Thursday, June 03, 2010

There's Something About Kenmark


Kenmark Tumbles After Audit Meeting Was Scrapped (BT): Kenmark Industrial Bhd, a Malaysian furniture maker, fell to a record low after an audit committee meeting was scrapped, its Port Klang premises were closed and the company was told a receiver would be appointed at its paper unit. Kenmark’s stock tumbled 58 per cent on May 27 and a further 68 per cent this morning to 10.5 sen, before being suspended while the stock exchange asked the company to explain the dive. Independent directors Zainab Abu Bakar and Yeunh Wee Tiong scrapped a May 27 audit committee meeting when no management turned up or could be contacted, the company said in a statement in response to the stock exchange’s query. They were supposed to discuss Kenmark’s fourth-quarter earnings, but these were not made available, it said.

“The managing director James Hwang and deputy general manager Goh Kim Chon, who were the usual management representatives to the audit committee meetings, did not turn up for the meeting,” Kenmark said. “It was then found out that the deputy general manager and the finance and administration manager of the company had already resigned and the managing director was uncontactable.”


The independent directors tried to contact other executive directors at Kenmark’s Taiwan office via phone and fax, but failed, the statement said. Hwang and Goh were not immediately available when telephoned by Bloomberg today.

SC Steps In (StarBiz): The Securities Commission has started investigations into the spectacular collapse of furniture maker Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd as its chief continues to be missing.

Kenmark has lost some RM140 million in stock market value in a matter of days while more than 400 of its workers could be out jobs.

The SC also warned listed company directors and auditors to be responsible and to follow the rules and corporate governance code.

"Where they fail to do so, appropriate action will be taken," an SC spokesperson said.

Bursa Malaysia has also told Kenmark to appoint a special auditor to probe its finances.
On Monday, Kenmark shares tumbled 68 per cent, leading to a query from Bursa Malaysia. The group said that its two independent directors could not contact managing director Hwang Ding Kuo@James Hwang while key executives have quit.

It also cannot issue the fourth-quarter results for the period to March 31 2010. The independent directors were told by former executives that all of its operations have stopped while two banks also demanded some RM73 million of their money back. To make matters worse, it immediately became a PN17 company, a label of financially troubled firms on Bursa Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Kenmark's external company secretary Leong Oi Wah when met in Petaling Jaya said independent directors Zainab Abu Bakar and Yeunh Wee Tiong will meet with Kenmark's receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), on Friday to determine the actual debt of the company.

Joanne 007.jpg
› Home › Corporate profile › Board of Director (Company website)


Puan Zainabon @ Zainab Binti Abu Bakar, aged 67, a Malaysian, was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company on 28 April 2000 and subsequently appointed as the Chairman of the Company on 27 November 2008. She is also the Chairman of the Company’s Audit Committee, Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee.

She is a member of the Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. She has extensive experience in the accounting line, having held such positions as Chief Accountant and Auditor. She was previously the Finance Manager of Bank Pertanian Malaysia from 1973 to 1986. She served as a of Member of Parliament in the Malaysian Parliament from 1986 to 1999 and held various positions in the Government sector. She was the Chairperson of the Urban Development Authority from 1988 to 1992 and the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Primary Industries from 1995 to 1997. She is currently the President of Persatuan Anak Melayu Johor, Wilayah Persatuan and Selangor.

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Mr Hwang Ding Kuo @ James Hwang, aged 58, a Taiwanese, was appointed as the Chairman/Managing Director of the Company since 26 October 1988, when the Company was first established in Malaysia. He was re-designated as Managing Director on 27 November 2008. He is also a member of the Company’s Option Committee. Mr Hwang is the President and a Director of Kenmark Industrial Co Ltd., Taiwan, a position he held since 1978.

He obtained his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (International trade) from Tamkiang University, Taiwan in 1974. For his achievements in business and industry, Mr Hwang has been awarded the Gold Merchant Award by the General Chamber of Commerce of Taiwan in 1991, the Outstanding Achievement in Commerce and Industry and Outstanding Business Man of 1991 awards by the Government of Taiwan, as well as the 10 Outstanding Young People of Republic of China award in 1992. In addition, he received from K-Mart Corporation USA (“K-Mart”), an award for Excellent Vendor in 1996.

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Mr Huang Ching Hsiang, aged 69, a Taiwanese, was appointed as Non-Executive Director of the Company on 20 December 1989. He is a member of the Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee. Mr Huang is the Executive Director in Kenmark Industrial Co. Ltd., Taiwan, a position he held since 1985, He obtained his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Drou Lau Industrial School, Taiwan 1963.
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Mr Chang Chin Chuan, aged 56, a Taiwanese, was appointed as Executive Director of the Company since 1989 overseeing production planning of the Company. He is a member of the Company’s Option Committee. He obtained his Diploma in Merchanical Engineering from Taipei Industrial Engineering College, Taiwan in 1975 and has extensive experience in the manufacture of wood-based products and furniture. Prior to joining in the Company, he was attached to Kenmark Industrial Co. Ltd., Taiwan from 1980 to 1989.
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Ms Chen Wen-Ling, aged 48, a Taiwanese, was appointed as Executive Director of the Company on 6 June 1997 and was re-designated as Non-Executive Director on 28 February 2008. She is also a member of the Audit Committee. She obtained her diploma in Accounting from the Taiwan Municipal College in 1979. She joined Kenmark Industrial Co. (M) Berhad as a Financial Controller in 1989 before her appointment as an Executive Director of the Company.
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Mr Yeunh Wee Tiong, aged 56, a Malaysian, was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company on 18 June 2004. He is a member of the Audit Committee, Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee of the Company.

He graduated from University of Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1978. He is a member of the Malaysian Institute of Architects, Royal Australian Institute of Architects and the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers. He started his working career in Melbourne, Australia and returned to Malaysia in 1983 and worked as a Senior Architect in a local Architectural Firm. In 1998, he ventured out to set up his own Architectural Practice as well as getting involved with the furniture and food & beverage businesses.

He is currently the Managing Director of DMP Architects Sdn Bhd, a position he held since 1999 and manages projects throughout Malaysia as well as overseas in India, Vietnam and Australia, He is also a Council Member of the University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and oversees the development of UTAR’s main campus in Kampar, Perak in the Planning & Development Committee of the University. This is a voluntary position.




http://littlenyonya.mediacorptv.sg/img/bios/4_joanne.jpg

The Shocking News Today (BT): The group's boss and major shareholder, Hwang Ding Kuo@James Hwang, says he will only return to Malaysia once he is healthy.

Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd said its boss and major shareholder, who was missing as the group's fortunes took a rapid turn for the worse, is sick in China.

In a statement sent to Bursa Malaysia through the company's secretary yesterday, Hwang Ding Kuo@James Hwang said he was taken ill in China on May 24 and was in a delirious state.

"It was only yesterday (Tuesday) I regained full consciousness but am still weak to travel," he said. He did not identify the nature of the sickness nor did he say when he expects to be well.

Hwang will only return to Malaysia once he is healthy. Hwang also said he could not be reached by telephone as all calls had been barred by family members. However, he said a friendly party has bought a substantial stake in the company and new appointment of directors will be made, including two executive directors to manage the current situation. Hwang did not give details of the deal.

"I wish to state I am still the managing director of Kenmark and will work together with the new shareholder to try and resolve all outstanding issues caused by my sudden absence," Hwang said.

He also did not state the current whereabouts of two other Taiwanese executive directors Chang Chin-Chuan and Chen Wen-Ling who were also said to be missing. The new directors to be appointed are Ho Soo Woon, Ahmed Azhar Abdullah, Woon Wai En and Abdul Gani Yusof. They will also review the company's situation in Vietnam.

"I have spoken to Ho to have him discuss with Bursa Securities for a time extension to announce the fourth quarter results and appoint a special auditor," Hwang said.

Over on the stock market, Kenmark's shares were suspended at 4.43pm yesterday and they will remain so indefinitely, according to Bursa Malaysia. Before the suspension, its shares were among the most active when it almost doubled to 11.5 sen from 6 sen previously. Since news broke that Hwang went missing, Kenmark lost as much as RM140 million in stock market value in a matter of days while more than 400 of its workers were uncertain about their future.

Even the Securities Commission will investigate the furniture maker, while Bursa Malaysia directed Kenmark to appoint a special auditor to probe its finances.

Princess and Prince by Dasmond.

My Views:

a) Good that SC has acted speedily.


b) If the MD is really just sick, why the hell then did ALL the Taiwanese directors leave the country?


c) I pity the two remaining independent directors for having to bear all the attacks and insinuations.


d) The ridiculous thing was that the MD said the company has been sold to a new party and even the new directors have been mentioned. This is very critical: if that is true, why not go through the proper logical announcement and handover?

e) If there were new buyers (really), the SC has to make sure that the whole shebang is not a scam by the MD and/or the new owners to COLLECT Kenmark shares very cheaply (i.e. under 10 sen), only to announce to the market later that everything is FINE.


f) All the Taiwanese directors and the purported new owners will need to have all their trading records, nominee accounts (if any), trading history, etc... thoroughly investigated to ensure that this is not a SCAM within another SCAM.

g) I hope the SC and Bursa won't just penalise the independent directors heavily (if they were found to be guilty and culpable) as the entire scenario would have as the head, the strategist and engineer for the "fraud" (if there is a case of fraudulent behaviour) all pointing to the MD and his ring of Taiwanese cronies. Its enough already, we cannot simply fry the small fishes just because we cannot get the big ones - attribute blame, intention and scheming desire to willfully defraud properly to the "candidates" - don't just punish certain people because they were easy targets.

Have a nice day!

8 comments:

AhYap.com said...

Lol, why do you quote the word "candidates"? because you watch Lost? :)

kl said...

Something stinks and it's emanating from Taiwan. High gearing at operating companies, high inventory & high debtor levels both suspect ; additionally principal shareholders stake largely pledged for personal borrowings. What money have these people got to risk in the business? Must have taken back risk capital the backdoor way.

Little or no transparency in its operations. Sudden managerial resignations. Stories that do not jibe. A financial disaster fallen upon lenders, creditors and miserable minority shareholders. Still want to be an independent director in a small Bursa company?

The Emperor said...

Dear Dali, According to the Taiwanese, the fine and punitive measures by SC is not only tolerable but a joke. Maximum fine of RM300k which will take years for the courts to pass judgement. Transmile still hanging in the air, Aokam fellows are scott-free, Ekran will die a slow death, etc. The Taiwanese say "Bring it on!".

solomon said...

Taiwanese always reminds me of a Hokkien song lyric "Some times up and some time down..."

Just wondering -
1) in April 2010, the MD's brother also resigned as director due to health reason.

2) an unconscious person immediately executing S&P after regain conscious? Medical ground unexplainable action....

Dali, what if all the records gone like CSI drama, what is the story to tell the shareholders? Shareholders might have to sing Celine Dion's Titanic song with the bankers??

But still there are some good Taiwanese investors around, we must welcome FDI but selectively.

AhYap.com said...

Chinese saying, "Don't sink one whole boat with one bamboo".

Financial fraud/misbehave has nothing to do with country and skin colors but exist whenever there is greed.

There are many great Taiwan companies both INSIDE malaysia and OUTSIDE malaysia.

kl said...

More stink in Kenmark. Ishak Ismail has bought a controlling stake. A once upon a time corporate guy who made his hundreds of millions in the go go 90's stock market when he parlayed his Anwar crony ties into a personal fortune. Not known for outstanding integrity and minority shareholder friendliness. The plot thickens.

Moolah said...

Dali san,

:D

In the Star article Ishak is "Kenmark’s biggest stakeholder"

Quote: “James (the MD) called me on Monday night to help him out as he is sick. This is the company we both floated in 1997 when I was the bumiputra shareholder. However, I sold my shares a long time ago,’’ he told StarBiz

Monday night?

Earlier news quotes...

"James Hwang in his letter has stated that he has been unwell and unconscious and was also uncontactable. He has now regained full consciousness but still physically weak," said the company in a statement to Bursa Malaysia on Wednesday, June 2.

"It was only yesterday (Tuesday) I regained full consciousness but am still weak to travel," he said. He did not identify the nature of the sickness nor did he say when he expects to be well.

Hwang will only return to Malaysia once he is healthy. Hwang also said he could not be reached by telephone as all calls had been barred by family members.

....

hehehe... I am confused.

Ishak got the call on Monday night.

If James Hwang was in China, say Beijing, the time zone would be the same as here, yes?

So can I assume Monday night as in Monday night Malaysia time?

And James Hwang states he only regained consciousness on Tuesday.

Hmmm.....

And Ishak bought 20 million shares on Monday.

Let's go figure.

:P

http://whereiszemoola.blogspot.com/2010/06/more-incredible-news-flow-from-kenmark.html

kl said...

Easy explanation. James Hwang spoke to Ishak Ismail while in a state of unconsciousness and the two made a deal on the Kenmark shares. However, not sure which financier was holding the shares and whether James Hwang also spoke to them in his unconscious but lucid state to have the shares crossed to Ishak.

This Hwang fellow is a long time practitioner of a little known but powerful Kung Fu martial art form known as Unconscious Monkey Mouth. Let's see whether he will really return to Malaysia to showcase his martial skills.