ICICI Bank skids 9% on $100 mn exposure to troubled Singaporean oil trader

While ICICI Bank is one of the 23 secured creditors which have lent $3.64 billion to the company, it is one of the only four banks that have secured a part of their exposure to the company.
Shares of ICICI Bank tumbled as much as 8.7 per cent to Rs 330 on the BSE on Tuesday after the bank clarified it has exposure to Ocean Tankers, a unit of Singapore oil-trading firm Hin Leong Trading (HLT), that has filed for bankruptcy in Singapore. The firm owes nearly $100 million -- or nearly Rs 760 crore -- to the lender.

At 3:15 pm, the stock of the Mumbai-based lender was quoting at Rs 331.9 apiece, down 8 per cent, on the BSE. In comparison, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was at 30,674.7 level, down 973.3 points or 3 per cent. 

The Mumbai based bank has lent $100 million to the company, out of which $75 million is secured through investory, said a report by Economic Times quoting a report by S&P owned Platts agency.

"Hin Leong and its sister company Ocean Tankers, which owns more than 100 cargo ships, have both filed for bankrutpcy on Friday which will give 30 days to restructure debt... Hin Leong founded by Chinese billionaire Lim Oon Kuin has total debt of close to $4 billion which will have to bw restructured," the report said.

While ICICI Bank is one of the 23 secured creditors which have lent $3.64 billion to the company, it is one of the only four banks that have secured a part of their exposure to the company.

In a BSE filing, the lender confirmed having exposure to the trader.

"We confirm that the Bank, in the normal course of its business, has exposure to the borrower group in question, and is taking due steps to protect its interests, and will appropriately reflect the same in its financial statements, as it would do in respect of all its banking exposures," it said in a statement. READ IT HERE

According to news agency Reuters, the founder and director of Hin Leong Trading Pte (HLT), Asia's largest oil trader, directed the firm not to disclose these losses.

"The affidavit signed by one Lim Oon Kuin, a Singaporean national, is part of a April 17 filing to the Singapore High Court by HLT and subsidiary Ocean Tankers (Pte), seeking a six-month moratorium on debts of $3.85 billion to 23 banks," the news agency reported.

The Indian lender is seeking the impounding of two vessels operated by Ocean Tankers (Pte), Reuters reported quoting unnamed sources.

The court filing cites a collapse in the oil price and the coronavirus pandemic, which has hammered oil demand and pushed up costs for HLT, one of Asia’s largest oil traders. Despite reporting net profit of $78.2 million for the business year ended in October, “HLT has not been earning profits over the last few years,” Lim said in the filing, which has not been made public.

On Monday, US crude oil futures had collapsed below $0 for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut, ending the day at a stunning minus $37.63 a barrel as desperate traders paid to get rid of oil. Brent crude, the international benchmark, also slumped, but that contract was nowhere near as weak because more storage is available worldwide.

Oil prices have skidded as travel restrictions and lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus curbed global fuel use, with demand down 30 per cent worldwide. That has resulted in growing crude stockpiles with storage space becoming harder to find.


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