- The Bear Raid against Sinch started in Q1/2022.
- In July 2022, a “research report” from an anonymous party, we’ll call them Anonymous Short Seller Liar (“ASS Liar”) was published.
- The Twitter account of this ASS Liar was started in Feb 2022.
- The Website of the ASS Liar was registered on the Comoros Islands, known for their excellent research companies.
- There is no info about the identity of the ASS Liar on their website nor their Twitter account.
- The German financial market’s supervisor BafFin issued a warning stating that the ASS Liar violates the law by not disclosing their identity while providing investment advice.
- The ASS Liar states that they short Sinch and benefit from a stock price decline. That seems to be the only statement I saw from them that might not be a lie, so I wonder if they short at all or whether they just work on behalf of somebody else. Why would they not lie just in one exception?
- Such an obvious self-serving Liar would be legally pursued in the real world and everybody would know that their lies are not worth paying attention.
- Sadly, this “research report” was quoted by various publications and analysts, and the lies were taken as justification to request actions like additional independent audits from Sinch (the company is of course audited like any public company).
- Sinch management decided to issue a press release to comment on all lies and rejected them one by one. I wonder at what number of liar research reports they would stop doing that, as it seems to be quite a waste of time and resources to react to someone who anonymously spreads lies.
- Now let’s also waste some time and look at the type of lies and what happened with those claims, almost 6 months later.
ASS Liar Claims
ASS Liar Claim 1: The financial position of the company is misstated and to no extent presents an accurate picture of the business.
Sinch Response: Completely oppose.
My View: The Claim is complete nonsense without any proof. The LIar neer provided such proof. Disregard as random lie.
ASS Liar Claim 2: Key business metrics like interest coverage ratio, net profit, and EBIT have been misstated by millions of Swedish kronor.
Sinch Response: Refute the claim. Sinch confirms non-material mistakes related to “Return on Equity” and “Interest Coverage Ratio” and corrects them.
My View: I agree with Sinch that those mistakes are non-material and generalized by the ASS Liar into much broader statements that are untrue.
ASS Liar Claim 3: The company did not report any expenses at all for R&D in 2021.
Sinch Response: Explanation on sizeable expenses for R&D.
My View: Nice try by the ASS Liar to add volume to his list of claims.
ASS Liar Claim 4: The Company’s approach to recognize revenue is aggressive…
Sinch Response: Explanation that Sinch’s policy is typical industry standard.
My View: Another “volume claim” that can be easily made about any company’s revenue recognition.
ASS Liar Claim 5: The unbilled accounts receivables are not unconditional. accounts receivables.
Sinch Response: This statement is incorrect.
My View: Wrong claim from ASS Liar.
ASS Liar Claim 6: Some statements are not IFRS compliant.
Sinch Response: Everything is IFRS compliant.
My View: Proof your claims!
ASS Liar Claim 7: The accounts receivables are overstated, because ASS Liar failed to reconcile current assets based on information presented in the 2021
Sinch Response: No idea how ASS Liar did their reconciliation.
My View: Don’t blame others for your failures.
ASS Liar Claim 8: Deloitte India issued a qualified opinion on the
accounts of an Indian Sinch subsidary.
Sinch Response: Deloitte issued an unqualified opinion. The claim might refer to an internal control issue that is not material and was remediated.
My View: Generalizations of small sub issues into large statements are not professional.
ASS Liar Claim 9: Sinch mis-managed matters of its Indian subsidiary.
Sinch Response: All claims untrue.
My View: Show proof!
ASS Liar Claim 10: Sinch’s revenues in countries like Singapore, Brazil and Dubai are questionable due to the nature of these countries.
Sinch Response: Sinch perceives these countries are trustworthy.
My View: Not all countries are as solid as the Comoros Islands, where the ASS Liars registered their website.
ASS Liar Claim 11: Sinch’s subsidiaries in Australia do not exist
Sinch Response: All subsidiaries are registered as expected.
My View: Blunt lie to increase number of claims
ASS Liar Claim 12: 70% of all accounts receivables and contract assets come from less credit worthy customers and the sales to all these customers are unbilled or overdue.
Sinch Response: Incorrect statement.
My View: Show proof!
ASS Liar Claim 13: Sinch has shut down its whistle-blower line
Sinch Response: Untrue
My View: Clearly untrue
- Various clearly untrue statements
- Lots of unproven random statements
- Attempt to create a long list (a 25 pages “research report”) by coming up with generalizations of non-material claims
Reaction of ASS Liar to Sinch Responses:
- Ignore all responses, no follow-up with any proof
- Another “note” with another list of claims, even less noteworthy than the previous list
- From their perspective, this can go on forever; there is no limit to lies and mis-representations
It is difficult to fight against anonymous liars on the Internet. But the real problem here is that media and analysts (and as a result investors) act as if such Liar is a credible source and might be right, unless proven wrong. This is such a stupid and unprofessional way to deal with self-serving liars and helps them in destroying value, to the damage of many hard working people and to the advantage of a few super-rich hedge funds.