Ezra’s woes mount as share price hits fresh all-time low

With investors in Singapore now actively referring to Ezra Holdings as ‘the next Swiber’ the Lionel Lee stock took another pummeling today on the local exchange on the back of another linked firm, EMAS Offshore, seeking to defer the release of its annual results. In a release today EMAS reiterated both it and Ezra had going concern issues.

Ezra’s shares hit all-time lows today, trading for as little as 2.6 Singapore cents, the second fresh record low this week after problems with one of its joint ventures, EMAS Chiyoda Subsea, emerged.

The company said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Friday that it could possibly write down $170 million due to issues at EMAS. Adding to concerns, Ezra said on Tuesday that it received a statutory demand from a customer, Forland Subsea, for a payment amounting to approximately S$4.4m that, if not paid up within three weeks, could lead to the company being wound up.

A note from local bank CIMB last week estimated that Singapore’s DBS Bank has a S$637m exposure to Ezra – the largest among Singapore’s three biggest banks. DBS also took the biggest hit when Swiber Holdings, a listed oilfield services company, sought bankruptcy protection last year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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