Singapore-based maritime containerline Pacific International Lines (PIL) received “previously unreported loans” from the Republic’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings in the form of hedge funds last year.
Citing world maritime news platform Alphaliner‘s latest weekly report, international maritime and shipping news platform Splash 24/7 added that in return, PIL, the 10th largest ocean carrier globally, had pledged its shares to Hong Kong-listed container manufacturer Singamas as collateral.
As a result, Temasek currently holds an indirect 20.56% stake in Singamas, according to disclosures to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Singamas offloaded five of its Chinese box manufacturing facilities to the China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco) for S$565m.
Alphaliner had earlier reported that Cosco might have acquired PIL, which was refuted by PIL executives, reiterating several times that the containerline is not for sale.
PIL, a private company run by managing director Teo Siong Seng – former Nominated Member of Parliament and a household name in Singapore’s shipping industry – was financially struggling throughout the last couple of years, pressuring the carrier to go as far as to sell off its assets.
In addition to being the managing director of PIL, Mr Teo chairs the Singapore Maritime Institute’s governing council and the Standard Steamship Owner’s Protection and Indemnity Association (Asia).
He also serves on the councils of various organisations, including the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, as well as the board of Business China.
The company had reportedly stopped publishing its financial results since the end of last year, despite having previously released its results in 2017 and the first half of 2018.
According to its last publicly available financial figures, PIL recorded a net loss of S$141m in the first half of last year.
“More worrisome for PIL is the total debt outstanding of $3.46bn as at June 2018, of which $1.08bn was short term debt payable within 12 months,” noted Alphaliner.
Edited on 16 May at 12:46p.m. to include Mr Teo’s full name and professional credentials.