Singapore oil and gas inferno

The very real risk of contagion spreading across already battered offshore-related stocks on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) probably explains why out of the 110-plus stories posted on Splash this week, around 15% of the views have been focused on the 10-odd reports relating to Southeast Asian offshore-linked companies.

Clearly the local investor community is rattled in the wake of the latest bankruptcy, Ezra Holdings, and the inevitable chain reaction its US Chapter 11 announcement has sparked is putting many senior offshore execs on edge. The pain among the local offshore community will continue and Ezra is unlikely to be the last casualty.

What’s noticeable is how any Singapore-listed offshore outfit is now strenuously pointing out how it is in a different strand of business to Ezra – the problem is, investors won’t heed this distancing act. After Swiber, then Swissco and now Ezra (and its linked firms such as EMAS Chiyoda) is it any wonder there is such a fierce pullback from stockmarket investors. Moreover, the shenanigans of many of these downfalls will lead to greater calls for the SGX to crack down on companies failing to be transparent in their financial reporting.

Expect to read plenty more on the subject in Splash next week.

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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