“Because we pre-select the PRs, it would not be surprising that in some sectors, the PR performance is just slightly better than Singaporeans.”Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, explaining why permanent residents took up about 17% of the 60,000 new jobs created between 2015 and 2018 – higher than their overall share of the total workforce.

Indonesia to become Southeast Asia’s biggest stock market


Hyflux suitor Utico says 'willing to walk away' from restructuring deal

(Jan 16): A Middle Eastern suitor for Hyflux said it is willing to walk away from a deal with the embattled water treatment company, after a little-known firm made an offer for the utility’s debt.

The development is an added complication in Singapore’s highest-profile restructuring case, which has left some 34,000 retail investors in the lurch, with few signs of a resolution emerging after more than 18 months. Hyflux is separately asking for a three-month extension of its debt moratorium.

SGX RegCo forms working group to review retail bonds framework amid Hyflux debacle

SINGAPORE (Jan 2): Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) has set up a working group to review the retail bonds regulatory framework.

Comprising industry professionals and investors, the group will discuss matters such as the admission criteria for retail bond listings, the continuing obligations of issuers of such bonds, and ways to protect bondholder interest in the event of a default or restructuring.

SIAS calls on Aqua Munda to show 'more transparency' in bid for Hyflux debt

SINGAPORE (Dec 30): Securities Investors Association (Singapore) SIAS is urging Aqua Munda, which is trying to buy over Hyflux's debt, to be more transparent in its offer bid, referring in particular to its invitation memorandum on Friday.

“Based on the terms of the invitation memorandum, noteholders are to be aware that the invitation is solely between Aqua Munda and the senior unsecured creditors and does not involve Hyflux,” says SIAS CEO David Gerald in a press statement on Monday. 

Hyflux wins yet another reprieve; debt moratorium extended again to Dec 2

SINGAPORE (Sept 30): Distressed water treatment company Hyflux has bought itself yet more time, after the High Court on Monday granted another two-month extension of its debt moratorium to Dec 2.

Hyflux and its three subsidiaries – Hyflux Engineering, Hyflux Membrane Manufacturing, and Hydrochem – had applied for the extension on the moratorium.

The reprieve will – once again – come as a relief for Hyflux, which is under intense pressure from creditors.


SINGAPORE (Sept 2): “What Elon Musk wants to produce is a lifestyle. We are not interested in a lifestyle. We are interested in proper solutions that will address climate problems.” Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s minister for environment and water resources, rebutting Tesla boss’ criticisms that Singapore is slow to adopt electric vehicles.

Hyflux denies deal with Utico — in yet another clarification


Hyflux suitor Utico eyes $500 mil Singapore IPO in 2 years

(July 26): United Arab Emirates-based utility Utico FZC plans to raise as much as $500 million through a listing on the Singapore Exchange in the next two years, according to chief executive officer Richard Menezes.

“We are meeting SGX today for Utico’s listing and other matters,” Menezes told Bloomberg in Singapore on Thursday. The valuation of the company will be at least $2 billion, he said.

REIT managers welcome MAS consultation paper, question hangs over classification of perpetual securities

Singapore (12 July): On July 2, the Monetary Authority of Singapore published a consultation paper to consider raising the regulatory gearing limit (debt-to-asset ratio) for real estate investment trusts from the current 45%, and to introduce a minimum interest coverage ratio (ICR).

Through the paper, MAS also aimed to seek views on whether S-REITs with a higher ICR threshold should be allowed a higher leverage, say 55%.

Strong demand for UOB's $750 mil perps

SINGAPORE (July 11): Perpetual capital securities have had something of a bad rap in Singapore following Hyflux’s default of its retail issuance of $900 million of perpetual capital securities and preference shares (PnP), where some 34,000 retail investors have lost their capital. DBS Bank was the sole financial adviser and manager for Hyflux’s retail issuances in 2013 and 2016.

Fast forward to 2019, a completely different issuer which is one the highest rated banks in Asia, a different global co-ordinator, different lead managers and for different investors.

Hyflux says 'progressing towards a deal' with Utico as binding agreement deadline lapses

SINGAPORE (July 11): Hyflux says it has had informal discussions with United Arab Emirates utilities group Utico FZC, even after the extended deadline for entering into a binding agreement lapsed on June 27.

The debt-ridden water treatment firm earlier announced had received a non-binding letter of intent from Utico for a possible $400 million injection to be used for equity and working capital purposes as well as possible urgent interim funding.

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