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COA strikes out winding-up appeal by Serba Dinamik and three others following withdrawal

Publish date: Tue, 25 Jun 2024, 01:01 PM

PUTRAJAYA (June 25): The Court of Appeal (COA) on Tuesday struck out the appeal by Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd (KL:SERBADK) and its three companies over them being wound up.

This follows the companies withdrawing the appeal before a three-member bench led by Datuk P Ravinthran.

Counsel Sandra Tan for Serba Dinamik informed the bench that they were withdrawing the appeal.

Altogether, there were eight appeals, Tan said, and they had received instructions to adjourn the winding-up appeal.

Koo Yin Soon who represented the six syndicate financiers, Niisha Lakshme for the bilateral financiers that comprise HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd and HSBC Bank, along with Karen Tan for Hong Leong Islamic Bank Bhd - which are the creditors - had asked for costs of withdrawal.

Niisha also mentioned on behalf of the liquidators appointed by the court.

This followed Koo telling the court that they had prepared for the appeal records, where there are 40 volumes that run to 55,000 pages.

This was concurred by Niisha and Tan.

Following this, Ravinthran, who sat with Datuk Hashim Hamzah and Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, ordered Serba Dinamik to pay total costs of RM200,000.

On Jan 10 last year, the High Court allowed the winding up of Serba Dinamik, along with its three companies Serba Dinamik International Ltd, Serba Dinamik Sdn Bhd and Serba Dinamik Group Bhd, over debts totalling about RM5 billion.

Judge Ahmad Murad Abdul Aziz allowed the petitions filed by Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd, AmBank Islamic Bhd, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd, United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, and granted an order to wind up the four companies, which are in debt to the tune of some RM5 billion.

He also allowed the petitions by HSBC Amanah and HSBC Bank, who are the bilateral lenders.

Abdul Murad later on March 16 last year also dismissed Serba Dinamik and the three companies' application for a permanent stay of the winding-up pending their appeal being heard in the Court of Appeal.

Earlier this month, Serba Dinamik was delisted by Bursa Malaysia following the local bourse operator’s rejection of the company’s final appeal.

Serba Dinamik shares were suspended from January 2023, where at that time they were traded at two sen apiece.

At its peak, Serba Dinamik’s share price was at RM2.50 (adjusted post-bonus issue), giving it a market capitalisation of RM6 billion in early 2023.

The company ran into problems in late May 2021, after its external auditor KPMG flagged statutory audit issues resulting in its share price to drop.

Initially, Serba Dinamik’s executives - including its managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah - were charged by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) on Dec 28, 2021 in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, for submitting a false financial statement to Bursa after the regulator conducted an investigation into the audit issues raised by KPMG.

But subsequently, upon conclusion of the probe, the SC in April 2022 decided to compound only Serba Dinamik’s top brass, including Abdul Karim and three other top executives - executive director Datuk Syed Nazim Syed Faisal, group chief financial officer Azhan Azmi, and vice-president of accounts and finance Muhammad Hafiz Othman - a total of RM16 million for submitting false statements involving revenue of RM6.01 billion for the 12-month period ended Dec 31, 2020, which was flagged by KPMG.

This followed a representation letter sent to the Attorney General's Chambers, resulting in Abdul Karim, Syed Nazim, Azhan and Muhammad Hafiz being acquitted.

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