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Hin Leong and Ocean Tankers seek court protection in Singapore

One of the biggest names in Singapore oil circles has sought court protection. Trading firm Hin Leong and subsidiary Ocean Tankers have applied to the courts, having lost hundreds of millions of dollars when the price of oil nosedived earlier this year.

Court documents show that as of April 9, 23 banks had a combined exposure of $3.85bn to Hin Leong, a giant conglomerate founded by Lim Oon Kuin in 1963. The court documents show Lim had requested staff to cover up around $800m in futures losses over a number of years.

Ocean Tankers is one of the largest tanker companies in Asia with a diverse fleet covering dirty and clean cargoes and ranging in size from VLCC down to tugs. European shipping database Equasis lists the company’s fleet today standing at 146 vessels.

Another Hin Leong subsidiary, Ocean Bunkering Services – one of Singapore’s top three marine fuel suppliers – has suspended fuel deliveries to some customers from Friday, Reuters reported.

Under Singapore law, Friday’s filing at a local court automatically protects the group from legal action by creditors for 30 days while the court decides whether to grant a six-month debt-repayment extension.

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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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