SocGen shuts Singapore Trade commodity Desk After Hin Leong

Societe Generale SA is closing its trade commodity finance unit in Singapore after the collapse of Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd. prompted the bank to halt fresh funding to such firms in the region, Bloomberg News reported.

The bank is dismissing all front office staff dealing with transactions, while still keeping some administrative workers, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Large Asian commodities trading clients with operations in Singapore will now be handled by Hong Kong, the people said.

SocGen is cutting ties with Singapore-based small and medium commodities trading firms.

Earlier this year, SocGen was among more than 20 Singaporean and international banks owed $3.8 billion by oil trader Hin Leong, which filed for creditor protection after crude prices crashed.The French bank, which was owed $240 million by the firm, later decided to freeze the allocation of new funds to oil traders in Asia Pacific.

“Natural resources financing is one of Societe Generale’s core expertise,” the bank said in an emailed statement on Friday. “The bank is and will remain committed to the Trade Commodity Finance sector, including in Asia. Societe Generale continuously adapts its set up to better serve its global and local clients and leverages its presence and strengths in Asia to bring proximity and appropriate solutions to its clients.”