was a Singapore
-based company that specialised in marine salvage
work, and had 71 subsidiary
companies, including hotel and property interests, with a market capitalization
million. The company collapsed in 1985 due to unsettled forward contracts
, forcing the stock exchanges
of both Singapore and Malaysia
to shut down for three days. At its demise, the company had a total debt
of S$480 million, and all its shares
held by 5,500 shareholders were found to be worthless overnight. As of 2000, it remains the largest corporate collapse in Singapore's history, and the only instance where the Stock Exchange of Singapore
(SES) had to close. The Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange
was also forced to close for three days as a result.
In the aftermath of the collapse, key people in the company such as Peter Tham, Tan Kok Liang, and Tan Koon Swan were prosecuted and given varying jail sentences. The collapse of the company shook public confidence in the SES, causing prices of stocks to plunge. New securities laws were introduced in March 1986 to ensure that stockbroking firms can protect themselves against credit risks.