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Imperium Crown responds to SIAS queries over governance practices

THE Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (SIAS) has queried Catalist-listed real estate developer Imperium Crown over certain decisions as cited in the firm's corporate governance report, a regulatory filing by Imperium on Monday showed.

SIAS questioned the property firm based on its corporate governance report, which showed among other things that it had granted a S$48,000 payout to its former CEO, John Lyn Hian Woon.

In response, the company said that its current executive chairman was of the view that "Mr Lyn had been instrumental during the turbulent period in stabilising the company after its EGM on June 30, 2016".

"When Mr Lyn offered to resign, the chairman decided to make the S$48,000 payout to him, in recognition of his efforts. The audit and nominating committees concurred with the view, and the board ratified this decision subsequently."

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During Imperium Crown's extraordinary general meeting that year, two substantial shareholders had called for the removal of the entire board of directors. In July 2016, the company announced a new board, with Mr Lyn as executive chairman and CEO then. Mr Lyn was later redesignated to the post of executive director, and held onto his CEO post. Imperium Crown later announced in August 2016 that Mr Lyn had resigned.

SIAS also queried Imperium Crown over the rating of Wonder Stone Park, a tourist attraction in Shandong, China for which it holds the 50-year right to operate.

The firm had said that Wonder Stone Park is currently a tourist site with an "AAAA" rating according to a Chinese ratings system for tourist attractions there. In its clarification, Imperium Crown said while Wonder Stone Park was rated as "AAAA" as at May 2017, it lost the rating subsequently after an anonymous inspection was done by the provincial tourism body. The agency noted that the tourist service centre was inadequate and that the toilet facilities were not friendly to visitors with disabilities.

It has been doing further works on the park, and "aims to regain the 'AAAA' rating during the next scheduled inspection, the date of which the company has not been apprised of as yet".

Imperium Crown is currently in talks with events production firm UnUsUaL Ltd to work together on Wonder Stone Park.