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Singapore oil trader prepares lawsuit against ship fuel supplier OW Bunker

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A creditor of bankrupt OW Bunker is preparing a lawsuit in Singapore seeking to reclaim its money, court documents showed, as the fallout from the collapse of the world's largest marine fuel supplier begins to ripple through the sector.

[SINGAPORE] A creditor of bankrupt OW Bunker is preparing a lawsuit in Singapore seeking to reclaim its money, court documents showed, as the fallout from the collapse of the world's largest marine fuel supplier begins to ripple through the sector.

In a separate case, court documents showed a second ship fuel company, Vanguard Energy Pte Ltd, filed for bankruptcy in the city state on Oct. 29, a week before OW Bunker said it had been driven to insolvency by suspected fraud at its Singapore trading unit.

The shipping fuel market was thrown into turmoil after OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in Denmark on Friday, with rising prices and heightened fears of counterparty risk reviving memories of the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

Hin Leong Trading, Singapore's biggest independent oil trader, is preparing a writ of summons, a court document used to commence legal proceedings in Singapore.

The trader is seeking S$1.67 million (US$1.3 million) from OW Bunker East, a subsidiary of OW Bunker, over the sale of goods, according to the court document.

Calls to offices of Vanguard Energy and OW Bunker East went unanswered.

OW Bunker has blamed fraud by unnamed senior employees for losses of at least US$125 million at another Singapore subsidiary, Dynamic Oil, but has not revealed any details.

The company was estimated to have about 7 per cent of the global market for bunker, a liquid fuel refined from crude oil and used to power ships, competing with companies such as World Fuel Services Corp, Chemoil Energy and Aegean Marine Petroleum Network.

Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said on Tuesday that it expects minimal disruption to supplies of the fuel at the world's largest bunkering port. "There are currently more than 60 bunker suppliers in Singapore, and OW Bunker Far East (Singapore) Pte Ltd accounted for less than 3 per cent of the 42.6 million metric tonnes supplied in Singapore in 2013," the MPA said in a statement.

REUTERS