New Insolvency Bill to be launched in 2018

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A new law to consolidate Singapore's personal bankruptcy and corporate insolvency regimes will be introduced next year, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday.

The omnibus Insolvency Bill, which is expected to be enacted in the second half of next year, will streamline the laws to provide consistency and clarity, said Mr Shanmugam, who was speaking at the start of the Singapore Insolvency Conference 2017.

This major change to Singapore's legislative framework will further boost the Republic's status as a leading centre for cross-border debt restructuring, he added.

The new Bill will also implement the remaining recommendations of the Insolvency Law Reform Committee proposed in 2013, such as a framework for the regulation of insolvency professionals.

Mr Shanmugam said these were necessary steps amid the highest global corporate default rates seen in the past year since the 2008 global financial crisis, and defaults of nearly US$1 billion (S$1.36) in the Singapore bond market since November 2015.

A recent study by global consulting firm Oliver Wyman showed that the total amount of debt available for restructuring across key Asia-Pacific markets is estimated at US$250 billion, he noted. "Out of this, a substantial sum is accessible to Singapore-based service providers," Mr Shanmugam said. - THE STRAITS TIMES