ICICI Bank has issued notices to impound two vessels operated by Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd, a unit of the troubled Singapore oil-trading company Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd.
ICICI Bank, which has about $100 million exposure to HLT, has issued writs against the vessels Wu Yi San and Chang Bai San.
According to S&P Global Platts, a provider of energy and commodities information, Hin Leong Trading Pte. Ltd’s founder Lim Oon Kuin has been blamed for financial mismanagement and reselling of inventory that was used as banking collateral, causing losses running into billions of dollars, in a court filing by his son Lim Chee Meng. Hin Leong has suffered $800 million in unaccounted derivatives losses .
The report added that Ocean Tankers estimated that its exposure to lenders for inventory in storage could be as high as $600 million, and claims by trading counter-parties such as PetroChina (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. who hold bills of lading for cargoes shipped on Ocean Tanker vessels could be as high as $2.07 billion. It said Ocean Tankers will be unable to pay its debts if these demands were to arise.
ICICI Bank’s scrip closed nearly four per cent lower at ₹361.50 apiece on Monday on worries of a default by the trading company.
According to a report by Reuters, the tankers — Wu Yi San and Chang Bai San — were carrying cargoes financed by ICICI Bank. HLT’s founder and director had directed the company not to disclose the losses, which were running into hundreds of millions of dollars over several years.
ICICI Bank did not respond to an email query by BusinessLine.
Hin Leong Group's founder is Lim Oon Kuin, who is popularly known as OK Lim and is considered a significant player in Sinagpore’s oil trading business.
According to the website of HLT, Hin Leong is one of the largest locally-owned independent oil trading companies. The Group's bunkering arm, Ocean Bunkering Services is one of the top bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore. Ocean Tankers owns and operates over 130 vessels.