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Asia Fashion CEO steps down; company responds to SGX queries over resignation of two board members on Nov 6

THE chief executive officer (CEO) of Singapore-listed Asia Fashion Holdings, Airy Wang Jie Yao, has stepped down from her role with effect from Nov 14 due to personal reasons. This decision was made on her own accord. Ms Wang, 31, held the position of CEO since March 29, 2018.

In her role, she oversaw the overall operations of the group, exploring investment opportunities and was in charge of marketing and relations that the company has with the public, government and investors, Asia Fashion said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange after the market closed on Wednesday.

The company has commenced the search for a new CEO. In the meantime, Han Yuegao, the company's executive director, will take over her duties until a new CEO has been appointed.

Separately, Asia Fashion responded to SGX queries in relation to the resignation of independent and non-executive directors Joseph Kwok Wei Woon and Lee Ka Shao on Nov 6. Mr Kwok cited personal reasons as well as outstanding director’s fees of S$62,500 which were owing since July 1, 2017. This equates to approximately S$4,167 per month.

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The company said in its response to the Singapore bourse that Mr Kwok's resignation had been due to the demanding nature of his full time job in 2018, with 2019 expected to be another intensive year for him.

SGX also queried why the company had been unable to pay his fees when it reported cash holdings of 109 million yuan (S$21.6 million) as at Sept 30, 2017. To which, Asia Fashion said the money was held by Shanghai Daiyoulong New Materials, its wholly foreign-owned enterprise in Shanghai, and that it was not able to transfer to the company’s Hong Kong bank account legally due to the foreign exchange control in mainland China.

Mr Kwok's directors fees from July 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 and April 1, 2017 to June 30 2017 were settled respectively after the completion of a placement Dec 7, 2016 and the issuance of convertible bond on June 2, 2017.

It added: "The outstanding director’s fee to Mr Kwok was included into the item of 'other payables and accruals' in the company’s financial statement for FY2018 announced on Aug 29." As such, Asia Fashion said, it had no amounts owing to independent directors in its financial statements for FY2018. 

Meanwhile, Asia Fashion said that Mr Lee's increased workload from his personal business in 2018 was why he left the company's board. On why both Mr Lee and Mr Kwok had resigned on the same day, the company said that were no other reasons other than those highlighted above.

Asia Fashion said that it is identifying suitable candidates, and will do its best to comply with listing rules requirements to find new independent directors within two months of Mr Lee and Mr Kwok's resignation.

Its shares have been suspended on the SGX since August 2018.