STEng – BT

ST Engg shares hold steady after news of exec’s arrest

SHARES of ST Engineering escaped unscathed yesterday following news that a senior officer, as well as some current and former employees, had been arrested over investigations into falsified accounts.

The stock lost just one cent or 0.35 per cent yesterday to finish at $2.83, with some 1.77 million shares changing hands.

By comparison, the Straits Times Index yesterday closed down 0.52 per cent, or down 14.21 points.

ST Engineering said on Monday that Patrick Lee Swee Ching, former group financial controller at ST Marine, two existing staffers and an ex-employee have been arrested by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Mr Lee was arrested over an offence under Section 477A of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which relates to an officer who destroys or falsifies documents ‘wilfully and with intent to defraud’.

Mr Lee was with ST Marine between 2001 and 2006, and joined VT Systems in November 2006.

ST Engineering added that it is believed that the CPIB is investigating certain transactions involving former and current employees of ST Marine.

The two current employees and one former employee of ST Marine arrested have also been released on bail.

These individuals do not hold key management appointments in ST Engineering, the company said.

Mr Lee, now chief financial officer of ST Engineering’s US division, Vision Technologies Systems (VT Systems), was arrested last Thursday. He returned to the US two days after the CPIB arrested him, after the bureau granted him permission to leave the country, and is still chief financial officer at VT Systems.

He has also not been charged in court.

‘Not often do we see a senior manager at a subsidiary of one of the largest listed conglomerates in town arrested but granted bail and allowed to leave Singapore,’ Kim Eng said in a client note yesterday. ‘As Alice would say, curiouser and curiouser.’

Separately, ST Engineering said yesterday that its land systems arm, ST Kinetics, has won a $68 million contract from Singapore’s Ministry of Defence.

The contract, won through an international tender, is to supply Spider Light Strike Vehicles (Spider LSV) and spares. These vehicles are designed such that weapon systems can be mounted on both sides of the driver.

ST Engineering expects to deliver the vehicles between 2013 and 2014.

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