Ezra Holdings not concerned by Swiber liquidation despite investor jitters

Ezra Holdings not concerned by Swiber liquidation despite investor jitters

Investors in Singapore remained wary of offshore stocks today following Thursday’s shock news that Swiber Holdings had become the first oil and gas related company on the Singapore Exchange to be put on voluntary liquidation.

This is expected to have a domino effect on Singapore O&G players, which could see knee-jerk selling pressures, DBS Group Research said in a note on Thursday.

The highly geared Ezra Holdings has been one of the hardest hit on the local stock exchange with plenty of speculation on its financial health.

“Ezra is the other counter which investment community has been more mindful of because of their high debt level and exposure in deepwater space. The tie-up with Japanese partner Chiyoda and sales and leaseback of a number of vessels have resolved the re-financing needs through 2017. But business environment remains very challenging and affects their cash flows,” DBS said.

Ezra has hit back however with a spokesperson telling Splash today: “Ezra’s focus has always been on deleveraging its balance street and optimising its debt structure. As part of its ongoing capital financing strategy, Ezra has successfully secured bank borrowings of an aggregate S$100m to finance the full redemption of its Fixed Rate Notes that was due in March 2016.”

Ezra’s shares were trading down 5.8% today at 13.30 local time, having dropped 7.1% on Thursday.

Many other offshore related firms have taken a battering on the local exchange with a number of companies issuing releases stressing how their businesses are different to – and are not connected to – Swiber’s. The worst hit has been Vallianz, which Swiber has a 25% stake in. A sell-off saw Vallianz’s shares dive 41.7% to 2.1 cents yesterday, however the company insists it is business as usual.

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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