Singyes shareholders show discontent

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Chinese solar project developer and building-integrated PV manufacturer Singyes Solar may have been given breathing space against the winding-up petition due to be heard against it yesterday, but shareholders indicated their discontent with the boss at today’s AGM in Hong Kong.

An update to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange filed by the company today used the boilerplate phrase: “The board is pleased to announce that the resolutions as set out in the AGM notice … were duly passed by the shareholders” but the vote results told a more nuanced story.

No opposition was lodged to the presentation of the annual results for last year nor to permitting the board to determine their own pay and that of the auditors. There were also no votes against the reappointment of Tan Hongwei as an independent non-executive director although there were rumblings of dissent against the reappointment of Zhuo Jianming (0.28% voted against) and Li Hong (0.31% against) as non-executive directors.

Notable dissent

The biggest rebellion came in the vote to reappoint chairman, chief executive and executive director Liu Hongwei, with the holders of 5.9 million shares – 2.32% of investors – voting to block the move.

Singyes was due to face a winding-up petition in the Hong Kong High Court yesterday after Deutsche Bank’s Hong Kong branch lodged the petition over a US$6.27 million debt which Singyes disputes. The hearing was adjourned until October 16.

The company had signaled it was due to announce tomorrow the results of a shareholder vote on a HK$1.55 billion (US$198 million) takeover by Water Development (HK) Holding Co Ltd although an update issued by Singyes a month ago listed the Chinese state-owned entity as the holder of 202% of its issued stock, implying the state bail-out had already been waved through.

The manufacturer, which is due to present its first-half results in a week’s time, is trying to persuade the holders of almost US$430 million of defaulted senior notes and convertible bonds to postpone settlement of their debts to enable the company to turn itself around.