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Axington chairman Shen and three other directors quit, citing 'public scrutiny' and 'health reasons'

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Axington chairman Shen and three other directors quit, citing 'public scrutiny' and 'health reasons'
The board is left with just two independent directors
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Evangeline Shen has resigned as chairman of Axington Inc, controlled by the Loh cousins, purportedly because of “strategic changes” to be expected in the business direction of the SGX-listed company.

Shen, together with Terence and Nelson Loh, are in intense public scrutiny in recent weeks following news that Bellagraph Nova Group, the company they co-lead, has doctored a photograph that includes former US president Barack Obama.

See: Axington shares drop 20% following admission of doctored Obama photos by company in Newcastle United takeover bid

Axington, which called for a trading suspension on August 31, was supposed to hold an EGM on August 28 so that shareholders can approve the name change to NETX and to embark on a new strategic direction inspired after a dialogue with Obama.

See also: Axington to hold EGM on proposed name change and change to core business

The EGM wasn’t held and the company is stuck with the name Axington.

See also: Axington's Obama-inspired EGM postponed; independent director resigns

Upon closer media scrutiny, BN Group has retracted a series of claims and statements made in the preceding months in its marketing materials and press releases.

Earlier, BN Group has claimed, for example, to operate a private jet fleet of 10,000; it claims to have a total headcount of 23,000 people and that its 31 entities under the group generate US$12 billion in revenue.

Besides Shen, who is also known as Shen Che, three other Axington directors have also resigned.

They are executive director, Marjory Loh; lead independent director Chua Siong Kiat, and non-independent, non-executive director Wong Soon Yuh.

Their resignation comes just days after former US ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar quit as an independent director, citing the public relations disaster.

Marjory’s resignation, according to Axington in its filing, was caused by recent “public scrutiny”.

Similar to Shen, Wong cites “impending changes” to the company’s business strategy as the reason.

Lead independent director Chua, meanwhile, falls back on “health reasons” and that he is “acting upon medical advice to reduce his workload and other principal commitments so as to recuperate and recover his health.”

Novus Corporate Finance, the Sponsor of Axington, having interviewed Chua, is satisfied that there are no other material reasons for the resignation.

With the string of resignations, Axington’s board is now left with just two independent directors: Low Junrui and Roberto Dona, associate dean for professional engagement at Xi’an-Jiaotong Liverpool University.

Low, meanwhile is the CEO and director of Hydra X since 2018. Hydra X was mentioned as one of the entities that are part of the BN Group, according to marketing materials.

Hydra X was also said by BN Group to be designing and implementing a trading system for SGX. This was denied by both SGX and Hydra X, according to Reuters.

According to Axington's filings of Low's appointment, between 2011 and 2013, he was a legal counsel with SGX.

Axington shares last traded at 19 cents, up 280% year to date.

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