03 February 2016

Singapore's biggest securities fraud investigation

The Business Times have a good infographic on the state of investigation to date and a write up on the behind the scene investigations to date.

(Infographic) Singapore's biggest securities fraud investigation

(BT writeup) Soh Chee Wen 'mastermind' of penny stock crash: prosecutor

INVESTIGATORS probing the 2013 penny stock collapse believe that they have enough evidence to show that Malaysian businessman Soh Chee Wen was the mastermind behind the companies at the heart of the market crash, the prosecution said on Wednesday at a hearing on Mr Soh's bail conditions.

Investigations are also at an advanced stage, and charges could be filed by the end of the year, possibly before September, deputy public prosecutor Gordon Oh said in court.

The Man Prosecutors Say Is Likely Behind Singapore's Stock Rout

The Man Prosecutors Say Is Likely Behind Singapore's Stock Rout

John Soh Chee Wen is used to being accused of wrongful activity.

Soh, a bankrupt Malaysian businessman last week fingered by Singapore prosecutors as the likely mastermind behind the city’s biggest ever stock market manipulation scheme, has spent much of the past 20 years fending off allegations that he’s alternatively a front, an asset trader or a pump-and-dump operator.

“I’m battle hardened,” the 57-year-old, who’s out on bail during investigations, said in an interview on Jan. 27. In Singapore, a person can be arrested and out on bail even before charges are brought.

29 January 2016

Singapore Probes Malaysian’s Role in 2013 Penny-Stock Rout

Singapore Probes Malaysian’s Role in 2013 Penny-Stock Rout

Singapore is looking into a Malaysian businessman’s involvement in the city’s largest securities-fraud probe, where three companies suffered an unexplained free-fall that wiped out S$8 billion ($5.6 billion) in a penny-stock rout in 2013.

The investigation into John Soh Chee Wen’s role emerged in Singapore court proceedings Wednesday when he sought permission to leave the country. His application was denied. Soh, 57, has been assisting the Commercial Affairs Department in its ongoing probe of suspected stock-trading irregularities related to Asiasons Capital Ltd., which has been renamed Attilan Group Ltd., Blumont Group and LionGold Corp., according to his lawyer, Tan Chee Meng. He hasn’t been charged.

19 December 2015

Hedge-Fund Veteran Stephen Diggle Returns to Incubate Fledglings

Hedge-Fund Veteran Stephen Diggle Returns to Incubate Fledglings

Stephen Diggle, co-founder of a hedge-fund firm whose assets expanded more than 1,000-fold before it returned investors’ money, is reentering the industry with a plan to back managers and traders seeking a new career in money management.

Diggle’s Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management opened the multistrategy Kit Trading Fund, led by former Merrill Lynch & Co. trader Michael Downer, on Dec. 1, according to an e-mailed statement. It plans to have as many as 12 managers trading for Kit over the next six to 12 months, using investments by Vulpes and the money the managers themselves can bring in, Diggle said in a telephone interview from Singapore on Tuesday.

11 December 2015

Citigroup Trader Fired Over Currency Probe Sues in Singapore

Citigroup Trader Fired Over Currency Probe Sues in Singapore

Article from Bloomberg that caught my attention, the trader in question was fired for rigging dollar/yen rates.

Quote from the article, "...The trader, who was last paid S$18,900 ($13,500) a month...".

Based on Salary.Sg website, the annual income before bonuses, will put her at the top 93.6% of all resident taxpayers in Singapore.

04 December 2015

The issue with SGX growth and Singapore economy

The previous post on the new chief of SGX outline the growth strategy of SGX sets me thinking on the same issue.

SGX is facing a lot of difficulties attracting quality companies to list. Major exchanges around the world provides a far more attractive proposition due to capital flow, economic and geographic location. To be frank, SGX have been grappling with this issue for very long time and they have yet to find a good solution or niche.

The lack of quality listing on a domestic exchange is tied to the strength and depth of the local economy. For Singapore, the local SMEs and industries are rather weak. Local companies gets the most recognition in the home market and will tend consider listing the local stock exchange first before considering other bourses. A mis-step by the government policies is while they did a good job in attracting foreign MNCs to set up their base in Singapore. The policies failed in encouraging growth and support for the local industries and companies to grow into larger, regional or global companies.

I would argue that SGX faces a structural challenge. I would make a distinction between government linked companies operating as public listed commercial entities. I do not consider them as success stories in terms of government policies and strategies in growing local companies and industries. If government linked companies are discounted from the listed companies on SGX, the list of locally born and bred companies which made it to listing on SGX would be a rather embarrassing report card.

All business factors have to be seriously examined, manpower, salary, infrastructure, rental costs, transportation options,etc. All of them have an effect, especially magnified for smaller companies with much less spare resources than foreign MNCs. Unless there are major changes to business factors, the continued challenges for SGX will never have a satisfactory solution.

27 November 2015

New SGX chief to build bourse into multi-asset platform

New SGX chief to build bourse into multi-asset platform

There won't be a major change of course at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) under its new boss but there will be a sharper focus on the initiatives it launches to keep the business growing.

Chief executive Loh Boon Chye, who took the helm in July, believes his financial industry experience can help drive the bourse forward.