Bloomberg News

Canadian Regulator to Consider Extending Sino-Forest Share Halt

September 06, 2011

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The Ontario Securities Commission will hold a hearing this week to consider extending a temporary order that has suspended trading in Sino-Forest Corp.’s shares and prevented five executives from buying or selling securities.

The cease-trade order on Sino-Forest shares may be extended to Nov. 23 and the order on securities trading by Allen Chan, Albert Ip, Alfred C.T. Hung, George Ho and Simon Yeung may be lengthened to Jan. 25, Canada’s main securities watchdog said Sept. 2 in a notice on its website.

The OSC said Aug. 26 that officers and directors of Hong Kong- and Mississauga, Ontario-based Sino-Forest may have engaged in acts “related to its securities” that they “knew or should have known” perpetuated a fraud. The agency also suspended the company’s Toronto shares from trading for 15 days.

Sino-Forest’s stock has plunged 67 percent since short seller Carson Block’s Muddy Waters LLC published a June 2 report alleging that the company overstated its timber holdings. Sino- Forest has denied Muddy Waters’ allegations and has assigned an independent committee to investigate the claims, hiring PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to assist.

The OSC on Aug. 26 ordered the five executives to resign, before rescinding the move later the same day. The regulator said it needs to hold a hearing first. Chan resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Sino-Forest on Aug. 28.

The OSC hearing to extend the temporary orders will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 9:30 a.m. at OSC headquarters at 20 Queen Street West in Toronto, according to the announcement.

--With assistance from Matt Walcoff in Toronto. Editors: Steven Frank, Simon Casey

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at cjdonville@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.


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