Date: December 18, 2004
This morning my Vice-President and I met with Mdm Gu Yanfei, Director, Investment Department, China Aviation Oil Holding Company (CAOHC), Mr Bian Hui, President/Secretary, CAOHC, Mr Wayne Liu, Investment Manager, CAO (S’pore) Corp Ltd, together with Mr Patrick Ang, Legal Advisor (Partner, Rajah & Tann), and Mr Tan Chee Chong, Financial Advisor, (Partner, Deloitte & Touche) at SIAS’ office at 10am. The Task Force wanted to meet with us yesterday but due to an urgent an unavoidable matter they could not. Hence the meeting this morning. The meeting was requested by the Special Task Force (STF) to brief SIAS, on behalf of minority shareholders, on what the STF has done since arriving in Singapore on 30th Nov 2004 and what efforts are being made to find a suitable solution in the circumstances. SIAS appreciates their gesture very much.
At the outset, Mdm Gu impressed upon me that CAOHC and the Stateowned Assets Supervisory and Administrative Commission (SASAC) are very serious about a restructuring scheme to assist all parties affected by the episode. At the foremost, they want the Company (CAO) to return to its core business. They fully appreciate and sympathize with the predicament of the minority shareholders, in particular, the creditors and all stakeholders. They are mandated to do everything they can to come up with an acceptable restructuring plan. The Beijing authority (SASAC) strongly supports this approach and has assured all concerned that those responsible for the irresponsible behaviour will be punished. Their immediate task is to find an acceptable solution satisfactory to all parties concerned. SIAS appreciates their approach to the current predicament of minority shareholders as an easier position could have been taken to liquidate the Company but that course was not the preferred one.
The STF conveyed its regrets not being able to meet the minority shareholders or the press as much work still needs to be done and it is not timely to do so. They have, however, assured that they will meet the press and minority shareholders at the appropriate time. In the meantime, STF will keep SIAS informed of major developments affecting the interest of minority shareholders. Besides the restructuring effort, which is enormous, they are also actively involved in assisting CAD, SGX, MAS and PWC with the ongoing investigations. They also have to manage the daily operations. For these reasons, they could not meet with SIAS earlier.
The STF is receiving active support from the parent company and SASAC in their pursuit to find a suitable restructuring plan. We are encouraged to learn that all parties concerned are cooperating.
SIAS calls on all creditors of CAO to support the restructuring efforts by the STF so as to ensure that the interests of all the stakeholders be served. This will be a win-win situation.
I will be briefing my members on my meeting with the STF on Monday at the Members’ Forum at 7.00pm at the Singapore Power Auditorium.
Mr David Gerald J.
President & CEO
Securities Investors Association (Singapore)