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Hoe Leong re-appoints executive director 2 days after his failed re-election

MAINBOARD-LISTED heavy equipment trader Hoe Leong has re-appointed Joseph Liew Yoke Pheng as an executive director - just two days after his re-election was voted down at the company's annual general meeting (AGM).

The quick about-turn prompted a query from the bourse operator Singapore Exchange (SGX). 

In its response on Thursday, Hoe Leong said that proxy forms supporting his re-election from two substantial shareholders - United Overseas Bank and DBS - had arrived past the submission deadline on June 23.

Proxy forms were supposed to have been received by 10am on June 22. The AGM was held two days later.

Had these proxy forms been submitted within the deadline and the banks' shares included in the counting of votes for the resolution on Mr Liew’s re-election, the resolution would have been passed by a majority of votes at the AGM, Hoe Leong said in a June 26 statement.

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At the AGM, 100 per cent of the votes were against his re-election. Mr Liew, 64, was at the time chairman of the board, a member of the nominating committee, and the chief executive officer (CEO).

In contrast, the re-election of two other directors passed with full support. The resolution to issue shares to Mr Liew as the chief executive officer as part of his remuneration package also failed.

Following the AGM, Mr Liew remained as the CEO.

On June 26, Mr Liew was re-appointed as an executive director, board chairman and member of the nominating committee.

The trader also said Mr Liew's appointment will be subject to a shareholder vote at the next general meeting, which should coincide with the presenting of proposals to shareholders for several pending corporate actions, including the proposed amendments to the constitution, or the proposed disposal of two of its vessels.

He was appointed as CEO last October, and was made a director a month later. His then appointment was with the support of UOB and DBS, Hoe Leong said in the response to SGX.

Trading in the company's shares was suspended last September, after the company Hoe Leong was issued a statutory demand from UOB for the payment of a loan of some S$5.7 million, it has been reported.

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