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Oil explorer Rex International unit gets US$1.95m arbitration award

CATALIST-listed oil explorer Rex International Holding on Tuesday said that arbitration between its wholly owned subsidiary, Rex Technology Management (RTM), and HiRex Petroleum Sdn Bhd has concluded - with RTM emerging about US$1.95 million richer following the legal claim.

HiRex is a joint venture company between Rex International's subsidiary, Rex South East Asia, and Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad.

According to Rex International, arbitration between the two parties began on Nov 24, 2016 when RTM sought payment of "not less than US$1.25 million plus interest and costs for services rendered to HiRex". The final award was received on Dec 29, 2017.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitral Tribunal in Geneva, Switzerland, had ordered HiRex to pay RTM a principal sum of US$1.25 million; simple interest of 8.25 per cent per annum on the principal sum from Dec 13, 2014 until the payment date; ICC administrative fees and tribunal expenses of US$52,200; as well as RTM's legal costs and other expenses amounting to 344,054 Swiss francs (S$468,980). The tribunal also dismissed HiRex's counter claim.

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On Oct 10, 2016, HiRex had filed a claim with the High Court of Malaysia against RTM and certain directors of HiRex who hold senior management positions at Rex International, alleging a breach of fiduciary duties owing to HiRex.

This claim was dismissed by the High Court of Malaysia in January 2017. Subsequently in February, HiRex filed a notice of appeal against the ruling. No hearing date has been fixed for this appeal.

In its annual report, Rex International said that management has considered the claims made against its companies and directors, and are of the view that these are "unfounded".

It also believes that it is not liable for the allegations made by HiRex and "accordingly does not believe that it is probable for a provision to be set aside for these claims".

As at 2.29pm on Tuesday, Rex International was trading 6.67 per cent or 0.4 Singapore cent higher to 6.4 Singapore cents apiece. Some 19.23 million shares changed hands, making it one of the most active counters on the Singapore bourse.