SINGAPORE (May 13): Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) has issued a notice of compliance on Best World International, to expand the scope of an on-going review by PwC.

As part of the expanded review, PwC is to also audit the veracity of Best World’s sales in China, largely via an entity called Changsha Best. PwC, which was appointed in March, is to also obtain an independent legal opinion if the business model in China is sound.

According to the notice signed by June Sim, SGX RegCo’s head of listing compliance, the findings are to be only reported to SGX RegCo, and not to the company’s audit committee as previously agreed.

SGX RegCo’s notice of compliance comes right after Best World’s admission that the sole shareholder and legal representative of Changsha Best, Koh Kim Chuan, is actually the brother-in-law of Best World’s CEO, Dora Hoan.

See: Best World admits owner of China import agent is CEO's brother-in-law

Best World did not previously disclose this relationship. It only did so when pointed out so by a blog, Varriant Varriors, presumably acting in concert with an outfit called Bonitas Research, to short Best World’s shares.

In its May 13 announcement, Best World admitted to the ties between Koh and Hoan.

However, the company maintains that Koh is a merely a passive investor in Changsha Best, and suggests that the entity, which functions as Best World’s primary import agent, is largely managed by one Yan Weijun, who is now Best World’s marketing director in China.

See: Best World files defamation suit against short seller Bonitas; calls to lift trading halt following 1Q results release

“The Company recognises that it had earlier failed to provide a fuller picture of the ownership of the Primary Import Agent and sincerely apologises for any confusion and unease that may have been caused,” states Best World on May 13.

The company’s shares has been suspended by SGX RegCo since May 9. The last company to be similarly suspended was ISR Capital, back in November 2016.

See: SGX RegCo suspends Best World amid fresh attacks by short sellers