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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » EXPERT CHRONICLE™ » Touchwood Case Review

Touchwood Case Review

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seyon


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Unofficial information that the expected Touchwood case against Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board(SLAASMB) next hearing will be on 26th May 2011. Yes everyone looking the favorable outcome. Today, there are rumors that outcome will be favorable to the company and some brokers recommend to buy at current price. I could see some collection (about 820,000 shares) was made @ 23.60 levels.

I just did some research on the Touchwood Case. It looks like decision will be favorable to company. (This is not a promotion, just merely to getting your views. To be honest I do not have TWOD shares at the moment.)

We all know about the case related to the valuation of biological assets. I extracted some facts from SLAASMB website of case information to start from beginning.

The Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board has determined that the estimates of fair value of biological assets used by Touchwood Investments Limited in its financial statements for the years ended 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2006 are clearly unreliable. The Company has also not been able to provide the Board with any other estimates which are reliable. Further, the method of valuation used for the year ended 31 March 2005 was not in accordance with International Accounting Standard, IAS 41 Agriculture, which the company has purportedly adopted.

As the company has purportedly adopted International Accounting Standard, IAS 41 Agriculture, the Board has concluded that the biological assets should have been valued at a value which approximates cost in accordance with paragraph 24 (b) of IAS 41 or at cost less accumulated impairment in accordance with paragraph 30 of IAS 41. Based on such valuation the company would not show a net profit for the relevant financial periods.

As the impact on the financial statements is substantial the Board has decided to refer the non-compliance to the Attorney General. The Board has also decided to investigate the compliance with auditing standards by the auditors in relation to the audit of the financial statements of the Company.

Based on the above information I can see in the absence of Sri Lanka Accounting Standards, company uses International Accounting Standards 41, Agriculture for the valuation of biological assets. But SLAASMB argument is that estimates of fair value of the biological assets in not accordance with IAS 41 and the financial statements are unreliable.

Further I have received BASL News Letter (Bar Association) of December 2010, there talked about some legal judgment (I attached the newsletter in our research forum http://research.srilankaequity.com/t96-touchwood-case-basl-bar-association-news-letter-judgement-views , refer page 4 for the Touchwood case). There they briefed about the case and given their views. Based on that, Board had not statutory power to challenge the valuation of the Petitioner on non compliance with IAS 41.

Further company received the Certificate of Compliance by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka for the Annual Report Awards 2010. This certificates covers the CSR, Financial, Presentation and Compliance. Therefore, this reveals that the company practice in valuing biological assets in accordance with IAS 41 as the certificated awarded by ICASL which is the statutory for setting the Accounting Standards

Followings extract from Touchwood website

Certificate Of Compliance

January 24th 2011

We are proud to announce that our Sri Lankan office, Touchwood Investments PLC has been awarded the “CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE” by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka for the Annual Report Awards 2010 - at the ceremony held on 7th December 2010.

This award is granted by the Inst. of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka every year. They evaluate and grant awards in key areas such as - CSR, Financials, presentation, compliance, etc.

This certificate emphasizes that all requirements are being met in order for us to achieve our goals and serve our investors with industry leading standards.

For the year to come Touchwood Investments PLC has its goals set on the CSR awards to be handed out in the 2011 ceremony.

Thank you to all our accounting and administration staff who made the award possible.

http://www.touchwood.com/news/certificate-compliance

So Guys, Based on the above information and facts, to me the decision would be favorable to company. How do you all look into that..

Pls Share ur thoughts and views

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Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:19 am by Fresher

@Lord Toad wrote:The auditor resignation is true - I have several people who have confirmed that individually from KPMG.

That requires immediate disclosure to the CSE scratch

Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:42 am by dinga

@Lord Toad wrote:The auditor resignation is true - I have several people who have confirmed that individually from KPMG.

Do we know the reason for KPMG's resignation? For what it's worth, my bet is the auditor has finally concluded TW is not a going concern.

If this is so, the auditor itself could be in a sticky position since it seems to me there may have been a series of 'red flags' that were missed. A couple of questions to the forum's knowledgeable members:

1. Is it common in SLanka for Auditors to be enjoined in class actions by investors? (it certainly is in other jurisdictions - like Australia - where heavy penalties have recently been imposed against some of the Big 4)

2. What are the penalties, if any, for a company and its Directors if it is found to have continued to trade while insolvent?

Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:53 am by Lord Toad

KPMG are an international company and they will be insured.

If the suggestion is made that KPMG might be culpable they are obliged to put their insurer on notice - even if no claim is made

Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:14 am by dinga

@Lord Toad wrote:KPMG are an international company and they will be insured.

If the suggestion is made that KPMG might be culpable they are obliged to put their insurer on notice - even if no claim is made

Indeed so - insurers' deep pockets can be a very attractive lure to investors especially where the adequacy of the 'assets' of the company and its Directors are themselves doubtful.

Couple more questions:

1. Has KPMG resigned as auditor for all of the TW entities including TW Forestry Thailand; TW Asia (Thailand); TW Limited (HK); TW Australia etcetc??? Assume so, but this be confirmed?

2. Why has TW not notified the CSE?? (nothing I can see on the website). What are the penalties for failure to immediately provide market-sensitive information?

3. Are litigation funders active in matters SLanka???? If so, would appreciate contact details.

avatar

Post Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:30 am by Malaysian Investor

Just so you all know. This issue has not gone away. As TW reps. will not comment on here, but have been reading this, we have moved our comments/actions to a more private place

avatar

Post Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:44 pm by cyril_madrid

What do you mean "to a more private place" ? Do you mean you are negotiating with TW ?
I think affected investors have interest in this going public, and being kept in the loop, instead of the forum to go quiet and leave everyone in stand by.
We need to know if our trees are looked after, that's the first step, if we need to change caretaker for the trees, ...

avatar

Post Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:49 pm by Lord Toad

@cyril_madrid wrote:What do you mean "to a more private place" ? Do you mean you are negotiating with TW ?
I think affected investors have interest in this going public, and being kept in the loop, instead of the forum to go quiet and leave everyone in stand by.
We need to know if our trees are looked after, that's the first step, if we need to change caretaker for the trees, ...

There is a group I am a member of who are trying to sort things out. Join the email list on this site http://touchwoodinvest.com.

avatar

Post Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:33 pm by Kay2

Dear All,

I don't understand what all of you are talking about its as if the company has abandoned clients. This is not true, the company is speaking to clients in Thailand from the Touchwood Forestry Company and also speaking to Sri Lankan clients from their Local office which is Touchwood Investments PLC.

Why not speak to either company and get things resolved. They have appointed a Harvest Processing Team in Sri Lanka and In Thailand as well. If you speak to them and meet them you could discuss your concerns.

I strongly suggest the only way to resolve this matter is to talk it out with the right people in the company, I also know that the few clients have visited the plantations in Thailand and was very pleased with the management of the trees.

tnx

avatar

Post Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:36 pm by Malaysian Investor

@Kay2 wrote:Dear All,

I don't understand what all of you are talking about its as if the company has abandoned clients. This is not true, the company is speaking to clients in Thailand from the Touchwood Forestry Company and also speaking to Sri Lankan clients from their Local office which is Touchwood Investments PLC.

Why not speak to either company and get things resolved. They have appointed a Harvest Processing Team in Sri Lanka and In Thailand as well. If you speak to them and meet them you could discuss your concerns.

I strongly suggest the only way to resolve this matter is to talk it out with the right people in the company, I also know that the few clients have visited the plantations in Thailand and was very pleased with the management of the trees.

tnx


When a company bounces cheques on you, refuses to respond to emails and letters, has no plan to pay up, and has sold on the trees the have "bought" from you what do you suggest we do ?

sureshot

Post Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:40 pm by sureshot

Kay2 well said. U r right.

if there is a cheque return you can go to the police and complain.
Posting here will not help you guys.
this is my suggestion only .....




Slstock

Post Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:45 pm by Slstock

Kay2 are you a rep from TWOD? Just asking. If so it would be good to say so.


@Kay2 wrote:Dear All,

I don't understand what all of you are talking about its as if the company has abandoned clients. This is not true, the company is speaking to clients in Thailand from the Touchwood Forestry Company and also speaking to Sri Lankan clients from their Local office which is Touchwood Investments PLC.

Why not speak to either company and get things resolved. They have appointed a Harvest Processing Team in Sri Lanka and In Thailand as well. If you speak to them and meet them you could discuss your concerns.

I strongly suggest the only way to resolve this matter is to talk it out with the right people in the company, I also know that the few clients have visited the plantations in Thailand and was very pleased with the management of the trees.

tnx

avatar

Post Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:42 pm by Whitebull

@slstock wrote:Kay2 are you a rep from TWOD? Just asking. If so it would be good to say so.


@Kay2 wrote:Dear All,

I don't understand what all of you are talking about its as if the company has abandoned clients. This is not true, the company is speaking to clients in Thailand from the Touchwood Forestry Company and also speaking to Sri Lankan clients from their Local office which is Touchwood Investments PLC.

Why not speak to either company and get things resolved. They have appointed a Harvest Processing Team in Sri Lanka and In Thailand as well. If you speak to them and meet them you could discuss your concerns.

I strongly suggest the only way to resolve this matter is to talk it out with the right people in the company, I also know that the few clients have visited the plantations in Thailand and was very pleased with the management of the trees.

tnx

Of course Yes....This was like පාලු ගෙයි වලං බිඳීම earlier.

avatar

Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:49 am by Lord Toad

What would an excellent start Kay2 would be if you were to look at all the emails you have received regarding harvest returns and answer them - if as in most cases there are multiple emails all making the same request from the same person you maybe forgiven for only answering them with one reply.
If somebody has a bounced cheque then maybe a bank transfer would solve the problem.
But in all cases people want action which = money - not platitudes.
And please remember the reason people are on here is because all usual approaches to Touchwood have been ignored or spurned.

avatar

Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:26 am by Kay2

@Lord Toad wrote:What would an excellent start Kay2 would be if you were to look at all the emails you have received regarding harvest returns and answer them - if as in most cases there are multiple emails all making the same request from the same person you maybe forgiven for only answering them with one reply.
If somebody has a bounced cheque then maybe a bank transfer would solve the problem.
But in all cases people want action which = money - not platitudes.
And please remember the reason people are on here is because all usual approaches to Touchwood have been ignored or spurned.

We have seen these happening in the past and going public is not the solution. This forum is not going to help any of us, it is only going to make things even bad. I am sure you should be educated enough to understand this. All i am saying is we should get in contact with the right people in the company, i know for a fact that Touchwood Forestry Company Thailand is in full operation and Touchwood Investments PLC Sri Lanka is also in full operation. Maybe it is best that we pay a visit and discuss these issues...This issue is only with the Thailand operations but it is now affecting the Sri Lanka operations as well which could have an adverse effect for many investors in Sri Lanka...and whatever money you are hoping to get will be lost..THIS IS NOT HEALTHY!!! This is my opinion only..

avatar

Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:31 am by Kay2

[quote="slstock"]Kay2 are you a rep from TWOD? Just asking. If so it would be good to say so.

I am an investor in Sri Lanka, and i have been closely observing and following TWOD for many years. I get my regular updates on the company from many sources.

avatar

Post Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:43 am by Lord Toad

@Kay2 wrote:

We have seen these happening in the past and going public is not the solution. This forum is not going to help any of us, it is only going to make things even bad. I am sure you should be educated enough to understand this. All i am saying is we should get in contact with the right people in the company, i know for a fact that Touchwood Forestry Company Thailand is in full operation and Touchwood Investments PLC Sri Lanka is also in full operation. Maybe it is best that we pay a visit and discuss these issues...This issue is only with the Thailand operations but it is now affecting the Sri Lanka operations as well which could have an adverse effect for many investors in Sri Lanka...and whatever money you are hoping to get will be lost..THIS IS NOT HEALTHY!!! This is my opinion only..

You are right of course but you may rest assured the only reason the issues got to this board was because they were getting nowhere by simple contacting Touchwood.

Since this thread and our investor group (website http://touchwoodinvest.com/) started there has been an improvement in communication however those wanting money are told there is a financial problem. This is very frustrating as many of our group need the money just saying wait 3 years is not a good option. And many worry what will happen in another 3 years - wait again!
But we are actively working to find a solution - I suspect we are doing Touchwoods job!

"Aequus start legal action.
14.01.2013
We have instructed our lawyers to start legal action against our forestry manager Touchwood Ltd for breach of contract.

A statement will follow soon from our Lawyer." See Aequus Website http://www.aequusam.com/news-detail.php?id=31

BTW am still awaiting feedback from my complaint to the CSE Regulators about TW's failure to notify investors about the resignation of KPMG.

@venkat1711 wrote:The fact is the product / Investment model is good and if properly carried out should yield desired results. Of course every busines has risks and this too has its own. However, what affects the business most is the greediness of the promoters and diverting funds for more assets with an idea to build bigger business or finacial mis-management which is liekley to lead to liquidity issues.

As such looks like all Babmoo investors have not been paid. I would like to know from other investors if anyone has return due on Agarwood in the past 1 year and if that has also been delayed?? Any idea how the quality of the Agarwood / Bamoo grown has been and its acceptance in the market?? For me my Agarwood return is due in Jan 2014 and one last management fee is pending during Jan 2013. If Bamoo investors are not given their return & the news of thier default comes open in the public it is liklely that all investors will all stop paying up any further management fee on thier investments fearing loss of that money also. This will create additional problem for Touchwood as they need money for rotation !! I am not sure how they are going to come out of this mess ! Kindly share your thoughts on these.

avatar

Post Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:09 am by econimistSL

Dear Kay2,

i agree with u to a certain extent, although im not a touchwood investor a couple of my friends have been paid their BKK returns in 2011. from what i know is that Touchwood is working on some sort of a payment plan for the remaining pay outs... i too believe that publicizing negativity about any company will not help the investors, best thing to do as kay2 says is to stay calm, analyze the situ & speak to the company.. spreading negativity will only backfire at the investors which mite help them loose whatever they are supposed to get. this was the case in many finance companies in SL recently....

@Kay2 wrote:Dear All,

I don't understand what all of you are talking about its as if the company has abandoned clients. This is not true, the company is speaking to clients in Thailand from the Touchwood Forestry Company and also speaking to Sri Lankan clients from their Local office which is Touchwood Investments PLC.

Why not speak to either company and get things resolved. They have appointed a Harvest Processing Team in Sri Lanka and In Thailand as well. If you speak to them and meet them you could discuss your concerns.

I strongly suggest the only way to resolve this matter is to talk it out with the right people in the company, I also know that the few clients have visited the plantations in Thailand and was very pleased with the management of the trees.

tnx

avatar

Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:26 pm by Batuwita

i have been following you guys for a while now and i couldn't wait without saying anything anymore cos most of you guys are behaving in a manner where not only you are showing others your true character, you are contributing immensely to worsen the current situation. i my self have invested in some plots with Touchwood and i am getting my monthly and annual returns, some time with a little delay yes that i agree. but some of you are not even investors and you are going on and on about how bad the situation is. two of my friends have already visited the plantations in Thailand and they were very happy about the whole thing and also believed what TW has previously communicated to them upon their return.why don't you (the actual investors) speak to them and sort your matters out. by doing this not only you will Help yourself as well as TW. because all of us are investors and we await our returns on maturity please do not harm our chances by ruining the image of you or anyone else. end of the day we want them to run well so our purpose is also served. thanks

@econimistSL wrote:Dear Kay2,

i agree with u to a certain extent, although im not a touchwood investor a couple of my friends have been paid their BKK returns in 2011. from what i know is that Touchwood is working on some sort of a payment plan for the remaining pay outs... i too believe that publicizing negativity about any company will not help the investors, best thing to do as kay2 says is to stay calm, analyze the situ & speak to the company.. spreading negativity will only backfire at the investors which mite help them loose whatever they are supposed to get. this was the case in many finance companies in SL recently....

@Kay2 wrote:Dear All,

I don't understand what all of you are talking about its as if the company has abandoned clients. This is not true, the company is speaking to clients in Thailand from the Touchwood Forestry Company and also speaking to Sri Lankan clients from their Local office which is Touchwood Investments PLC.

Why not speak to either company and get things resolved. They have appointed a Harvest Processing Team in Sri Lanka and In Thailand as well. If you speak to them and meet them you could discuss your concerns.

I strongly suggest the only way to resolve this matter is to talk it out with the right people in the company, I also know that the few clients have visited the plantations in Thailand and was very pleased with the management of the trees.

tnx

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Post Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:56 pm by Lord Toad

[quote="Batuwita"]i have been following you guys for a while now and i couldn't wait without saying anything anymore cos most of you guys are behaving in a manner where not only you are showing others your true character, you are contributing immensely to worsen the current situation. i my self have invested in some plots with Touchwood and i am getting my monthly and annual returns, some time with a little delay yes that i agree. but some of you are not even investors and you are going on and on about how bad the situation is. two of my friends have already visited the plantations in Thailand and they were very happy about the whole thing and also believed what TW has previously communicated to them upon their return.why don't you (the actual investors) speak to them and sort your matters out. by doing this not only you will Help yourself as well as TW. because all of us are investors and we await our returns on maturity please do not harm our chances by ruining the image of you or anyone else. end of the day we want them to run well so our purpose is also served. thanks

@econimistSL wrote:Dear Kay2,


Oh dear - me think you protesth too much.

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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:17 am by truthful

[quote="chas"]
@Lord Toad wrote:
@Kay2 wrote:
@dinga wrote:G'day

Hi,

You should contact Touchwood local office on 0094117444888, As far i know Touchwood Asia is still very much operational and i have verified this from the local office and also via my contacts in Thailand. I am sure there is a valid explanation to your concern and doubts, at this point the right thing to do is to contact the local office. Clearly posting comments is not helping. Get it off the horses mouth.

Thanks

I am sure you are right. But it would help if Touchwood management actually clarified what is happening and how harvest returns will now be paid.

It would help if they answered their emails. I have sent 3 in the last month without one response.

The only reason people are posting here is because they are getting no response and the rumour mill (in Bangkok) is rife with bad news - of course rumours are just that but it is the job of Touchwood management to counter them.

I am an investor with Touchwood and can confirm that the office in Bangkok is closed as is the Hong Kong office. There are many clients who have not been paid their returns. There are a number of clients who are now considering litigation as the only solution. This is of course very sad, however, Touchwood are refusing to acknowledge emails or give its clients answers.

I have not been paid my harvest returns for 2011 and have not been able to get confirmation of when or even if I will be paid for 2011 and 2012's payment is now due.

Why have so many directors resigned recently? at least two directors recently resigned after being on the board for only a few months.
These are not rumours and its important that the facts are brought to the publics attention.

I have invested in agrwood & returns are due in 2015, also made an investment with their monthly project 2 months ago & successfully receiving returns, visited their plantations in Girandurukotte too. please back your accusation with proof

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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:57 am by Lord Toad

[quote="truthful"][quote="chas"][quote="Lord Toad"][quote="Kay2"]
@dinga wrote:G'day

I have invested in agrwood & returns are due in 2015, also made an investment with their monthly project 2 months ago & successfully receiving returns, visited their plantations in Girandurukotte too. please back your accusation with proof

If what you are trying to do is shut the thread up you are going the wrong way about it. I have got an email list of over 40 disgruntled investors. The quickest way the shut them and me up is the pay us what was promised on time (which means in most cases NOW) with interest for late payment. We will take the minimum that was promised - namely $200 per tree. Then we will all ride of into the sunset saying 'oh what nice people.'

If you want a list of the harvest returns that are over due I can provide a few dozen from my files - if I ask my email list to post here I am sure all 40 will and I presume you will then see they are paid!

Please remember the first rule of holes is when in one stop digging!

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Post Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:59 pm by Kay2

[quote="Lord Toad"][quote="truthful"][quote="chas"][quote="Lord Toad"]
@Kay2 wrote:
@dinga wrote:G'day

I have invested in agrwood & returns are due in 2015, also made an investment with their monthly project 2 months ago & successfully receiving returns, visited their plantations in Girandurukotte too. please back your accusation with proof

If what you are trying to do is shut the thread up you are going the wrong way about it. I have got an email list of over 40 disgruntled investors. The quickest way the shut them and me up is the pay us what was promised on time (which means in most cases NOW) with interest for late payment. We will take the minimum that was promised - namely $200 per tree. Then we will all ride of into the sunset saying 'oh what nice people.'

If you want a list of the harvest returns that are over due I can provide a few dozen from my files - if I ask my email list to post here I am sure all 40 will and I presume you will then see they are paid!

Please remember the first rule of holes is when in one stop digging!


I strongly suggest you should speak to the company and sort this out, we are all professionals and there is a situation here that we need to discuss with the company and work out a reasonable solution in a professional manner. Lets look at this rationally the company is operational and they have the assets on ground to meet the liability, but we all know the trees cannot be harvested and there is a wait, so we need to get a firm answer and a confirmation on the security of the asset and a clear date for payment. Tnx

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Post Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:00 pm by cyril_madrid

It seems that the company had hired 'Gamini Perera' to answer emails from angry investors, but this person did not do much more than an initial reply and doesn't do any follow up.
Personnally I am asking for a receipt for the maintenance fee I paid in November 12 for my agarwood trees, a (free) plot report to prove the trees are well cared for, I will try to visit the plantation next month, info on their financial situation (or at least know who is the new auditor and when will the next audited accounts be produced).

Looks also that on top of Gamini Perera, they have hired some people to write in this forum too Wink

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