Lawyers want more Singapore due diligence

Author: | Published: 20 Aug 2010

Rachel Evans Asia editor

When New Century pulled its Singapore initial public offering (IPO) in May 2010, a media storm erupted. On the eve of pricing and just days before trading was due to start, the deal was indeterminately postponed after the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) was tipped off that the prospectus issued by the Chinese shipbuilder contained inaccuracies.

The would-be issuer allegedly stated that it was "not engaged in any legal or arbitration proceedings", failing to disclose a dispute with Sino Noble. Sino Noble initiated legal action over two bulk carriers which it had ordered from New Century for $180 million. Not only were these court proceedings not revealed, New Century listed the two ships as part of its order book.

Unsurprisingly, underwriters and advisers are concerned. Of the private practice and in-house lawyers interviewed for this month's Big Question, only 17% are happy with the level of due...