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Best World International, under probe, asks for more time to prepare documents as Covid-19 hits

MAINBOARD-LISTED skincare product company Best World International, which is facing a bourse probe over its sales model in China, has again asked for more time to hold its annual general meeting (AGM), plus an extension to the deadline for its fourth-quarter results release.

While independent reviewer PwC “has substantially completed the review” of issues such as the validity of certain sales and Best World’s business relationship with its primary import agent, the board said that Best World has yet to finalise its financial statements for FY2018 and FY2019.

Now, citing the travel curbs and other restrictions that China and other countries have adopted to contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, the board said that employees of both the company and its advisers have been unable to resume work as planned.

“These conditions have disrupted the company’s ability to facilitate the flow of certain outstanding information and documents to the independent reviewer and the auditors, as well as the company’s ability to finalise its financial statements in a timely manner,” the board said.

As such, Best World now expects its independent review report to be finalised by March 15, with an executive summary to be out by March 20, according to an updated indicative timetable. The report and executive summary had previously been scheduled for release in early February 2020.

The postponed AGM for FY2018 - which Best World had earlier told the bourse could be held by the end of February 2020 - may now have to take place by June 30, 2020, the board said.

It also asked for a two-month extension for its fourth-quarter results, to April 30, 2020, and for a five-month extension for its FY2019 AGM, until Sept 30, 2020.

Trading in Best World shares has been suspended since May 2019, as the Singapore Exchange investigates the revelation that the company’s biggest customer, which was also its primary import agent in China, was owned by the chief executive’s brother-in-law.