Mon, Nov 09, 2020 – 12:04 PM
BEST World International has submitted a proposal for the resumption of trading of its shares to the regulatory arm of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), it said on Sunday night.
Trading in Best World’s shares has been suspended since May 2019.
In an exchange filing, the skincare products firm said that it submitted a resumption proposal to SGX RegCo on Sunday, which addresses concerns raised on independent reviewer PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services’ (PwC) observations and recommendations, the legality of its sales and distribution model in China, and the lack of clarity on its financial position.
SGX RegCo had said in July this year that Best World would need to submit a proposal to resume trading that addresses these concerns. It would then consider the company’s proposal and its FY2019 audited financial statements before making a determination on Best World’s continuing listing on the Singapore bourse.
“In the absence of sufficient clarity on the actual financial position of the group and legality of the business including compliance with PRC regulations, trading in the shares of the company cannot resume in a fair, transparent and orderly manner,” SGX RegCo had said.
The statement by SGX RegCo came after an independent review by PwC of Best World’s premium skincare distribution business in China uncovered “questionable deposits” into the personal bank accounts of various individuals by its franchisees, as well as other potential breaches of Singapore’s Companies Act.
The findings by PwC also resulted in auditor Ernst & Young issuing a disclaimer of opinion on Best World’s financial statements for FY2018.
PwC was hired to review the financial affairs of Best World after concerns were raised by The Business Times in February last year over its sales practices as well as that of its China franchisees.
In its filing on Sunday, Best World said: “Shareholders are reminded that the trading suspension of the company’s shares will only be lifted upon the fulfilment of the conditions required by SGX RegCo, including the finalisation of the group’s audited financial statements for FY2019, and SGX RegCo indicating that it has no objections to the resumption proposal.”