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Singapore shares close lower on Thursday as oil and gas stocks tumble

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 17:40
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The Singapore market fell 0.78 per cent on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index dropping 22.87 points to 2,918.62 as investors sold down oil and gas counters.

THE Singapore market fell 0.78 per cent on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index dropping 22.87 points to 2,918.62 as investors sold down oil and gas counters.

About 1.25 billion shares worth S$878 million in total changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of S$0.70 per share.

Losers outnumbered gainers 246 to 163, or about three down for every two up.

News of Swiber Holdings' winding-up application on Thursday took the market by surprise, and continued to dog the already-beleaguered oil and gas sector throughout the trading session.

Swiber has also filed an application to place the company under provisional liquidation, it said on Thursday. Its executive director and vice-chairman Francis Wong, executive director and chief financial officer Leonard Tay and executive director Nitish Gupta have all resigned "to seek new opportunities".

Swiber shares have been halted from trading since July 27, and its provisional liquidator has sought a suspension of its trading.

The most actively traded stock on Thursday was another oil and gas player, Vallianz, which fell S$0.015 or 41.7 per cent to S$0.021 with 307.6 million shares changing hands.

The day before, Vallianz had announced the resignation of its non-executive director and chairman, Raymond Kim Goh, attributing it to "health reasons". Mr Goh is also the executive chairman and founder of Swiber Holdings.

Ezra Holdings, Ezion Holdings and Loyz Energy also saw their counters fall 7.1 per cent, 8.7 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

By Thursday afternoon, Ezion was moved to put out a statement saying that it did not have any business dealings with Swiber, while stressing that it was in a different business sector from the latter.