The Week In Numbers: Destructive Oil

The spillage from oil-producers has left a trail of destruction in its wake. These not include the many businesses that are directly involved in oil drilling and exploration but a host of companies that are tangentially involved with oil too.

According to a recent report from consulting and auditing firm, Deloitte, about a third of the 500 publicly-traded oil and gas explorers are at a high risk of going bankrupt this year. The 175 or so companies that are most vulnerable have more than US$150 billion in debt

Sembcorp Marine (SGX: S51) has been pushed into a quarterly loss, as a result of an $801 million provision it was forced to make against bad debts. Chinese shipbuilder Cosco Corporation (Singapore) (SGX: F83) also plunged into the red – to the tune of S$484m in the fourth quarter.

Banks didn’t escape the onslaught, either. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39) warned of deepening issues for the oil sector. All its net new non-performing loans in the last year are from the Oil & Gas sector. Its non-performing loans as a percentage of all loans rose from 0.6% a year ago to 0.9%.

United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) fared even worse. Its non-performing loans as a ratio of total loans rose from 1.2% last year to 1.4%.

Singapore’s exports to China fell 25% in January. The Garden City’s reliance on China as a strategic trading partner was laid bare, after the world’s second-largest economy said global trade continued to contract. Total exports from China fell 11.2%, while imports dropped 18.8%.

And finally, one petrol station in the US was giving way its fuel almost for free. A computer glitch saw a petrol forecourt offering its fuel at US$0.01 per gallon. One customer said he filled his empty tank for just US$0.27. The low pricing lasted for more than three hours.

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