Singapore

Singapore’s Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd has no future as an independent company after it “grossly overstated” the value of its assets by at least $3 billion, according to a preliminary report prepared by a court-appointed supervisor, Reuters reported. In the report filed this week in Singapore’s High Court and reviewed by Reuters, the interim judicial managers from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Pte. Ltd (PwC) said they had found a significant number of irregularities in the Singapore oil trader’s finances.

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Singapore-based ZenRock Commodities Trading Pte Ltd, hit by tumbling oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, owes more than $600 million to creditors, the company said in a court filing seen by Reuters on Monday. In the application for “moratorium relief”, a form of bankruptcy protection, filed last Wednesday, the company said it owed at least six banks a total of $166.1 million and had outstanding balances of about $449 million in total with at least 10 unsecured creditors, Reuters reported. ZenRock did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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HSBC Holdings Plc alleged Singapore oil trader ZenRock Commodities Trading Pte Ltd. was involved in a series of “highly dishonest transactions” that included the company using the same cargo of oil to obtain more than one loan from banks, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg, Bloomberg News reported. Europe’s biggest lender filed an application to Singapore’s High Court on May 4 to put ZenRock under so-called judicial management, a form of debt restructuring in which a third party runs the company.

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HSBC Holdings Plc, already on the hook for $600 million in loans to fallen Singapore oil giant Hin Leong, has taken steps to oust the management at another energy firm, claiming it used the same cargo to secure financing from multiple banks, Bloomberg News reported. Europe’s biggest lender filed an application to Singapore’s High Court on May 4 to put ZenRock Commodities Trading Pte Ltd. under so-called judicial management, a form of debt restructuring in which a third party runs the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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Hontop Energy (Singapore) Pte Ltd, the trading arm of a Shandong-based refiner, is negotiating directly with banks on managing its debts after it withdrew its application for a debt moratorium, two sources with knowledge of the matter said, Reuters reported. Hontop submitted last month a request to the Singapore High Court to apply for a debt moratorium but the company subsequently withdrew it, they said. The company went into receivership in February after Singapore bank DBS, one of Hontop’s creditors, appointed accounting firm KPMG as the receiver.

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Singapore has long touted itself as the ideal home for a commodity trading house, with low taxes, light regulation and a view of one of the world’s busiest shipping channels, Bloomberg News reported. That hard-earned reputation is now taking a hit after a spate of financial scandals and failures, culminating in the dramatic demise of Hin Leong Trading Pte, the fabled marine fuel trader that has confessed to hiding about $800 million in losses and selling off oil inventories that were backstopping loans.

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Singapore’s Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, one of Asia’s top oil traders, has applied for a court-appointed supervisor to manage the company and restructure billions of dollars of debt owed to multiple banks, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday, Reuters reported. “The company is in the process of applying for judicial management, and at the same time actively looking for strategic partners to raise cash,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the company’s plans.

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The collapse of one of Singapore’s biggest oil traders has raised the prospect of a severe liquidity crunch in the city-state’s under-pressure commodities sector, threatening a wave of defaults and bankruptcies, the Financial Times reported. Investors and analysts warn that banks are likely to cut their exposure to the industry after heavily indebted oil trader Hin Leong Trading filed for bankruptcy protection.

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HSBC, ABN Amro and Société Générale are among a group of banks owed almost $4bn by Hin Leong, the Singapore oil trader scrambling to restructure its finances as a brutal downturn hits energy markets, the Financial Times reported. The privately owned company, which is controlled by self-made billionaire Lim Oon Kuin, entered talks with its lenders this week about a standstill agreement, said people with knowledge of the situation. It is also exploring a potential rescue deal with Chinese state-run oil company Sinopec, the people said.

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