(Updates with comment from Envysion on MAS review)
HANOI, March 30 (Reuters) - Trading house Mercuria Energy Trading and Singapore-based asset manager Envysion Wealth Management have terminated an agreement to jointly invest in mining and energy projects that was signed only in January, Envysion said on Tuesday.
“Regarding the co-investment agreement with Mercuria, both Envysion and Mercuria have agreed mutually to terminate the present agreement and put this project on hold,” an Envysion spokesman said in a statement to Reuters.
“Given the multiple incidents that have had happened in the commodity industry since the beginning of 2020, both Envysion and Mercuria are using the opportunity to review our collaboration,” the spokesman said.
A string of scandals involving Singapore trading firms last year shook investor and banker confidence in the commodities sector, before an alleged nickel fraud scheme - in which Envysion was purportedly a victim - came to light in February.
Envysion and its chief executive were alleged to have been cheated in the nickel trading scheme, which had raised at least S$1 billion ($742.12 million) from investors, and the company was being reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a result.
“Since MAS initiated the review... Envysion has been cooperating closely with the authorities to provide evidence, along with the other investors involved,” the spokesman added.
Mercuria itself alleges it was a victim of fraud in a separate case last year. Its lawyer said earlier this month Mercuria had launched a civil suit against a Turkish firm after paving stones were shipped to China instead of the $36 million of copper Mercuria had agreed to buy.
Mercuria did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The pact with Envysion heralded a rare partnership with a fund for Mercuria, one of the world’s biggest oil traders, and was supposed to see it present potential projects for investment to Envysion, founded and led by former Julius Baer banker Veronica Shim. ($1 = 1.3475 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by David Evans, Kirsten Donovan)