The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has decided against two banks in letter of credit (L/C) disputes related to the now collapsed Hin Leong Trading and in favour of Singapore based oil Winson Oil Trading according to the Reuters news agency.

Winson says the ICC's non-binding decisions - reached under the chamber's Documentary Instruments Dispute Resolution Expertise (DOCDEX) rules - stand it in good stead when it presses its claims in court against the banks, Standard Chartered Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC). The news agency says both banks have declined to comment.

Legal proceedings

Oil trader Winson commenced legal proceedings earlier this year against Standard Chartered to claim at least US$30.4 million in payment for a diesel cargo it sold to Singapore based Hin Leong.

Winson also moved to court against OCBC for dishonouring an L/C issued by the bank to finance a diesel trade for Hin Leong. The bank told Winson that it doubted the authenticity of the L/C documents.

Uphill struggle

Several other banks, including HSBC and ABN Amro are pursuing legal claims against Hin Leong.

But they are expected to face an uphill battle recovering US$3.5 billion owed to them by the firm after judicial managers of Hin Leong, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), said the Lim family that ran the firm could keep five per cent of their own assets.

The Lim family's assets are believed to be worth some US$1.5-2 billion.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.