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Friday, 9 January 2015

COSCO Singapore issues profit warning as drop in oil prices hurts offshore industry

SINGAPORE: The Singapore-listed COSCO Corporation (Singapore) said on Friday (Jan 9) that its 2014 profits will be "significantly lower" than a year ago as the plunge in oil prices has affected the global offshore and marine industry.

COSCO, a Chinese ship-building and marine engineering firm, said its COSCO Nantong unit will discontinue building the hull and the topside module for a vessel called an Octabuoy - a move that will result in a one-off charge of around S$90 million. This is because COSCO Nantong has not been able to find a new buyer for the vessel, which had been ordered by a customer that is now insolvent.

"The steep fall in crude oil prices over recent months has had an adverse impact on the global offshore marine industry. This has made it even more difficult to secure a buyer for the Octabuoy as industry players have cut back even further on new orders," COSCO said in a statement.

Crude oil prices have fallen by more than half to around US$50 (S$62) a barrel, sparking fears that firms involved in offshore exploration and production could delay or even cancel orders for rigs and other equipment. Singapore is the world's biggest maker of jack-up oil rigs, and its marine and offshore industry generates over S$10 billion a year in output.

COSCO said it will report full-year earnings on Feb 16.

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