Singapore’s third largest bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) have filed an affidavit for Xihe Holdings, a private company owned by the Lim family, to be placed under judicial management following incidents of fraud uncovered at Hin Leong Trading (HLT), reports The Business Times.
In the filing, OCBC claims the mismanagement in terms of financial reporting and other such “serious irregularities” in HLT are also present in Xihe, causing the bank to “strongly distrust” the current management of the company.
OCBC Bank has put forward Seshadri Rajagopalan and Paresh Jotangia of Grant Thornton Singapore to be appointed as independent Interim Judicial Managers (IJMs) for Xihe along with four of its subsidiaries: Da Xin Tankers, Hua Guang Shipping, Nan King Maritime and Hua Xin Shipping in order to restore confidence in potential investors.
“The Xihe subsidiaries have persistently failed to seek and collect payments from Ocean Tankers for months or years, to the prejudice of creditors of the Xihe Group and in breach of contractual obligations owed to OCBC,” stated OCBC in its court filing.
Some incidents cited by OCBC that raised some red flags include Xihe transferring USD 208.1 million to HLT via its subsidiary Ocean Tankers “for no valid commercial purpose” and some bareboat charters of OCBC-funded vessels were cancelled without OCBC’s authorisation.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), court appointed IJM’s of HLT have diagnosed HLT has no chance to restructure without the owners committing their own assets to turn the ship around as the company would have trouble raising any funds independently.
PwC also suggested HLT be integrated with other assets owned by the Lim Family under Ocean Tankers Pte Ltd and Universal Terminal to leverage the company’s value as its operations are interdependent on these companies.
Photo credit: Aditya-chinchure
Published: 22 July, 2020
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