The distressed Singapore oil trader has admitted to US$800 mil of undisclosed losses. Is its collapse a sign of deeper problems within the industry facing falling demand and cheap supply?

SINGAPORE (April 24): The 318,833-tonne oil tanker Pu Tuo San, similar to her 13 sister ships, are all named after famous mountains of China. For years, the giant vessels plying Singapore’s seas flew the flag high for Lim Oon Kuin’s oil empire, Hin Leong Trading.

The low-profile tycoon started in 1965 as a one-man, one-truck business reselling oil. Over the years, Lim, also known as OK Lim, expanded rapidly, establishing himself as a leading bunker supplier that grew in tandem with Singapore’s port traffic.

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