Singapore has set its sights on becoming an “International Center for Debt Restructuring”, approaching the status of London and New York.

Key to achieving that goal, in 2017 Singapore enacted the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 which effected major legislative changes to restructuring provisions of the Singapore Companies Act (Cap 50) 2006 (referred to hereafter as the “Companies Act”). That legislation has been followed by further reforms with the passage of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018 (which passed parliament on 1 October 2018).

Those reforms have significantly enhanced the power of restructuring tools available in Singapore, through what has been described as a “unique hybrid regime which combines the flexibility of the English regime with the powerful arsenal of US Chapter 11 provisions.”

The amendments have also introduced powerful mechanisms to enable foreign and multinational corporations and corporate groups to take advantage of these tools and undertake cross-border restructurings in Singapore.

To complement those legislative changes, Singapore is taking active steps to build an “ecosystem” which cultivates their spirit and intent in practice and simultaneously builds international awareness together with mechanisms for cross-border recognition and co-operation with Singapore’s enhanced restructuring regime.

The first year of operation has seen significant take-up of the new mechanisms available.

Significant restructurings that are making use of, or have made use of, the new provisions, include Nam Cheong Limited, EMAS Offshore Limited, Hoe Leong Corporation Ltd, Hyflux Limited and Pacific Radiance Limited.

Read this INSOL Special Report prepared by Noel McCoy, NRF Australia which analyzes Singapore’s legislative reforms comparative to England and Wales and the US, including the potential impact and views on the likelihood of Singaporean success in becoming an international center of debt restructuring.