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Hin Leong shipping unit Ocean Tankers placed under court-appointed supervisor

Two Singapore-based executives of consultancy EY have been appointed as the Interim Judicial Managers (IJM) of Singaporean shipping firm Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd, a unit of troubled oil trader Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, EY told Reuters on Tuesday.

The appointment came into effect on Tuesday, a spokeswoman from EY said in response to a query.

There was no immediate response from Ocean Tankers to a Reuters request for comment.

The appointment of EY’s executives as IJM comes after a hearing held by Singapore’s High Court earlier on Tuesday for the application of Ocean Tankers to be placed under judicial management.Under so-called judicial management, a court appoints independent managers to run the affairs of a financially distressed company in place of existing management. Such moves are often seen favourably by creditors.

Hin Leong, one of Asia’s top oil traders, was placed under judicial management late last month as it seeks to restructure billions of dollars of debt.

Hin Leong owes $3.8 billion to 23 banks, according to a company presentation to lenders on April 14, contained in an affidavit in court filings. The affidavit was reviewed by Reuters but has not been made public.

In the affidavit, Hin Leong’s founder Lim Oon Kuin, also known as O.K. Lim, said he had directed the firm not to disclose $800 million in losses over several years.

Singapore police said in April they had launched an investigation following news of Hin Leong’s losses.

O.K. Lim’s son Chee Meng Lim, a director at Ocean Tankers and Hin Leong, reassured stakeholders in a letter dated April 15 and seen by Reuters that the shipping company was a separate entity from Hin Leong and it had not guaranteed its debts.

Rajah & Tann is the legal adviser to Hin Leong and Ocean Tankers.

Ocean Tankers, founded in 1978, manages and operates a fleet of about 100 vessels ranging from coastal barges to very large crude carriers, according to the company website.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anshuman Daga, Jessica Jaganathan and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Jon Boyle)

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