Singapore: Third of Hin Leong founder's ships sold to repay debt


SINGAPORE, March 1 (Reuters): About one third of the roughly 150 ships owned by companies controlled by Singapore tycoon Lim Oon Kuin and his family have been sold as part of efforts to repay billions of dollars of debt owed to creditors, two sources told Reuters.

Accounting firm Grant Thornton, court-appointed supervisor of Xihe Holdings, put up several vessels for sale through shipbrokers in September last year. Xihe Holdings is owned by the Lim family and held the bulk of their fleet.

The rest of the ships are majority-owned by Xihe Capital - currently under liquidation according to Singapore business registry records - and 10 single purpose companies.

The ships owned by the Xihe group have been sold at prices of US$2 million to US$3 million each for coastal barges and around US$30 million each for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), said the two sources.

Buyers include Greek ship owners, one of the sources said. Further details, including the total sum of money raised so far, were not available.

It is expected the rest of the ships will be sold by late this year, although some of them are tied up in various lawsuits as counterparties try to lay claim to the cargoes on the ships, the source said.

The sources declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak with media. A Lim family representative, their lawyer and Grant Thornton did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment on the sale of the vessels.

Lim Oon Kuin, also known as O.K. Lim, with his son Evan Lim Chee Meng and daughter Lim Huey Ching, had owned just over 150 ships before their flagship trading company Hin Leong Trading, fleet manager Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd and Xihe Holdings were placed under judicial management last year.

The bulk of the Lims' fleet remains idled in the South China Sea, off the east of peninsular Malaysia, shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon showed.

Other assets being sold include the family's stake in Universal Terminal and a lubricant plant in Singapore.

Last month, judicial managers filed to wind up Hin Leong, nearly a year after what was once one of Asia's top oil traders racked up some $4 billion in debt and entered court restructuring.

Hin Leong had been seeking to restructure its debts after the oil price crash last year when O.K. Lim admitted in a court document to directing the firm not to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in losses over several years.

Accounting agency PwC said in a report last year that Hin Leong had no future as an independent company after it "grossly overstated" the value of its assets by at least US$3 billion.- Reuters
Article type: free
User access status:

Hing Leong , Trading , Ships , One-Thirds , Sold Off , Pay Debts

   

Next In Aseanplus News

China-Australia relations: is Canberra taking a ‘less combative’ stance with Beijing despite tensions?
Covid-19 link to strokes, psychiatric problems concerns health experts
Asean News Headlines as at 8pm on Saturday (April 10)
Aides dismiss rumours circling Duterte's health, including one which said he has died in Singapore
Indonesia's Covid-19 total hits massive 1,562,868 as death toll of tropical cyclone Seroja rises to 174
Singapore: 32 new Covid-19 cases and only one community case - A senior citizen from India serving stay-at-home notice
Thailand: Covid-19 cases continue to soar as third batch of Sinovac vaccine arrives in country
Philippines: Pandemic continues to soar - 12,674 new Covid-19 cases as total soars to 853,209; earthquake rattles southern country
Vietnam orders companies to comply with its laws on sea maps
PM Lee hopes to announce decision on tudung (head cover) in August

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers