Hour Glass co-founder loses bankruptcy appeal
Ms Jannie Chan Siew Lee, 74, co-founder of mainboard-listed luxury timepieces retailer The Hour Glass, had her appeal against a bankruptcy order dismissed by the High Court yesterday.
As a result, Ms Chan (right) cannot put the bankruptcy order on hold. She failed to persuade Judicial Commissioner Dedar Singh Gill to overturn the assistant registrar's decision on May 27 to grant licensed moneylender SME Care's petition to make her a bankrupt over $4.15 million in overdue debt.
A bankrupt faces disqualification from appointments including as a director, trustee or personal representative, as well as prohibitions such as on overseas travel without prior permission from the official assignee or private trustee administering the bankrupt's affairs while he remains undischarged.
Ms Chan is no longer a director at The Hour Glass, but she told the media recently that she remains an adviser to the company she co-founded with her former husband, and still holds stakes in it.
SME Care gave a loan of $500,000 to Ms Chan's company JASC in 2012, secured by a mortgage of two shops JASC owned and her personal guarantee.
JASC defaulted on the debt repayment, despite the interest rate having been subsequently reduced from 7 per cent to 5.2 per cent per month.
The mortgaged properties were sold but the proceeds were not sufficient to discharge the debt.
Ms Chan, being the guarantor, was asked to make good the amount owed, which had ballooned to $3.69 million by September 2017. The debt in question now stands at more than $4.15 million.