Singapore

Singapore Exchange Ltd’s (SGX) regulatory unit is looking into imposing stricter regulations for listed retail bonds, including tightening the admission criteria, a move that follows a high profile default by water treatment company Hyflux, Reuters reported. In a statement on Thursday, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) said it had set up a working group comprising representatives from law firms, banks and an investor group to review the retail bonds regulatory framework.

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Embattled water treatment firm Hyflux's TuasOne waste-to-energy facility is expected to be operational in January 2021, said the National Environment Agency (NEA), The Straits Times reported. The agency said it has been monitoring discussions among the stakeholders of the TuasOne project and "is supportive of the stakeholders' actions taken to complete the project expeditiously". Hyflux said in a bourse filing yesterday that the new agreement to ensure continued funding for the TuasOne waste-to-energy project will have an "overall material adverse impact" on Hyflux's financial performance.

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Having just signed a deal with Middle Eastern suitor Utico FZC, crisis-hit Hyflux Ltd. is facing a fresh challenge -- how to allocate S$40 million ($29 million) of fees among restructuring advisers, Bloomberg News reported. The Singapore water treatment company needs to get its advisers to agree on how to split the pot, or Utico has the right to walk away, according to the deal terms. The problem was discussed in a court hearing in Singapore on Friday. Lawyers and consultants have been working for more than 1 1/2 years on Hyflux, the nation’s most high-profile debt restructuring.

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Troubled Singapore water treatment firm Hyflux Ltd. has entered a restructuring deal with Middle Eastern utility Utico FZC. Under the agreement, Hyflux will get investment totaling S$400 million ($293 million) from Utico, according to an exchange filing, Yahoo! Finance reported on a Bloomberg News story. The pact caps drawn out negotiations between the two companies. Hyflux, Singapore’s highest profile debt restructuring, had been looking for a white knight investor after a deal with Indonesian consortium SM Investments fell through in April.

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Mainboard-listed Koon Holdings and its subsidiary Koon Construction & Transport (KCT) have applied for a 90-day debt moratorium as they intend to propose and implement a scheme of arrangement with their creditors, the Business Times reported. On Tuesday, the two companies filed the applications with the High Court of Singapore to obtain an order, among other things, that no legal action or proceedings against them be commenced or continued.

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Accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche said on Thursday it has been appointed by Singapore’s high court to act as interim judicial manager for marine fuel supplier Inter-Pacific Group Pte (IPG) in an application for a court-led debt restructuring process, Reuters reported. The appointment, following a nomination by IPG, comes more than two months after IPG unit Inter-Pacific Petroleum Pte (IPP) had a licence to operate bunker fuel tankers suspended by Singapore’s Maritime Port Authority (MPA). The MPA detected operational irregularities during an inspection.

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Singapore firms are likely to see more soured debt as the trade-reliant economy takes a hit from U.S.-China tensions. That’s the view of debt restructuring experts, for whom more bad debt could mean increased business, Bloomberg News reported. Singapore’s government cut its forecast for economic growth this year to almost zero, and weak export data have stoked fears of a recession. The nation has already been rocked by the high-profile collapse of water treatment firm Hyflux Ltd.

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A Danish high court has increased the prison sentence for a former manager of OW Bunker’s Singapore arm to five years, after prosecutors appealed against the original 18-month sentence for actions that contributed to the marine fuel supplier’s collapse, Reuters reported. OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in 2014 just eight months after listing in Copenhagen, partly due to losses on an estimated $120-$130 million credit line given by its Singapore-based arm to small local company, Tankoil Marine Services.

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Singapore’s government has downgraded its growth forecasts for this year, as the Asian city state posted its worst quarterly economic performance in a decade amid a slowing global economy and trade upheaval, the Financial Times reported. The global trade hub’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday that it now expects Singapore’s growth for 2019 to come in at between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent. Previously the government had forecast economic expansion of between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent for the year.

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