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Chairman of Hanwell and Tat Seng declared bankrupt but status not disclosed by firms

Chairman of Hanwell and Tat Seng declared bankrupt but status not disclosed by firms

Source: Business Times
Article Date: 24 Sep 2020
Author: Tay Peck Gek

This is despite Companies Act prohibiting a bankrupt from being director.

The executive chairman of Hanwell Holdings and Tat Seng Packaging Group was made bankrupt in August, but these two Singapore-listed companies have to date not acted on Allan Yap's directorship even though the law prohibits a bankrupt from being director.

Mr Yap was declared bankrupt after the court in Hong Kong granted a bankruptcy petition by creditors over debts of more than HK$685 million (S$121 million) arising out of personal guarantees given by the 64-year-old in respect of the liabilities of Hong Kong-listed Master Glory Group.

This has led to Master Glory announcing in a notice to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong about the disqualification of Mr Yap as executive chairman following his bankruptcy with effect from Aug 3.

Master Glory, formerly Hanny Holdings, is an investment holding company principally engaged in security, property and water supply businesses, but it is now in liquidation.

Mr Yap's position as executive chairman at Hanwell and its 64-per-cent-owned subsidiary Tat Seng does not seem to have been affected by his bankrupt status, however.

No announcements have been made to the Singapore Exchange by either of the two companies, despite Singapore's Companies Act stipulating that an undischarged bankrupt is disqualified to be director.

Tat Seng said it will look into it and would probably follow up with an announcement today, when approached by The Business Times.

Hanwell, however, has not responded to BT queries.

Mr Yap had, in fact, announced the financial results of Hanwell in the capacity of chairman on Aug 13, after the Hong Kong court had adjudged him to be a bankrupt. He was re-elected to the board of Hanwell in June while his first appointment was in 2002.

Hanwell, used to be known as Provisions Suppliers Corporation, is a manufacturer and distributor of a variety of well-known brands of consumer products including Royal Umbrella rice, Beautex tissue paper and Fortune tofu.

Its net profit for the half year to June 30 more than doubled to S$9.9 million, buoyed by good performance from rice, cooking oil and tofu, though revenue was marginally lower at S$215.8 million.

Over at Tat Seng, Mr Yap was re-elected to the board in June as well. According to the company's website, the executive chairman has over 30 years of experience in finance, investment and banking.

Mr Yap is the spouse of Tang Cheuk Chee, executive director of both Hanwell and Tat Seng.

According to the Companies Act, except with the approval of the court or the written permission of the official assignee who administers a bankrupt's financial affairs, a bankrupt faces a maximum fine of S$10,000, a jail term of up to two years or both if he acts as director, regardless of where the bankruptcy order is made.

BT has reached out to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority for comments.

Tat Seng shares closed flat at S$0.545 whereas Hanwell's inched up one cent to S$0.285 on Wednesday.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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