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No Signboard CEO Arrested And Released On Bail Amidst Investigations On Trading Breach

Singapore seafood restaurant company, No Signboard Holdings, has recently been under scrutiny from the Singapore Police Force’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for two suspected breaches involving a share buyback in January.

On 2 May 2019, The Straits Times reported that the company’s CEO Sam Lim Yong Sing was arrested on 30 April, and later released on bail.

No Signboard also issued a statement, saying they have cooperated to provide relevant documents to the CAD, and that Lim has “not been charged for any offence”.

Lim’s arrest came as part of the procedure of CAD’s probe into No Signboard’s abortive share buyback, which is suspected to breach the Securities and Futures Act in terms of false trading and market rigging.

The company, which first went public in November 2017, had conducted a share buyback at a price above the allowed limit, and during a black-out period.

Lim apparently instructed the company’s broker to purchase the shares at 14 cents each, which was past the 5% cap above its 5-day average closing price.

This caused No Signboard’s stock to surge by nearly 24%, which drew a query from Singapore Exchange, as well as a halt in trading.

The company has called this “an honest mistake”, saying that Lim “did not notice” the purchasing price was above the regulatory limit.

The CAD has taken statements from No Signboard’s CEO Lim and CFO Voon Sze Yin, and also retained Lim’s passport.

On 29 April, No Signboard’s stock resumed trading.

In light of the ongoing investigations, the company says its operations will not be affected and business carries on as usual.

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