Country Heights braces for trading suspension over missed deadline

COUNTRY Heights Holdings Bhd (CHHB) faces potential trading suspension after missing the February 29, 2024 deadline for releasing its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2023 (4QFY2023) results.

The delay, it said, is primarily attributed to the Malaysian Department of Insolvency’s (MDI) ongoing verification of claims and the negotiation with a bank, causing disruptions in the financial updates.

In response to the concerns raised about the timely release of the group’s financial announcement, CHHB emphasised its commitment to transparency and addressed the challenges it is currently facing.

The company revealed that its subsidiary, Mines Waterfront Business Park Sdn Bhd (MWBP), is in liquidation, and the MDI is verifying claims amounts between creditors.

Simultaneously, CHHB is actively engaged in negotiations with a bank regarding a defaulted loan, contributing to the delay in financial updates.

The delays stem from various factors, including legal disputes with stakeholders.

For instance, Amy Siew, a purchaser of MWBP, succeeded in her legal suits against CHHB to terminate the sales and purchase agreement, opting instead to submit claims for Liquidated Ascertained Damages.

The court judgment resulted in a claim of RM1.1 million for a property valued at RM600,000.

Additionally, a winding-up petition filed by Siew and other creditors has further complicated matters, with total claims reaching RM3.8 million.

CHHB clarified its commitment to resolving these issues promptly and has deposited RM390,000, equivalent to 10% of the disputed amount, with MDI, despite the claim not being accurately verified yet.

The board of directors (BOD) has decided to adopt the figure of RM3 million for the book, with further details to be announced.

Addressing another financial discrepancy, CHHB refuted media reports claiming a total debt of RM180 million owed to MBSB Bank.

The accurate figures, estimated between RM72 million to RM79 million, under the Islamic loan scheme, differ significantly from the reported figures.

Consequently, the BOD has initiated accounting measures to accurately reflect the group’s financial position based on the correct estimate of RM79 million.

CHHB also provided insights into the settlement negotiations with MBSB Bank, indicating that MWBP received a proposal for settlement involving an upfront payment of RM1 million and monthly payments of RM500,000 over 24 months, subject to MDI’s offer for the case to be discharged.

Adding complexity to the financial situation are outstanding debts from MWBP’s debtors, such as 23 Century, which has not paid rent totaling RM3.8 million under the winding-up situation.

The accounting and audit teams are meticulously addressing these challenges, it said.

For public information, CHHB highlighted that MWBP and Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC) are valued at RM550 million as per the current market value.

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to directly approach the company for inquiries regarding the sales and acquisition of assets.

In December of the previous year, MBSB Bank sought a claim of RM89.67 million from MIEC and RM91.44 million from MWBP, leading to a court-approved auction proposal for two pieces of land belonging to CHHB’s subsidiaries.

Despite the financial complexities, CHHB expressed its commitment to transparently and responsibly addressing the challenges, acknowledging the continued support of stakeholders during this challenging time.

The company remains optimistic about turning around its fortunes, highlighting the significance of this period as the first time in 40 years that it has missed the deadline mandated by Bursa Malaysia.

As a result of these ongoing financial struggles, CHHB’s securities face a suspension on March 8, following the expiration of the suspension deadline.

However, the company said it aims to uplift the suspension on the market day following the issuance of the outstanding quarterly results, unless otherwise determined by Bursa Securities.

CHHB’s share price remained unchanged at 27.5 sen today, resulting in a market capitalisation of RM83 million. — TMR