The Singapore unit of accounting firm EY has been ordered by local authorities to provide audit documents to assist with an investigation on a subsidiary of commodities trader Noble Group.
The Singapore Police Force’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement on Wednesday they have directed EY (Singapore) to produce documents in relation to the audit of Noble Resources International (NRI).
NRI is a subsidiary which handled most of the Noble’s coal trading activities. Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) said in the statement it has sent a notification letter to EY (Singapore) stating that it is commencing inspection on the audits on NRI for the financial years ended December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2016.
The probe from Singapore authorities caught the commodities trader by surprise last week, as it was in the midst of reforming and listing as a restructured group by November 27.
Ongoing false statements probe on Noble
Last Tuesday, CAD, MAS and ACRA issued a statement stating that they are investigating suspected false and misleading statements, and breaches of disclosure requirements from Noble. Noble’s NRI will be investigated on potential non-compliance on accounting standards under the Companies Act.
The authorities said ACRA made findings of a suspected breach of the Companies Act from NRI, after an “extensive review” of the firm’s financial statements for the financial year period December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2016.
Noble has already suspended the trading of its shares on the Singapore Exchange, pending its restructuring transition.
On Monday, Noble announced it will push back the restructuring completion date from November 27 to December 11 of this year, after receiving time extensions for its US$3.5 billion restructuring plan and consent from major creditors.
The later date is to accommodate with the investigation probe from the authorities. The schemes of arrangement in agreement with Noble and its creditors showed that the furthest the dates can be pushed back is no later than the end of this year, December 31.