Singapore: Inside the Keppel Corporation Corruption Scandal

Singapore: Inside the Keppel Corporation Corruption Scandal

Singapore: Inside the Keppel Corporation Corruption Scandal

By Vincent Khoo Teng Lau published on Today

On Aug 3, 2016, a news wire report alleged that Keppel Corporation was involved in a bribery scandal in Brazil. However, the company strongly refuted those allegations and this denial was also widely reported in the news media.

Keppel Corp even made a regulatory filing to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on that Wednesday Aug 3 evening in response to the news wire report. In its filing, it said: “Keppel strongly denies the allegations reportedly made that Keppel executives authorised Mr Skornicki to pay bribes on its behalf.”

Even earlier than that in 2015, Keppel Corp’s name cropped up in reports on the “Operation Car Wash” probe, when investigations uncovered a claim that executives from Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras took bribes in exchange for awarding contracts. To my knowledge, Keppel Corp did not make any public statements denying or admitting those allegations.

The denial by Keppel Corp and its silence during those times would have had an impact on the market, as well as the financial standing of the listed company and its share price.

In light of the recent developments and revelations that former Keppel Offshore and Marine executives were involved in corruption (“Keppel O&M sanctioned 17 current, former employees over Brazil bribery case: document”; Dec 30), it can be inferred that Keppel Corp may have wilfully and intentionally made false and misleading statements then to the media and to the SGX in their regulatory filings, so as to mislead the community of investors.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, SGX and other relevant regulatory authorities must relook those statements by Keppel Corp to see whether any breaches have been made with regards to the Securities and Futures Act, the listing rules and so forth, and to take appropriate actions.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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