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Update: Swiber defaults on upcoming coupon payment due on Aug 2, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016 - 08:01
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Swiber Holdings is unable to pay the upcoming coupon payment for the series 001 Trust Certificates due on August 2, 2016, provisional liquidator, Cameron Duncan, said on Monday.

SWIBER Holdings is unable to pay the upcoming coupon payment for the series 001 Trust Certificates due on August 2, 2016, provisional liquidator, Cameron Duncan, said on Monday.

The S$150 million 6.50 per cent certificates due 2018 were issued by its subsidiary, Swiber Capital Pte Ltd as part of the latter's US$500 million multicurrency Islamic trust certificates issuance programme.

Swiber announced on Friday that it would be withdrawing its winding-up application - a backpedal no less stunning than its shock announcement only two days earlier that it had petition the courts for a liquidation.

It would instead be placed under judicial management - something which investors, analysts and critics have said it should have done in the first place.

The company also revealed on Friday an additional US$24.6 million was received from claimants, thus increasing the total to about US$50.5 million. Swiber had previously announced it had received demands for payment totalling US$25.9 million.

Swiber has four local-currency debentures and one yuan-denominated note outstanding, according to Bloomberg data. The group had US$1.43 billion (S$1.93 billion) of liabilities and US$1.99 billion in total assets on March 31, according to its latest quarterly accounts.

DBS Group and United Overseas Bank are among its 10 principal bankers, according to its 2015 annual report.

DBS had said it expects to recover about half of its total exposure of S$700 million to Swiber, and would provide fully for the anticipated shortfall.

As for UOB, chief executive Wee Ee Cheong had said the bank has "some exposure" to the oil and gas contractor, but it was "manageable".

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