Monday, 13 February 2017

SC sues Stone Master executive (2)

Some updates in this case.

From The Edge: Stone Master deputy MD fails to strike out Securities Commission's civil suit

A few snippets:

Stone Master Corp Bhd deputy managing director Datin Chan Chui Mei failed in her application to strike out the Securities Commission's (SC) claims against her for allegedly causing wrongful loss to the company.

Following the decision by High Court Judge Datuk Has Zainah Mehat, the hearing of SC’s application for an injunction restraining her from dealing with monies in her bank account up to the amount of RM11.54 million, pending the disposal of the trial, is set for decision or clarification on March 20.  

In September 2016, SC obtained an ex-parte injunction against Chan.

Chan was charged under sections 179 and 317A (1) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA). She received RM11.54 million out of RM11.59 million meant to be paid by Stone Master to local representatives of 23 foreign companies, relating to the exclusive rights to market and promote their products in Malaysia and Singapore.

Section 179 of the CMSA prohibits a person from using any manipulative device for subscription, purchase or sale of any securities.

Under section 317A, a director or an officer of a listed corporation is prohibited from doing anything with the intention of causing wrongful loss to the listed corporation.

The SC wants Chan to pay the regulator the sum of RM11.54 million, which is to be held in trust for Stone Master, and for Chan to be barred from being a director of a public-listed company for a period of five years.

In addition, the SC is also seeking a civil penalty of RM1 million against Chan.

Despite facing the charges, Chan remains as Stone Master's deputy managing director.

That last sentence sounds very strange, of course the deputy MD should have been suspended immediately, at least temporarily. It seems to me that the other Directors of the company also have a responsibility in this matter.

Also, it seems surprising (given the seriousness of the allegations of the SC) that things have not yet moved to the criminal court, apart from the civil penalty sought by the SC.

Stone Master issued its Annual Report 2016.

If one would read the Chairman's statement, one would not get a very accurate picture of what is really going on with the company. For that one would have to dive into the notes that accompany the accounts.

Note 26 (page 107 contains numerous Related Party Transactions. For instance Starfield Capital, a company related to the deputy MD, made a loan to the company of RM 18 Million.

Note 32 (page 117) details significant events during and after the financial year, a whopping 27 pages packed with information, some of it simply astonishing. Amounts in the Billions of RM are mentioned, and this for a company with a current market cap of only RM 9 Million (and consistently losing money).

If anybody would like to jump into the action, based on those Billions mentioned, one should first read the following paragraph (the current share price of Stone Master is RM 0.10):

My question: was the original business model based on the Exclusive Agencies and mentioning those Billions of RM really ever viable?

Also the action by the Securities Commission and the current PN17 status are mentioned in the annual report. And on page 146 one can find the disclaimer of opinion by the auditor, another clear red flag.

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