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If you think stock market volatility is bad now, just wait for next year

Andy Xie says the current market volatility is the result of a battle between optimistic mobile internet-led investors and monetary policy. Liquidity tightening will, however, eventually burst the bubble
Stock markets have of late dropped about 10 per cent from the peak. If you think that’s bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. What happened is small beer. A real collapse is much worse. In 1997/98, the Hang Seng Index fell by over 70 per cent in a year. The S&P 500 did something similar in 2000 and 2007. The current stock market bubble is much greater than on those three occasions. When the real crash comes, it will be worse.
We live amid the greatest bubble in human history. This is the culmination of a series of successive bubbles over the past four decades, based on US dollar printing. People clearly never learn. After one bubble based on a wacky idea pops and wipes out a generation, another generation is sure to come along and embrace another bubble with a new wacky idea. Homo sap…

New investor shakes up Ipco board, but shareholders still fret over direction of firm

A shake-up has been set in motion at Ipco International, with long-time executive director Carlson Smith ousted during an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Jan 19 requisitioned by Ipco's new investor James Blythman.
Mr Blythman, an Australian who has worked in China, became a 14.24 per cent shareholder in September 2017 after putting S$1.58 million into Ipco through a placement at S$0.0018 per share.
He also succeeded in appointing two new independent directors to the Ipco board on Jan 19, replacing two other independent directors who left last year.
Mr Blythman himself spoke little during the EGM. When shareholders asked him to share more about his company Meridian Equities, he replied: "This is not the appropriate forum to discuss this."
Instead, the man who brought thunder to the EGM was a previously unknown Malaysian shareholder, Tow Kong Liang.
Half-an-hour into the EGM, after Mr Smith said he believed he was being removed because he had resisted the appointme…

Innopac's independent director quits over disgreement after JV termination

An independent director of Innopac Holdings has resigned due to disagreements about certain claims for financial compensation after the termination of a joint venture last year.
Yang Kiin tendered his resignation on Feb 1 citing differences with management and unfounded allegations of his misconduct by the board.
In response to a Singapore Exchange (SGX) query over the announcement, which did not state the effective date of his resignation, Mr Yang said that he had been hindered in carrying out his duty as an independent non-executive director, and a member of the audit committee due to a lack of response to queries and documents.
"I had difficulty with management in getting additional details and supporting documents on a certain project," he said.
In the same response by the company, Innopac said that the differences had arisen after the firm's subsidiary terminated the joint venture agreement with RC Carbon Sdn Bhd in November last year. Mr Yang is a director and sha…

LionGold says it may extend talks over debt restructuring

LIONGOLD Corp - one of the trio involved in the penny stock crash of 2013 - was queried by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Thursday over the stock's heavy trading activity.
It said in response that it plans to discuss with creditors on ways to extend a deadline over a debt restructuring proposal tied to outstanding debt of some S$15.8 million. The long stop date then was Dec 28, 2017.
LionGold was the most actively traded counter listed on SGX on Thursday, with 724 million shares changing hands. The stock closed flat at S$0.002.
In its statement on Thursday, LionGold said: "The company wishes to inform shareholders that the long stop date has passed, and the company has not obtained the relevant approvals." Such approvals included shareholders' approval for the issuance of any repayment shares.
"Notwithstanding this, the company intends to have discussions with the creditor and the manager (of the creditor) to extend the long stop date."
In late June last …

Restaurant owner, Bruno Ludovic Soligny, faces charges for market rigging and deceiving securities firms

A restaurateur was charged in court on Thursday (Jan 4) with market rigging and various other securities offences in relation to troubled mainboard-listed dye maker China Fibretech.
Bruno Ludovic Soligny, 39, a Singapore citizen, faces a total of 19 charges under the Securities and Futures Act.
He is accused of carrying out more than 3,800 false trades involving 16.6 million shares in the counter between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015 to create "a misleading appearance of active trading".
These trades, described in court documents as reckless, did not involve any change in beneficial ownership of the shares.
Soligny also faces three charges of carrying out trades in order to lower the share price of China Fibretech on July 1, July 7 and July 8 in 2015.
Another four charges allege that he engaged in false trades on July 16, July 22, Aug 31 and Sept 14 in 2015, which inflated the market price of the counter.
Between July 1, 2013 and Sept 30, 2015, Soligny is said to have used…

Keppel O&M to pay US$422m in fines after reaching global resolution on corruption probe

Keppel Corporation's offshore and marine unit has reached a global resolution with criminal authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore in relation to corrupt payments made by a former agent in Brazil.
The resolution, involving three jurisdictions across the world, is unprecedented for a Singapore company.
As part of the resolution, Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) will pay fines amounting to US$422.2 million (S$570 million), to be allocated between the US, Brazil, and Singapore, the Singapore-listed conglomerate said in a statement early Saturday (Dec 23).
The corrupt payments relate to those made by Mr Zwi Skornicki on several Keppel O&M projects in Brazil, which were carried out with the knowledge or approval of former Keppel O&M executives.
Of the US$422.2 million in fines, Keppel O&M will pay about US$105.6 million to the US, including a US$4.7 million criminal fine by Keppel O&M USA.
Brazil will receive US$211.1 million or 50 per cent…

ISR Capital lists additional shares in REO Magnetic deal

ISR Capital has announced that due to a change in its issued share capital, the total consideration for its deal with REO Magnetic will be lowered to S$2.99 million from S$4.52 million.
In a filing with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), ISR said that the consideration price per share for the deal with REO - which would see ISR take an aggregate stake of 60 per cent in Mauritian company Tantalum Holding - would be adjusted to 0.4 Singapore cent from the initial price of 0.67 Singapore cent, and the number of consideration shares would be adjusted to 747.26 million shares.
This was after a conversion of S$1 million of convertible bonds into 250 million conversion shares on Dec 6.
Tantalum Holding owns 100 per cent of Tantalum Rare Earth Malagasy, which has a permit to explore and develop a concession hosting critical rare earth elements in Madagascar.
Under amended terms of the Tantalum acquisition, ISR was to issue 674.78 million of its own shares to REO Magnetic at 0.67 Singapore cent pe…

Cosco hits acquisition threshold, aims to delist Cogent

Chinese shipping firm Cosco Shipping International (Singapore) has hit the 90 per cent compulsory acquisition mark for its $1.02-a-share cash offer for Cogent Holdings.
As at 5pm on Thursday, Cosco had received valid acceptances representing around 5.68 per cent of the total number of Cogent shares, the company said.
Cosco had previously received irrevocable undertakings by four Cogent shareholders, who collectively hold 84.33 per cent of the total number of Cogent's shares.
Since this brings Cosco's total holdings to 90.01 per cent, Cosco said that it will pursue a delisting of Cogent from the Singapore Exchange.
The four undertaking shareholders are Cogent's executive chairman Tan Yeow Khoon, his wife Ng Poh Choo, managing director Tan Yeow Lam, and executive director and chief executive Benson Tan Min Cheow, all of whom had agreed to accept the offer on or before Jan 3 next year.
Cosco's offer price represents some 31/2 times Cogent's net tangible asset per sha…

Consideration for ISR Capital's deal with REO Magnetic lowered

ISR Capital has announced that due to a change in its issued share capital, the total consideration for its deal with REO Magnetic will be lowered to S$2.99 million from S$4.52 million.
In a filing with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), ISR said that the consideration price per share for the deal with REO - which would see ISR take an aggregate stake of 60 per cent in Mauritian company Tantalum Holding - would be adjusted to 0.4 Singapore cent from the initial price of 0.67 Singapore cent, and the number of consideration shares would be adjusted to 747.26 million shares.
This was after a conversion of S$1 million of convertible bonds into 250 million conversion shares on Dec 6.
Tantalum Holding owns 100 per cent of Tantalum Rare Earth Malagasy, which has a permit to explore and develop a concession hosting critical rare earth elements in Madagascar.
Under amended terms of the Tantalum acquisition, ISR was to issue 674.78 million of its own shares to REO Magnetic at 0.67 Singapore cent pe…

Cosco hits 90% acquisition threshold in takeover bid, plans to delist Cogent

Chinese shipping company Cosco Shipping International (Singapore) has hit the 90 per cent compulsory acquisition mark for its S$1.02-a-share cash offer for Cogent Holdings.
As at 5pm on Dec 21, Cosco has received valid acceptances representing around 5.68 per cent of the total number of Cogent shares, the company said.
Cosco had previously received irrevocable undertakings by four Cogent shareholders, who collectively hold 84.33 per cent of the total number of Cogent's shares.
Since this brings Cosco's total holdings to 90.01 per cent, Cosco said that it will pursue a delisting of Cogent from the Singapore Exchange.
The four undertaking shareholders are Cogent's executive chairman Tan Yeow Khoon, his wife Ng Poh Choo, managing director Tan Yeow Lam, and executive director and chief executive Benson Tan Min Cheow, with all four agreeing to accept the offer on or before Jan 3, 2018.
Cosco's offer price represents some 3 1/2 times Cogent's net tangible asset per shar…