Apex Equity auditor ousted at AGM over qualified opinion on loan granted to debtor of gov’t projects

SHAREHOLDERS of Apex Equity Holdings Bhd, one of Malaysia’s smaller listed stockbrokers, have “voted out” its current external auditor Crowe Malaysia PLT during the company’s 34th annual general meeting (AGM) today (June 25) which saw the passing of four out of six resolutions.

The outcome of polling saw 102 shareholders with 111.87 million shares or a stake of 63.4% voted against Crowe Malaysia continuing to hold office from the conclusion of today’s AGM until the next AGM to be held in 2025.

On the contrary, another nine shareholders with 64.62 million (36.6% stake) voted in favour of the external auditors’ re-appointment.


In view the outcome, Apex will seek to appoint a new auditor, according to its group executive director Datuk Zakaria Arshad who further expressed confidence in the group’s ability to recover the loan earlier questioned by the external auditor.

As a backgrounder, Crowe Malaysia had on April 30 issued a “qualified opinion” on Apex’s 2023 financial report by questioning the group’s ability to recover a loan granted to a company (a non-related party) involved in government projects.

This comes about following the external auditor’s receipt of ‘information’ close to the audit sign off date which indicated a potential termination risk associated with one of the government projects awarded to the debtor.

However, the Apex board holds a completely opposite view and stance from Crowe Malaysia in that it strongly asserts the group’s ability to recover the said loan receivable.

Elaborating further on the matter, Zakaria pointed out that the outcome of voting indicated shareholders dissatisfaction against the external auditor for the issuance of its “qualified opinion”

“The group has efficiently utilised company funds to create value for shareholders and maintains confidence in matter despite differing views and stances from our external auditor,” justified Zakaria who held a clarification session after the shareholder meeting alongside group deputy CEO Wong Zhen Fai and group chief operating officer Chang Min De.

“The group has also determined that the matter is a non-adjusting event as defined in the applicable financial reporting framework and a disclosure has accordingly been made. However, due to client confidentiality and sensitive issues, we’re unable to disclose further details about the debtor or project(s) in question.”

Apex recorded a pre-tax profit of RM10.74 mil for its fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2023 or a 58% jump from RM6.79 mil in its FY2022. Revenue for FY2023 also edged up 26.9% to RM45.62 mil from RM35.94 mil in the previous financial year.

At the close of today’s trading, Apex was up 2 sen or 1.69% with 2,500 shares traded, this valuing the company at RM256 mil. – June 25, 2024

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