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Bankrupt Hanwell Holdings executive chairman resigns after 'oversight'

MAINBOARD-LISTED Hanwell Holdings' executive chairman is off the board, with the company adding that it had not been aware of his disqualifying bankruptcy until Wednesday.

Allan Yap, 64, who has been chairman since 2002, stepped down on Wednesday, said a late-night bourse filing from Hanwell on Thursday.

He has resigned, also with immediate effect, as executive chairman of 64 per cent-owned Tat Seng Packaging Group as well.

He was booted as executive chairman of Hong Kong-listed Master Glory after having been declared bankrupt by a Hong Kong court last month.

But, in Singapore, neither Hanwell nor Tat Seng had made announcements on his board membership.

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The board has now stressed in its response to queries from bourse operator Singapore Exchange (SGX) that it did not know about the bankruptcy until told by the SGX this week.

It added that the bankruptcy has "minimum implications on the company's business, financials and operations", and no material impact.

The SGX had asked Hanwell to explain, among other points, the implications of Mr Yap's bankruptcy status on his ability and suitability to remain as a director and chairman.

The SGX also asked if there are unsatisfied judgments against him, and what the implications of judgments, if any, would be for Hanwell.

The Hanwell board said Mr Yap did not update the company on his status because of an oversight, as he was "extremely busy, engaged on his other personal commitments".

With his latest resignation, he confirmed that he has no disagreement with the other directors, and that there are no matters that must be brought to the attention of Hanwell and Tat Seng shareholders, the board added.

It said Mr Yap reported being adjudged bankrupt only in Hong Kong, "as far as he knows", and Hanwell is not aware of whether he was made a bankrupt in any other jurisdiction.

The office of executive chairman is now empty, with six members left on the board. The nominating committee, in consultation with the rest of the board, "will be taking steps to source either internally or externally to fill the vacancy", the directors said.

Hanwell will make relevant announcements on the appointment of a new chairman "as and when required", the board added.

It last traded at S$0.29 on Thursday, up by half a Singapore cent or 1.75 per cent, before a trading halt during the mid-day break.

Tat Seng, which also called a halt at 12.30pm, last traded at S$0.545.

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