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SGX to undertake 'thorough investigation' into Swiber, to take action if any breach

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The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been closely monitoring the situation at Swiber Holdings and will be undertaking a thorough investigation into the developments in the offshore-related company, Tan Boon Gin, chief regulatory officer at SGX said on Thursday.

THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been closely monitoring the situation at Swiber Holdings and will be undertaking a thorough investigation into the developments in the offshore-related company, Tan Boon Gin, chief regulatory officer at SGX said on Thursday.

"Listed companies are obliged to make timely and complete disclosures of material information. In Swiber Holdings Limited's case, key disclosures, including the first set of announcements on July 8, 2016 were made only after queries from SGX,'' Mr Tan told the media.

He said SGX would like to remind the market that shareholders have a right to be kept well-informed at all times, particularly when companies are facing business adversities.

"We have been closely monitoring the situation at Swiber and will be undertaking a thorough investigation into the developments there. The company and relevant individuals should expect us to take action if any breach of the Listing Rules is found," Mr Tan added.

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Early Thursday, Swiber shocked market observers when it announced that it has filed an application to place the company under provisional liquidation. The winding-up application will be heard in court on Aug 19.

The company - once a darling in the Singapore oil and gas sector - also said its executive director and vice chairman Francis Wong, executive director and chief financial officer Leonard Tay and executive director Nitish Gupta have all resigned "to seek new opportunities".

This comes at a time when the company is facing letters of demand for about US$25.9 million in total, and is seeking legal advice.

On Monday, the company said it was facing just US$15.2 million in outstanding demand letters for which legal proceedings had not commenced, and US$4.76 million of outstanding demand letters that had not been paid off.

Shares of Swiber have been halted from trading since July 27. At the time of the halt, the shares were trading around S$0.109 each, down 0.2 Singapore cent, or 1.80 per cent.

Swiber came under some flak from market observers after it dismissed the termination of a US$21 million contract as "immaterial'', when its market value is slightly above S$50 million earlier this week.

A reader also questioned the circumstances leading to the termination of the contract, details of which remain undisclosed even though Swiber has said it is "disputing such termination".

Readers also took the firm to task over its tardy disclosure of a US$700 million project award, Swiber's first off West Africa.

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