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No Signboard CEO charged with manipulating share prices after joint investigation by MAS, CAD

Lim Yong Sim, the executive chairman and CEO of restaurant operator No Signboard Holdings, was charged today (July 27) for price rigging offences under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

The charges against the 46-year-old were filed after a joint investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

If convicted, the CEO may be jailed for up to seven years, and/or fined up to S$250,000.

The CEO artificially raised the price of No Signboard’s shares

Lim allegedly placed orders for the shares of No Signboard Holdings and traded in the shares via the trading account of Gugong Pte Ltd — which is the majority shareholder of No Signboard Holdings — to artificially raise or support the prices of the shares. At the time, Lim served as the director and majority shareholder of Gugong.

These trades took place between June 19 and June 29, 2018, as well as between November 30, 2018 and January 11, 2019.

Additionally, Lim is also accused of placing orders for No Signboard Holdings’ shares and carrying out trades via the company’s corporate trading account on January 31, 2019, to push up or support the price of the shares.

Lim was first arrested on April 30, 2019, but was later released on bail. The company’s shares have been suspended from trading since January 24 last year as the company was “unable to demonstrate that it is able to continue as a going concern”.

No Signboard Holdings has been around for over 40 years

Currently, No Signboard Holdings operates three F&B outlets across Singapore, comprising Little Sheep Hotpot in Orchard, No Signboard Seafood in Geylang, and nosignboard Sheng Jian in Yishun.

All of the other F&B outlets operated by the company, including Korean fast food chain Mom’s Touch and hawker-themed fast food outlet Hawker QSR, have ceased to operate as the restaurant operator liquidated its various loss-making and non-core subsidiaries.

In 2022, the company was said to owe the landlords of Hawker QSR and Mom’s Touch more than S$176,000 in rental and other fees.

No Signboard Holdings has been around for over 40 years and came from humble origins — the company initially started out as a hawker stall that sold seafood. Since then, it has expanded into other verticals within the F&B industry, including the ready-to-eat meals sector.

In November 2017, the company went public and was listed on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. Two years prior, the company’s seafood chain counterpart, JUMBO Group, also went public.

Featured Image Credit: No Signboard/ Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards

Also ReadS’pore seafood restaurant No Signboard said to owe landlords over S$176K in rent and other fees

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