Showing posts from May, 2019

S-Chips may yet rise from their slumber

Liquidity is a valued virtue for investors. In 2008, I was enamoured of a company that was liquid in every sense.
China Milk, a Singapore-listed Chinese company (known as an S-Chip), was the principal producer of pedigree bull semen and cow embryos.
China's appetite for protein meant that milk consumption was surging. The volume of milk consumed there was just one-20th that of the United States', but China's GDP per capita was a 10th that of the US'.
Based in the fertile north-western province of Heilongjiang, China Milk had a vice-like grip on the source of China's milk boom: It had the rare licence to sell pedigree bull semen.
The productivity of Canadian cows is four times that of Chinese cows. By importing pedigree bull semen from Canada's prized Holsteins, China Milk aimed to turbocharge the country's milk productivity.
With the company well-entrenched through a network of distributors, its sales tripled from FY15 to FY18.
China Milk was a cash cow. Its oper…

Allied's missing S$33m and questions about the escrow account

ALLIED Technologies' revelation that about S$33 million of cash held in escrow with law firm JLC Advisors had gone missing raises questions about why that account existed for so long, and how the account held as much as it did.
The genesis of the account dates back to Oct 23, 2017, when Allied Tech reached an escrow agreement with the boutique law firm. The escrow account was set up while Allied Tech was carrying out a stock placement to raise funds for unspecified acquisitions.
When the placement was completed on Oct 31, 2017, the company deposited the S$33.4 million of net proceeds into the escrow account.
That S$33.4 million figure shows up in a few places. Earlier this month, Allied Tech's auditor, Ernst & Young, raised concerns about S$33.4 million held in escrow. This week, JLC said the S$33.4 million is believed to have been disbursed under the instruction of its managing partner Jeffrey Ong, who is now uncontactable. Allied Tech says it has not received the funds, and…

JLC lawyer told repeatedly to return S$33m before going incommunicado

FOR two months before going incommunicado, Jeffrey Ong Su Aun - the senior lawyer in the middle of the case of S$33 million of missing funds - fended off requests from his client Allied Technologies to return the money.
Mr Ong is the managing partner of JLC Advisors, the law firm managing the escrow account which held the funds.
In an SGX statement on Thursday, Allied Tech cited a letter purportedly from JLC to the listed precision engineering company that placed the 42-year-old Mr Ong at the centre of questions surrounding the missing cash. It confirmed a report by The Business Times on Thursday that S$33 million of clients' money had gone missing at JLC, with the funds belonging to Allied Tech.
BT has not been successful in reaching Mr Ong since Wednesday via his mobile number and email address.
Allied Tech said in the SGX announcement that it had sought repayment of the money from JLC at various times since March 23, 2019, including a May 17 letter of demand from Allied Tech's …