Director of firms in fraud probe says he will try to pay back investors

Mr Ng, 34, was arrested last month on suspicions of cheating in connection to an investment scheme under his two firms, Envy Asset Management and Envy Global Trading.

Envy Global Trading is a commodities trader specialising in physical nickel and futures trading. Envy Asset is no longer active.

When contacted by The Straits Times (ST), Envy Global Trading confirmed the meeting, but declined to comment further.

The Straits Times understands that several investors have pumped millions into the two firms.

Police said last month that the two firms are being investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for alleged misuse of funds raised from investors to finance nickel trading.

Investors were promised varying returns, depending on the scheme they joined, police added.

 


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The Straits Times understands that Envy Asset, which was incorporated in 2015, would buy nickel at a discounted price from a supplier in Western Australia and sell it through a broker on the London Metal Exchange.

Envy Asset was placed on the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) Investor Alert List in March last year. The list flags companies that are not licensed by the MAS but may have given investors the impression that they were sanctioned by the Singapore regulator.

Two months later, assets management firm Envysion Wealth Management launched a commodity strategy fund under its variable capital companies (VCC), Envysion Global Investments VCC.

Envysion Wealth Management is regulated by the MAS as a capital markets services licensee.

Unlike Envy, Envysion does not invest directly in nickel, but in the receivables of nickel trades. Trade receivables are the amounts owed to a business by its customers following the sale of goods or services on credit. Receivables from the nickel buyer will be made available by the seller for the Envysion Commodity Strategy Fund.

According to industry sources, Envysion has been investing in Envy's trade receivables.

A search on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority portal showed that as at last December, Envy Global and Envysion Global Investments VCC shared the same registered address in Centennial Tower.

The Envysion Commodity Strategy Fund targets accredited investors. Under MAS requirements, an accredited investor needs to have net personal assets exceeding $2 million in value, an annual income of at least $300,000 in the preceding 12 months or net financial assets exceeding $1 million in value.

When asked how Envysion will be paying its investors following the freezing of Envy's bank accounts, an Envysion spokesman said the company has been made aware of CAD's investigations on Envy Asset and Envy Global.

"This specific investment is just one of a wide range of investment solutions that are available on Envysion's platform. Immediate actions that Envysion has taken were to initiate redemption for all exposure with Envy Global Trading, while at the same time keeping investors and regulators informed of all updates from the development of the case," the spokesman told ST.

He added that Envysion Wealth Management is a wholly separate company, with separate interests.

MAS, in response to queries from ST, said: "We understand that the focus of CAD's investigations is Envy Global Trading and Envy Asset Management. As Envysion Wealth Management is regulated by MAS, monitoring this entity is part of our role as a supervisor. We will take appropriate actions on our regulated entities should they be involved in any misconduct or if there are any regulatory breaches."

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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