Singapore Lists 109 Firms That Must Report Quarterly Earnings

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Singapore Exchange Ltd. published a list of firms that are now required to provide quarterly earnings reports based on its risk-based approach, a few weeks after the city-state scrapped the requirement for most companies.

Hyflux Ltd. and Best World International Ltd. were among 109 names published on the SGX website. The companies either have a qualified report from auditors, worries about them as a going concern or have been identified by the exchange itself for regulatory concerns.

In January, the bourse scrapped mandatory quarterly reporting requirements that applied to all companies with a market capitalization of at least S$75 million ($54 million). Instead, only riskier companies are required to report earnings every three months, even as the exchange tightens disclosure rules for all.

“It basically puts cross-hairs on the backs of these companies,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “It consolidates short-sell candidates on one convenient page.”

Hyflux, a water treatment firm, has been embroiled in Singapore’s highest-profile debt restructuring process for more than 18 months. Cosmetics maker Best World, meanwhile, was the target of a short-seller report in 2019 that claimed it had overstated profits in China. Shares of both firms are currently suspended from trading.

Hyflux will report financial statements for the quarter starting from the completion of its debt restructuring, it said in an exchange filing.

In a note on Thursday, Tan Boon Gin, chief executive officer of SGX’s regulatory arm, also stressed the importance of disclosures of significant litigation by all listed firms. He said disclosures necessary to avoid the creation of a so-called false market -- where an active interference disrupts genuine supply and demand on securities -- were just as important as providing price-sensitive information.

The highlighted firms now have a one-year grace period before starting quarterly reporting and the SGX will update the list every three months. Other Singapore-listed companies, while having the option to report quarterly, will be required to report semi-annually.

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