Malaysian Merchant Marine faces new tanker claim
Insolvent tanker operator Malaysian Merchant Marine faces further legal difficulties after receivers were appointed by BHLB Trustee to secure the 1990-built combined chemical and oil tanker MMM Kingston against RM120m ($37.2m) of Islamic debt instruments.
The Kuala Lumpur-listed company said the present net book value of the 7,078 dwt tanker was RM200,000-RM500,000 ?excluding costs of delivery to a scrap yard, which is estimated at $200,000- $250,000?.
The MMM Kingston is owned by Splendid Eminent, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian Merchant Marine, which has a paid-up capital of RM2m.
The shipping company confirmed that Anwar Bin Yahya and Lim San Peen, from PricewaterhouseCoopers, had been appointed as joint and several receivers.
The company also confirmed it ?does not have the cash flow to pay? the debt securities demanded by BHLB Trustee and added that it had appointed legal counsel to advise on the trustee"s action.
The appointment of receivers came just a day after the company was served with a writ and statement of claim by Prima Uno and Malaysian Trustees for the recovery of more than RM40.4m plus interest owned under a primary collateralised loan transaction facility.
Malaysian Merchant Marine confirmed the writ has been fixed for a case management review on July 22, but said it did not have the cash flow to pay the claim, which is accruing interest at the rate of 9.8% per year.
The writ was issued after lawyers acting on behalf of Prima Uno and Malaysian Trustees issued a letter of demand on March 8 seeking the balance of the collateralised loan.
The tanker company"s deputy executive chairman Ramesh Rajaratnam has also taken legal action against Malaysian Merchant Marine seeking more than RM1.11m in advances he made to cover crew, staff and other incidental expenses.
Mr Rajaratnam said Malaysian Merchant Marine had ?failed to pay the claim despite his requests and was informed the company had insufficient funds to do so?.
The financial and legal problems faced by the tanker outfit stem from the collapse last month of a deal to acquire a 19,980 dwt, double-hulled chemical tanker for $38m from Singapore"s Uniships.