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Sino-Forest to provide details of tree ownership Add to ...

Sino-Forest Corp. , whose stock has lost close to three-quarters of its value since Thursday amid allegations from a short-seller that it inflated the value of its tree plantations, plans to publish information on Monday that backs up its own claims.

"The recent events have caused several shareholders to request clear proof of ownership of the company's timber assets," the company said in a statement before the stock market opened on Monday.

"The board is anxious to respond to this request and has commenced actions to address this, focusing first on Yunnan province, where the company's largest hectarage of purchased plantations are held and where the short-seller focused its attacks."

Sino-Forest stock plunged after a little-known U.S. firm, Muddy Waters Research, issued a report that alleged that Sino-Forest inflated its revenues and evaded scrutiny by operating under such a complex structure that it is almost impossible to trace how cash is moving through the company.

On Friday, a noted that Sino-Forest officials had been reluctant to provide details of forest ownership in the past.

"The company believes Muddy Waters' report to be inaccurate, spurious and defamatory," Sino-Forest said on Monday. "Muddy Waters' self-interest is transparent: to make money from the fall in Sino-Forest's share price on the back of a decline that itself precipitated. Since the report's release, the company has been working to address the allegations."

Sino-Forest said it is scheduling an analyst tour of its plantations for July.

The company also plans to provide details about sources and uses of its cash when it issues its quarterly report on June 14. Its cash, cash equivalents and short-term deposits in hand came to about $1.09-billion (U.S.) at the end of March, the company said.

Sino-Forest plans to post the following information on Monday on its website:

-- A signed copy of the master agreement for Lincang City and surrounding areas in the Yunnan province for which individual purchase contracts have been entered into

-- A summary schedule, as at December 31, 2010, showing the 186,700 hectares of purchased plantations in cities of Yunnan province such as Lincang, Lijiang and Pu'er

-- Signed copies of contracts relating to the acquisition of plantations in Gengma county of Lincang City and Ninglang county of Lijiang City, together with examples of the applicable plantation rights certifications or confirmations from the relevant government forestry bureau

-- An extract from the company's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2010 describing the nature of the company's ownership interests in purchased plantations.

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