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Frozen assets: Big Asian banks battle with China Fishery by Henny Sender January 10,2018   |  Source: FT

The conference room was packed with dozens of angry creditors representing Asia’s biggest banks. They wanted to know what had happened to a $650m loan, extended in March 2014 to China Fishery Group and related companies, as concerns grew that they would never be repaid.

It was December 2015, and the creditors ranged from HSBC and Standard Chartered to Maybank, Malaysia’s largest financial services group. They had summoned Ng Joo Siang, the then chief executive of China Fishery, a Hong Kong-based, family-controlled operation, to explain why the company had stopped complying with the terms of the debt — secured to refinance the 2013 purchase of a Peruvian fisheries business. Within minutes Mr Ng was heard shouting at the assembled audience as they grilled him on what happened to their money, according to three people present.

Two years on from that clash at the Maybank offices on the 18th floor of Hong Kong’s Citic Tower, the creditors are still waiting.

The wrangling has since shifted to New York, where the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2016, to the surprise of its creditors in Hong Kong. In a US court filing, some of those creditors raised concerns regarding the Ng family over “questionable transactions totalling more than $1bn and

 

© THE FINANCIAL TIMES LTD 2018

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