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Rich Capital asks for AGM extension on Batam project woes

CATALIST-LISTED real estate firm Rich Capital Holdings, now embroiled in legal proceedings over a Batam project, wants to push back its annual general meeting (AGM) deadline.

The company must hold its AGM for its latest financial year by July 31, but it has applied to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to extend the date to Oct 31, the board said on Friday.

Rich Capital pointed to an ongoing dispute with its subsidiary's Indonesian joint-venture partner as one reason that it cannot convene the AGM on time.

Rich Capital's 80 per cent-owned Oxley Batam and partner Karya Indo Batam were working to jointly build and run an integrated development, Oxley Convention City, in Batam, Indonesia.

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But the tussle over project management and payment may lead to material changes involving the financial accounts of joint-venture company Oxley Karya Indo Batam, the board has noted.

Also, Rich Capital needs more time to assess the goodwill on the acquisition of Oxley Batam and its joint-venture entity, said the board, adding that the company would also have to get an independent third-party valuation for the land in the Batam project. Rich Capital bought the majority stake in Oxley Batam from mainboard-listed Oxley Holdings in a S$10.39 million deal in 2018.

On top of that, Rich Capital is engaging a professional firm to carry out an independent review, so the company might be able to announce key findings and take shareholders' questions at its AGM if the date of the meeting were to be moved back, the board suggested.

Rich Capital earlier said that it would put together an independent review over the appointment in 2018 of the Batam project's main contractor, Rich-Link Construction, which is owned by Rich Capital chairman Wang Zhen Wen. Karya Indo Batam had flagged a potential conflict of interest over the appointment.

Rich-Link Construction has also not been able to deliver an advance payment guarantee of S$2 million owed to Rich Capital - a sum that the bourse operator had suggested could take some strain off the group's working capital after auditors raised going concern issues in May.

Executive director Kuek Tee Meng quit on June 20, citing "unresolved differences" with the board over the recovery of the advance payment and plans to terminate Rich-Link Construction.

The AGM extension application was made to the SGX on July 18, and the board said that Rich Capital will also submit a similar request to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Shares of Rich Capital have been suspended from trading since June 27. The counter last closed at 0.3 Singapore cent.