(Repeats story published on Wednesday with no change to text)
* Diesel onboard at least six ships in dispute
* Unipec, banks stake claims to cargoes
* Sembcorp, Rabobank, Unipec claim oil at Universal Terminal
By Jessica Jaganathan and Roslan Khasawneh
SINGAPORE, June 24 (Reuters) - Millions of dollars of oil stored in tanks and ships in Asia and Europe has become caught in a web of lawsuits related to trade and financing deals by Singapore's Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd, according to court documents and shipping data.
A report filed this week in Singapore's High Court and reviewed by Reuters found Hin Leong obtained financing from various banks for cargoes of oil which did not exist, complicating the competing claims of ownership. oil inventories that Hin Leong did have include diesel on three tankers that arrived fully loaded in Europe last month, and which have since been floating off the United Kingdom and France, shipping data on Refinitiv's Eikon showed. The ownership of the fuel on four floating storage units (FSUs) off Malaysia is also in dispute, the report said.
Hin Leong, one of Asia's largest oil traders, was placed under so-called judicial management in April owing $3.8 billion to 23 banks as oil prices crashed and the coronavirus swept across the globe. report by interim judicial managers from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Pte. Ltd (PwC) found that Hin Leong's total oil inventory stood at $212 million as of May 20, less than a third of the $646 million owed to banks that provided inventory financing facilities. L4N2E11LX
Hin Leong and PwC did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment. A spokesman for Rajah & Tann, legal advisor to the interim judicial managers, declined comment.
Hin Leong's oil inventories "are likely to be subject to multiple claims by creditors," according to PwC. The accountancy firm plans to sell some of the inventory, which is currently incurring storage costs, to minimise costs.
The sale proceeds would be set aside while ownership of the oil was determined, which it expected would take a "significant time" to complete.
Determining who owns the oil is part of a wider restructuring of Hin Leong, which PwC has said has no future as an independent company after it "grossly overstated" the value of its assets by at least $3 billion. Singapore Pte Ltd, the trading arm of Asia's largest refiner Sinopec 600028.SS , has sought delivery of diesel aboard the three tankers - Very Large Crude Carrier Qi Lian San and two Aframax-sized ships Ocean Voyager and Ocean Taipan -under sales contracts with Hin Leong, PwC said.
The tankers were chartered by Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd (OTPL), owned by Hin Leong's founder Lim Oon Kuin, widely known as O.K. Lim, and his family. Ocean Tankers has also been placed under judicial management.
Unipec, Ocean Tankers and its interim judicial manager EY did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
Davinder Singh Chambers LLC and nTan Corporate Advisory Pte Ltd, the Lim family's legal and financial advisors respectively, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
PwC said HSBC HSBA.L , Societe Generale SA SOGN.PA , ICICI Bank ICBK.NS , Natixis SA CNAT.PA and Credit Agricole (PA: CAGR ) Corporate & Investment Bank have made claims on cargoes onboard the FSUs. It named the vessels Wu Yi San, Chang Bai San and E Mei San. Cogen Pte Ltd, a unit of Sembcorp Industries SCIL.SI , Cooperative Rabobank U.A. Singapore and Unipec are claiming ownership of oil stored at various tanks in Universal Terminal which is 41% owned by the Lim family, according to the report. oil trading companies Winson Oil Trading Pte Ltd, Trafigura and Glencore (LON: GLEN ) Singapore Pte Ltd have requested documents which give proof of ownership on some of the cargoes following deals with Hin Leong.
Winson Oil, Trafigura and Sembcorp did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment. Glencore declined to comment.
Societe Generale confirmed that it is a lender to Hin Leong, declining to elaborate further due to ongoing investigations. Natixis and HSBC declined comment. Credit Agricole, ICICI and Cooperative Rabobank did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comments.
<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Factbox on the competing claims
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.