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Corporate governance probe: SingPost names PwC as special auditor

SINGAPORE Post (SingPost) has tapped PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the special auditor for a probe into the postal and e-commerce group's corporate governance, it said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday after the market closed.

The corporate governance issues that PwC will investigate surround the interest of a SingPost director, Keith Tay Ah Kee, in the group's acquisition of stakes in three companies: Famous Holdings, FS Mackenzie and Famous Pacific Shipping (NZ), it noted.

SingPost added that PwC would specifically review whether SingPost's constitution, internal policies and procedures - including those related to evaluation and approval of M&A transactions and conflicts of interest - and legal obligations were complied with in connection with the three acquisitions.

"In selecting the special auditor, the company worked to identify an established and reputable audit firm which could act professionally and objectively. The company is satisfied that the special auditor has performed its own internal procedures to determine that no conflict of interest exists that would impair its ability to discharge its professional responsibilities in relation to the work to be carried out by the special auditor," SingPost said in its statement. "As an added measure to ensure independence of advice, the company has required that no partner or auditor of the special auditor who has performed an audit or acted as consultant to the company shall be involved in this."

It also said that a "corporate governance review" by the board was underway and that the chairman of the audit committee, Soo Nam Chow, has been tasked to lead both the special audit exercise and the corporate governance review.