SBI Offshore trying to repatriate and place China funds in escrow

Catalist-listed SBI Offshore has not been able to repatriate US$3.2 million (S$4.4 million) in funds from China to be placed in escrow here due to regulations governing the remittance of foreign exchange.

The group is exploring other options to get the funds, including capital reduction or liquidating its Chinese unit Jiangyin SBI Offshore Equipment Co (JSBI).

SBI Offshore had total cash of US$15.8 million as at Feb 28 - US$12.6 million maintained by the group here and US$3.2 million maintained in China by JSBI.

SBI Offshore must place at least 90 per cent - or US$14.2 million - of that amount in escrow.

The group told the Singapore Exchange yesterday that it has not been able to repatriate its China funds to Singapore.

It has been exploring various options since March.

If these options fail, the group will go ahead with the repatriation option relating to JSBI, through capital reduction or liquidation.

The group has also provided an undertaking to the SGX to safeguard its China funds until the escrow account is established.

SBI Offshore opened a Singapore escrow account in March with a deposit of around US$11.1 million.

The company's shares have been suspended since March 21 this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2019, with the headline 'SBI Offshore trying to repatriate and place China funds in escrow'. Print Edition | Subscribe