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SGX RegCo reports accounting irregularities in Vibrant unit Blackgold to authorities

THE Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) has reported accounting irregularities in Vibrant Group's subsidiary Blackgold International Holdings to relevant authorities. It also now requires SGX-listed companies to consult it before appointing any Blackgold management as a director or key management.

A special audit report released by EY Advisory in January 2019 uncovered potential significant misstatements in Chinese coal-miner Blackgold's financial statements. The company appeared to have falsified accounts and grossly inflated sales figures since it was acquired by Vibrant in July 2017.

The report also noted that Blackgold's management may also have recorded fictitious mining fees from subcontractors prior to the acquisition, meaning that the false accounts could date back to when the company was still listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Blackgold's statutory auditors, Crowe Horwath Perth, had issued unqualified audit opinions on the company's financial reports for the latest two financial years ended Oct 31, 2014 and Oct 31, 2015. It also issued an unqualified conclusion based on its review of the financial report for the half-year ended April 30, 2016.

SGX RegCo on Friday said that it has reported the conduct of the auditors to the relevant authorities.

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It also expressed expressed concern about the findings of the special audit relating to Blackgold's management, and hence requires companies to consult it before appointing any of them as a director or key management.

The management are: Peng Yuguo, former CEO of Blackgold Group; Chi Ho (James) Tong, former non-executive chairman of Blackgold Group; Ou Jun, former general manager of Chongqing Heijin Industrial; Tin It Phong, former chief financial officer of Blackgold Group; and Chen Shaokui, former head of finance and accounts of Blackgold Group.

Shares in Vibrant closed at 10.8 Singapore cents on Friday, down 0.6 Singapore cent or 5.26 per cent.

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