Hong Kong - Default fears are
Singapore ahead of a wall of maturing corporate debt, as a US
bankruptcy filing of a firm from the city flags lingering pain despite
Pressure to pay
down obligations has been unrelenting. Companies excluding banks in
Singapore must repay S$38bn of local bonds through
the end of 2020, after about the same amount fell due in the four years
through 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Six firms have
defaulted on S$1.2bn worth of notes since November 2015.
For some of Singapore’s small debt-laden companies, a
rebound in manufacturing and exports hasn’t been enough to bolster
bottom lines sufficiently.
In the latest sign of strains, Ezra Holdings, which provides engineering services to the offshore oil and gas
filed for Chapter 11 protection March 18 in the US The Singapore
government, seeking to make it
easier for firms to restructure debt at home, voted earlier this month
to enact several changes to its Companies Act that are expected to take
effect by March 31.
“I see ongoing distress which could lead to further defaults in the
local bond market, in particular in oil and gas and shipping,” said
Thomas Dillenseger, Hong Kong-based managing director at restructuring
firm Alvarez & Marsal.
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