of the company's server hacking on May 19, an ongoing independent review and special audit of possible irregularities, material uncertainties at the firm, the lack of compliance with financial reporting standards on asset impairments, and various other matters regarding the group's operations in Singapore and China.

For 2015, losses in the published financial statements amounted to 88.3 million yuan (S$18 million), double the 44.8 million yuan initially reported in unaudited statements. This was mainly due to an additional provision of 37.6 million yuan on the impairment of trade and other receivables, and property, plant and equipment.

In an announcement, lead independent director Chua Hung Meng said that the company has ceased its steel trading operations in South-east Asia since July. The company is exploring various options to keep it going, such as disposing lossmaking operations in China, negotiating payment and loan deadline extensions, and a share placement.

The company last traded at S$0.114. It has been suspended from trading since March.

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