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Singapore says ‘no serious impact’ impact on bunkering sector from Hin Leong bankruptcy

The Singapore authorities have sought to reassure businesses that there is “no serious impact” on the bunkering and oil trading sectors from the bankruptcy filing of major local player Hin Leong Trading.

In a joint statement the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said that they were closely monitoring developments related to Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd and the broader oil trading and bunkering sectors.

On Friday last week Hin Leong and its shipping arm Ocean Tankers both filed with the Singapore High Court on Friday seeking six months bankruptcy protection from creditors on debts of $3.85m with 23 banks.

Hin Leong owns the third largest bunker supplier, Ocean Bunkering, in Singapore, which is the world’s biggest bunkering port. MPA said it assessed there was “no serious impact” on the bunkering sector.

There may be some short-term minor disruptions due to the lapse of contractual obligations by Ocean Bunkering Services and Hin Leong Marine International. The Singapore bunkering sector is well diversified with 43 other licensed bunker suppliers, including Minerva Bunker and TFG Marine which recently received their licences.

ESG sought to assure on oil storage at that Universal Terminals, which is related to Hin Leong through common shareholding in UT Singapore Services, was operated as a separate entity. “Besides Universal Terminals, there are other independent oil terminal operators in Singapore including Vopak, Oiltanking and Tankstore,” the statement said.

In terms of the banking system and the provision of credit for bunkering, “MAS agrees with the assessment by ESG and MPA and has reminded the banks not to de-risk indiscriminately from the bunkering and oil trading sectors.  Banks should, however, continue to apply judicious credit assessment on individual borrowers to manage their risks.”

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