SINGAPORE, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Turkish oil company Opet said it plans to shut its Singapore office, which has been operating in the island state’s competitive marine fuel market for the past six years.
A spokeswoman for Opet Turkey declined to give further details, but a company source said the operation had suffered a series of exposures to insolvent companies, including Danish OW Bunker, the world’s largest marine fuel supplier before its collapse last November.
Opet’s subsidiary, Opet Trade (Singapore) Pte Ltd, had exposure to OW Bunker Far East and its subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading totalling $33.2 million, according to a list compiled by provisional liquidators KPMG and obtained by Reuters.
Actual losses, however, could be lower given insurance coverage, traders said.
The closure was also related to Turkish tax laws, linked to guarantees offered by the parent company for its subsidiary, the company source said.
Opet’s Singapore arm had previously been exposed to the insolvencies of Baxus Marine in 2012 and Vanguard Energy last year, the source said.
The Turkish oil trader incorporated its Singapore arm in April 2008 and the office has about a dozen employees. Traders estimate it sells about 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of fuel oil each month in the world’s top bunkering hub.
Opet is a unit of Turkey’s biggest conglomerate KOC Holding . (Reporting by Jane Xie in Singapore; Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Istanbul; Editing by Gavin Maguire and Richard Pullin)