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Best World has until Monday morning to respond to SGX queries

BEST World International has been granted an extension until 8.30 on Monday morning to answer queries from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) about the relationship between the company and its primary import agents.

The extension from the initial Friday deadline was granted at the company's request. It was given so that the company can "prepare and approve an announcement that will fully address the issues raised in the queries", Best World said in a statement on Friday night.

SGX's regulatory arm had asked Best World on Thursday: "Please confirm if Koh Kim Chuan, shareholder and legal representative of Changsha Best Commodity Trading Co ... is the brother-in-law of Dora Hoan."

"Please state the board's basis for the statement that the primary import agent is an independent party of the group," it added.

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Also, SGX asked if Changsha Best, the primary import agent, and its directors, substantial shareholders, key management and associates, have any direct or indirect relationship with Best World and its directors and substantial shareholders as well as associates.

It also asked when the group commenced dealings with Changsha Best.

On Thursday morning, Best World had vouched for Changsha Best's independence while confirming that it was indeed Best World's primary import agent, in response to a professional shortseller Bonitas Research.

But an anonymous report by Valiant Varriors later that morning linked Changsha Best to a person named Koh Kim Chuan. A person by that name is married to Mary Huan, believed to be the sister of Best World co-founder Dora Hoan, the report said.

SGX Regco suspended trading in Best World shares that afternoon. That suspension will continue until it has completed its investigations into the veracity of the company's China sales.

On Thursday, Best World bought back some 4.88 million shares between S$1.32 and S$1.75 to the tune of S$7.77 million, according to the daily share buyback notice.