Singapore

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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Singapore authorities said on Tuesday they are reviewing debt-laden water treatment company Hyflux’s accounting and auditing standards to see if the firm has breached any laws, Reuters reported. Hyflux is currently under a court-supervised restructuring process and its recently called-off rescue by an Indonesian investor has thrown the future of the debt-laden company further into doubt.

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With a crucial rescue plan aborted just weeks before its court-approved debt moratorium expires, Hyflux will have until Apr 25 to indicate if it needs more time to keep creditors at bay, CNA reported. However, the beleaguered water treatment firm will need to put together “something fairly tangible” by then to convince the court that it deserves an extended lifeline, said Justice Aedit Abdullah on Thursday (Apr 11) during a case management conference.

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One of Singapore’s highest-profile corporate debt restructurings was thrown into disarray on Thursday, as embattled water and power company Hyflux Ltd. scrapped a pact with its would-be savior, Bloomberg News reported. The rupture follows disputes in recent weeks with SM Investments Pte, the consortium of Indonesian businessmen that agreed last year to rescue Hyflux in return for a majority stake.

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Hyflux Ltd. will put its debt restructuring plan to vote this week, leaving its fate in the hands of unsecured creditors, Bloomberg News reported. Whatever the outcome, it will mark another entry in the list of fallen Singapore companies. The Singapore water-treatment and power group is seeking to fix S$2.8 billion ($2.1 billion) of liabilities by asking senior lenders to accept haircuts of some 75 percent and junior retail investors of about 90 percent on their claims.

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A rare public protest in Singapore on Saturday underscored mounting anger among investors set to suffer sharp losses in one of the country’s highest-profile corporate debt restructurings, Bloomberg News reported. The catastrophic slump of the once-vaunted water and power company, Hyflux Ltd., has stunned debtholders, who stand to lose about 90 percent. About 400 to 500 of those individual investors gathered in a downtown park known as the Speaker’s Corner on Saturday, carrying placards and posters.

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