(Mar 14): Regulators in some Asian countries are getting tougher on auditors after landmark defaults, in an increasingly high-stakes game as investors call for earlier warning signs amid expectations for debt failures to mount.
High-profile collapses of commodities trader Noble Group and India’s shadow lender Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services have rocked investors over the past year. In China, a spate of defaults has raised concerns over the quality of financial reports.
Those incidents have prompted investors and regulators in Asia to look back on where they might have picked up more clues that trouble was brewing, adding to broader scrutiny of auditing firms elsewhere in the world. In Malaysia, the Securities Commission fined Deloitte PLT earlier this year for breaches related to a bond issuance by 1MDB. The Singapore Exchange plans to increase the accounting oversight of listed companies, amid a probe into Noble Group and its longstanding auditor Ernst & Young LLP.