Regional companies see stable M&A desire driven by new markets, tech and talent

SINGAPORE (Nov 12): Companies in the region have relatively stable appetite for M&A activity, a recent EY survey has found.

This despite coming under pressure from higher input costs, thinning margins and an increasingly slowing economy.

Forty-one percent of executives in Southeast Asia say they are eyeing some acquisition deals over the next 12 months, according to the 21st edition of the EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB).

SGX ranks among top 10 exchanges in IPO proceeds for 2Q: EY

SINGAPORE (June 27): The Singapore Exchange (SGX) ranked 10th among exchanges around the world in terms of initial public offering (IPO) proceeds for 2Q19, thanks to sizeable IPOs by two real estate investment trusts.

During the quarter, ARA US Hospitality Trust (ARAUS) and Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) led the way for SGX with IPOs that raised gross proceeds of US$498 million ($679 million) and US$453 million, respectively.

EY appoints Liew Nam Soon as new Asean managing partner

SINGAPORE (June 25): EY has appointed Liew Nam Soon as its managing partner for the Asean region, effective July 1.

Liew will be responsible for the operations of the EY Asean Region, which spans 14 geographic markets.

He will also be a member of the EY Asia-Pacific Area Operating Executive, the top decision-making body in the Asia-Pacific with accountability for strategy execution.

SGX hones ability to scrutinise asset valuations, pressures auditors — will it close the ‘trust deficit’?

SINGAPORE (Feb 4): On Jan 25, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) briefed several journalists about its plans to play a more active role in determining the scope of statutory audits of locally listed companies, and beef up its capabilities to scrutinise the value of corporate assets.

Key opportunities in Asia-Pacific region for insurance industry: EY

SINGAPORE (Dec 12): Insurers across Asia-Pacific are widely experimenting on ways to capitalise on near-term opportunities and drive long-term growth for the industry, according to the EY insurance outlook 2019.

Amid weak global insurance sector growth, rising incomes and expanding populations have benefitted from the region’s life insurers, while the non-life sector has seen strong growth fuelled by overall economic growth in key markets.

EY global chairman Mark Weinberger to retire after good six-year run

SINGAPORE (Dec 4): Mark Weinberger, the global chairman and chief executive of Big Four accounting firm EY, is stepping down in the middle of next year.

EY will begin the search to replace Weinberger — who was elected global chairman of EY in 2013 — at the start of 2019.

Under his tenure, global revenues at EY hit an all-time high in the latest financial year of US$35 billion ($47.8 billion).

EY audits at centre of Noble's criminal probe: FT

SINGAPORE (Nov 27): The criminal investigation into commodity trader Noble Group is focusing at the audits conducted by its accountants EY, according to the UK's Financial Times.

Authorities in Singapore are reviewing accounts signed off by EY in the three years to 2017 for Noble Resources International (NRI), the subsidiary that handled most of its coal trading activities.

Risk management integration & disruption crucial to digital transformation projects: EY poll

SINGAPORE (Sept 21): Risk professionals are essential for building trust and confidence when implementing emerging technology and digital transformation projects, suggests the findings of a recent EY poll.

Out of the 1,200 participants who attended the recent webcast entitled How can you turn digital risk into a source of competitive advantage?, 59% said the integration of risk professionals in transformation projects is essential in building trust and confidence.

UK to consider proposals to curb Big Four auditors: industry official

LONDON (Aug 29): Britain’s competition watchdog is expected to formally consider proposals from top accountants to curb the market share of the “Big Four” auditors, a senior industry official said on Wednesday.

Michael Izza, chief executive of the ICAEW, a professional accounting body, said he and other industry officials met with Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) staff on Tuesday to present ideas to increase auditor choice for companies.

“It was a very cordial meeting that lasted over an hour. They were very much in listening mode,” Izza said.

Southeast Asia PE deal value surges to $30 bil in 1Q, led by Singapore

SINGAPORE (July 9): Total private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) deal value in Southeast Asia hit a historic high of US$21.9 billion ($29.7 billion) over 19 deals in 1Q18, significantly up from 26 deals worth US$687 million a year ago.

This is according to EY’s Private equity briefing: Southeast Asia (June 2018) report, which offers a roundup of the PE deals and capital activities across major sectors in the region.

Be informed of the stories that matter