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MAS, CAD investigating Eagle Hospitality Trust directors, officers

MAS_copyright SPH.jpg
The probe is in connection with suspected breaches of disclosure requirements under Section 203 of the Securities and Futures Act, MAS and CAD said in a joint statement on Friday.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force have launched a joint investigation into current and former directors as well as officers responsible for managing Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT).

The probe is in connection with suspected breaches of disclosure requirements under Section 203 of the Securities and Futures Act, MAS and CAD said in a joint statement on Friday.

They added that the investigation stems from a referral by the Singapore bourse operator's regulatory arm, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo).

On April 20, MAS and SGX RegCo announced they were looking into possible breaches of laws, regulations and listing rules, in relation to the issues surrounding EHT's real estate investment trust, Eagle Hospitality Reit (EH-Reit).

The scope of the joint investigation will be widened if the evidence obtained reveals that other offences may have been committed, MAS and CAD said on Friday.

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EHT is a stapled trust comprising EH-Reit and Eagle Hospitality Business Trust.

Trading in EHT stapled securities was voluntarily suspended on March 24, after its managers received a demand for the immediate repayment of a US$341 million syndicated loan.

The event of default was triggered by the non-payment of rent by Urban Commons - EHT's sponsor and the master lessee of EHT's properties - to EHT. Urban Commons also failed to provide the full sum of security deposits due under the master lease agreements to EHT.

Separately, EHT's managers on Wednesday night disclosed that Hong Kong-listed property conglomerate Far East Consortium International (FECIL) has inked a non-binding conditional proposal with Urban Commons, which could see FECIL acquiring a 70 per cent stake in EH-Reit's manager and its trustee-manager.

The special committee handling the restructuring and strategic review of EHT's business has had to abandon other expressions of interest because Urban Commons earlier signed a letter of intent with FECIL providing for a 90-day exclusivity period that expires on July 14.

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