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Singapore backs S$380 million in loans to marine and offshore industry

Two Singapore government agencies have joined forces to back S$380 million ($275 million) in loans made by banks to the marine and offshore engineering (MO&E) industry. 05 Jun 2017

Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (Spring) Singapore have approved the loan applications. IE Enterprise gave backing under its Internationalisation Finance Scheme, while Spring Singapore did so under its own Bridging Loan project. In both cases the agencies will share the default risk on the loans with the lender.

MTI boosted the IFS and introduced the BL scheme last year to address "intensifying financing challenges faced by the M&OE industry in recent months as it experiences a unique and prolonged slowdown".

Over 70 applications have been approved for loans under the two schemes since November 2016, IE Singapore said, and more than 100 companies are interested in further loans.

Under Spring Singapore's BL scheme an M&OE group can borrow up to S$15m ($11m) to meet its working capital, while a company can access up to S$70m ($51m) in credit under IE Singapore's IFS, IE Singapore said.

Singapore-based oil and gas expert Ashley Wright of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "This is sensible government intervention from a business-minded government that has very clearly recognised both the importance of the sector to Singapore, and the extent of the downturn. Announced last November, it’s great to see that the scheme has actually been well used. Next stop seems to be loans to fund asset recirculation, which can only speed the sector’s recovery."