Singapore Bankruptcies Started Surging Even Before Coronavirus Hit

Singapore is bracing for a further jump in bankruptcies after cases surged to the highest in years even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Bloomberg News reported. The number of individuals filing for bankruptcy soared 47% from a year earlier to 434 in January, the highest since October 2004, according to the latest data from the Law Ministry’s Insolvency Office. Companies in liquidation jumped to 287 last year, the highest since records began in 2005. Singapore’s already-slowing economy is now poised to shrink as the virus slams trade and tourism. That’s likely to send more businesses and individuals broke, leading to an increase in bad loans at banks including DBS Group Holdings Ltd. even as they ease borrowing terms. “Bank support measures would help bridge short-term liquidity challenges for otherwise healthy borrowers, but their ability to stave off defaults is limited unless the slowdown proves relatively short-lived,” said Willie Tanoto, a director at Fitch Ratings’ Asia-Pacific Banking team. Read more