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Allied Tech gets further time extension for AGM, Q1 results amid probe into missing S$33m

CATALIST-LISTED Allied Technologies has received another time extension from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to hold its annual general meeting (AGM), release its financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, and issue its sustainability report for fiscal 2018.

The precision engineering firm will hold its AGM and announce its Q1 results by July 25, and issue the sustainability report by July 10, it said in a filing late on Sunday night.

The company had requested a further extension of 3.5 weeks on June 12.

In the Sunday night filing, Allied Tech said that its auditors, Ernst & Young, will need more time to complete the audit for FY18, as they are still reviewing management’s responses and waiting for the group to provide certain documents especially in light of the S$33 million in missing funds held in the escrow account with law firm JLC Advisors.

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Allied Tech made headlines in May when news broke that some S$33 million of its funds parked with JLC Advisors reportedly went missing while JLC managing partner Jeffrey Ong's whereabouts were unknown. He fled to Malaysia but has been arrested, repatriated and charged in Singapore with 22 cheating offences, none yet related to Allied Tech. Ong's case will again come up for mention on July 11.

Allied Tech in its Sunday filing said that since the auditors’ last review, there have been developments that require reassessment and additional audit procedures.

The auditors need to relook the forecast and impairment issues for both the Asia Box Office acquisition and the Activpass acquisition given that the escrow funds have not been recovered.

They will also have to conduct a going concern assessment for all subsidiaries within the group, and review the treatment of the escrow funds.

The FY18 financial statements and certain key sections of the FY18 annual report will need to be updated, the company said.

On June 14, Allied Tech appointed PwC as independent special auditor, as directed by SGX’s regulatory arm, to investigate the circumstances surrounding certain transactions, including the placing of the missing escrow funds with JLC Advisors.

PwC will also look into whether there was any potential breach of the Companies Act, Catalist rules, Securities and Futures Act and other laws and regulations, and review Allied Tech's corporate governance and internal controls and propose remediation actions and areas of improvement.

Allied Tech has also adjourned its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) - originally convened on June 4 - to take place only after the completion of the special audit. The date, time and place for the EGM will be announced in due course.

SGX had earlier granted the company a time extension to hold its AGM and announce its Q1 FY19 results by July 1, as well as to issue its sustainability report together with the annual report by June 14.

According to Catalist rules, Allied Tech was originally supposed to convene its AGM by April 30. It was also required to release its Q1 results by May 15 and issue the sustainability report by May 31.

Trading in Allied Tech shares have been suspended since early May. The company recommended on May 8 that its trading halt be converted to a voluntary trading suspension until the concerns raised by its auditors have been resolved and a special audit has been undertaken.

Its shares last traded at 1.1 Singapore cents on May 2, before it requested for the halt on May 3.