SingPost: Who will be its next group CEO?

Mail and logistics firm SingPost is in the midst of a leadership change, and has separately disclosed lapses in engaging an adviser last year.

  • Singapore Post Ltd (SGX: S08) share price dips to S$0.73 per share
  • Its group CEO Paul Coutts has resigned after four years on the job
  • Analysts on average are targeting for the stock to hit S$0.74
  • Buy and sell SingPost stocks with an IG account

SingPost stock loses momentum

Shares of Singapore Post (SingPost) were trading at S$0.73 as of 13:25 SGT on Thursday (03 June 2021), down 1.4% on the day.

The counter had risen 2.1% on Tuesday, following the postal service provider’s announcement that its group chief executive officer (CEO) will step down.

However, the rally was short-lived as the shares closed unchanged at S$0.74 on Wednesday.

SingPost highlighted that ‘no adverse inference’ in relation to the CEO’s departure should be drawn from its proximity in time with lapses that were discovered a few months ago.

Among six analysts covering SingPost’s stock, four recommended ‘hold’ while two rated it ‘buy’, with an average target price of S$0.74, Bloomberg data showed.

SingPost seeks new chief for ‘next phase of growth’

Paul William Coutts resigned as an executive director effective 31 May 2021, SingPost announced late Monday night.

He is also quitting as group CEO, with effect from 31 August 2021 or earlier if agreed, to support a handover.

The 64-year-old voluntarily tendered his resignation to ‘pursue other opportunities’, SingPost said.

Coutts was appointed to the position in June 2017. Before that, Wolfgang Baier had quit abruptly as group CEO after about five years in the role.

The board on Monday said it is considering internal and external candidates to lead SingPost ‘in its next phase of growth’.

In the interim, chairman Simon Israel will provide guidance to and exercise oversight of the senior management team, while the company continues to execute its strategic roadmap for the next five years.

Israel noted that Coutts joined SingPost ‘at a difficult time’, having to deal with a significant decline in the domestic mail business, exiting the loss-making US e-commerce business, and navigating challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

OCBC analysts recently wrote that SingPost’s margins may remain under pressure, as slow air-capacity recovery has caused conveyance costs to surge and the company may be unable to pass the costs to customers.

The OCBC research team gave a ‘hold’ rating and S$0.74 fair value on SingPost shares.

No financial loss from lapses, board says

In the Monday filing, SingPost disclosed that in February 2021, its board found ‘indications of lapses in internal procedures and protocols relating to the engagement of an adviser’ for certain Australian and New Zealand subsidiarie

The lapses took place in 2020, during Coutts’ tenure as group CEO.

There was no dishonesty, fraud or criminal activity in connection with the engagement of that adviser, based on a review by the internal audit team, SingPost said.

Moreover, no personal gain to Coutts has been identified, and there has been no resulting financial loss or material impact caused to the group, to the best of the board’s knowledge.

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