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May 4, 2010

Chinese shipbuilder withdraws Singapore IPO

Chinese shipbuilder New Century Shipbuilding has abruptly withdrawn a planned IPO (initial public offering) on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). The withdrawal came the day before the close of the offering. The shares were set to start trading Tuesday and the offer was expected to raise Singapore $666.4 million (about US $482.5 million).

A Singapore Stock Exchange announcement by the company said:

New Century Shipbuilding Limited (the "Company") wishes to announce that it has decided not to go ahead with its planned initial public offering ("IPO") on the SGX-ST at this time.

The Company intends to review the situation and will consider joining the SGX-ST at an appropriate time in the near future.

All applications are deemed withdrawn and cancelled and application monies (without interest or any share of revenue or other benefit arising therefrom) will be refunded to the applicants within three (3) market days after this announcement. Application monies received via electronic applications will be refunded by crediting the applicants'Aeo bank accounts with the relevant Participating Bank. Application monies received in conjunction with the printed application forms will be returned by ordinary post to the applicants at their own risk.

The Company would like to thank the investing community, the SGX-ST and the Authority for their support, as well as their many advisors for their hard work in progressing its IPO application.

Singapore's Business Times says the listing could not go ahead because SGX had received a complaint that New Century's prospectus had material inaccuracies.

The complaint apparently relates to two bulk carriers ordered from one of New Century's yards by Singapore's Sino Noble and canceled late last year. Reportedly, Sino Noble is now taking legal action for the return of US$60 million already paid in relation to these ships.

Reportedly, this lawsuit was not disclosed in New Century's IPO prospectus and the two ships were included in the order backlog statistics disclosed in the prospectus.

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