Singapore’s Olam to sue short seller and critic Muddy Waters

City A.M. Reporter
OLAM took its battle with short-seller Muddy Waters to court yesterday as the Singaporean commodities trader fought off criticism of its accounting practices and debt levels that hit its bond and share prices.

Olam, 16 per cent owned by Singapore state investor Temasek, has filed a suit against Muddy Waters and its founder Carson Block in the High Court of Singapore, alleging libel, slander or malicious falsehoods for statements Block made at a London conference on Monday, a company spokeswoman said.

She said Olam was seeking unspecified damages.

“We have not received a lawsuit and, should we have to defend ourselves, we will do so vigorously,” a Muddy Waters spokesman said.

Muddy Waters, which makes money by betting against companies, has issued devastating reports in the last few years, mainly aimed at China-based firms. Some of the reports crushed shares of the targets, although others were able to recover.

Block’s comments, which had singled out Olam’s accounting practices and questioned its prospects, triggered a fall in Olam’s Singapore-listed shares on Tuesday of 7.5 per cent.

The stock rose 5.3 per cent yesterday.