Nervous investors ditch Singapore offshore stocks

Investors in Singapore remain spooked about local oil and gas prospects in the wake of the demise of Swiber Holdings with another dire day for share prices on the local exchange.

Swiber roiled the exchange when it said it would enter liquidation last Thursday sparking contagion among offshore stocks. Despite changing tack the following day with Swiber opting to enter judicial management, many analysts have warned that others could follow Swiber as low oil prices bring limited demand for OSVs.

The nervousness continued today with Ezra Holdings down 12.8% to an all-time low of just 4.1 cents as of 15.00 local time. Ezra subsidiary Triyards was down 13.1%, while Vallianz Holdings – in which Swiber has a 25% stake – was down 8.3%. Ezion Holdings was also suffering, down 6.8% by 15.00.

Investment bank UOB Kay Hian said in a report yesterday that the turnaround by Swiber from liquidation to judicial management “only delays the inevitable cascade defaults within the sector”.


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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