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Singapore considers measures to help struggling marine sector

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The Singapore government is considering whether to help the city-state's marine and offshore engineering (M&OE) sector, which is facing a prolonged downturn due to the slump in the oil market, the trade and industry minister said on Monday.

[SINGAPORE] The Singapore government is considering whether to help the city-state's marine and offshore engineering (M&OE) sector, which is facing a prolonged downturn due to the slump in the oil market, the trade and industry minister said on Monday.

"The government is studying, in consultation with the M&OE industry and financial institutions, the need for measures for the sector," S Iswaran said in a speech.

"However, while the government will endeavour to render assistance where appropriate, it cannot be a panacea."

He did not elaborate what future steps might be, but said companies can also tap on measures that are already in place, such as government-backed loans that help small businesses deal with cash flow concerns and financing needs.

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The government is also investing S$107 million to help develop a new research centre for the industry, he said.

Several companies in Singapore, a hub for shipbuilding and offshore support firms, have been hit by the almost two-year rout in oil prices and a slowing economy. Among those, oil services firm Swiber Holdings went into judicial management this month.

The weak growth outlook has prompted analyst expectations of more government stimulus for the economy.

REUTERS

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