Sembcorp Marine falls 8% on ‘alleged irregularities’ probe. More uncertainty ahead?



By Beansprout • 25 Mar 2023 • 0 min read

Sembcorp Marine announced that its subsidiary Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz (EJA) is under investigation for “alleged irregularities”.

Sembcorp Marine share price

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What happened?

Sembcorp Marine’s share price fell by 8.0% to close at S$0.104 on Friday 24th March. 

The share price decline came after the company announced that its subsidiary Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz (EJA) is under investigation for “alleged irregularities”.

Let’s take a further look at what this could mean for the company and its share price. 

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Source: SGX


What you need to know about Sembcorp Marine share price fall

#1 – Sembcorp Marine subsidiary under investigation

According to Sembcorp Marine, the Office of the Comptroller General of Brazil (CGU) has initiated a preliminary administrative liability proceeding against its subsidiary Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz (EJA). 

The CGU is Brazil’s anti-corruption agency “responsible for defending public assets” and “acts to prevent, detect and punish cases of corruption”

These relate to investigations of alleged irregularities practiced by EJA, Sembcorp Marine’s shipyard in Brazil which started operations in 2014.

However, there were no further details provided for now. Sembcorp Marine is also unable to make an assessment on how this could potentially impact the company. 

Source: Sembcorp Marine

#2 – Renewed concerns on Brazil operations

Sembcorp Marine has faced several brushes with Brazilian authorities previously. Here’s a quick recap of what happened in the past.

#3 – What happened at Keppel Offshore & Marine

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) was previously investigated over bribes for contracts in Brazil. 

In December 2017, Keppel O&M announced a fine amounting to US$422 million as part of a global resolution with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore. 

The resolution relates to US$55 million in corrupt payments made by a former Keppel agent, Mr Zwi Skornicki in Brazil.

Between 2001 and 2014, Mr Zwi Skornicki made “improper payments” to Brazilian government officials with regard to Keppel O&M projects with Petrobras and Sete Brasil. 

These payments were made with the knowledge or approval of former Keppel O&M executives. 

In January 2023, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) issued stern warnings to six former senior management of Keppel Offshore & Marine (KOM) relating to the bribery payments. 

What would Beansprout do?

As recent as in October 2022, Sembcorp Marine won an order worth US$3.05 billion from Petrobras for the construction of an oil production unit.

This was seen as a sign by some investors that Sembcorp Marine was still able to secure new work in Brazil. 

However, this relief proved to be short-lived. Sembcorp Marine’s share price fell sharply following the completion of the merger with Keppel Offshore & Marine, with a selldown in the large number of shares issued to Keppel’s shareholders. 

Since its peak of S$0.152 in early December 2022, the share price of Sembcorp Marine has fallen by more than 30%.

The latest negative news flow appears to have led to renewed investor concerns about Sembcorp Marine’s operations in Brazil. 

The uncertainty could continue to drive weaker sentiment towards Sembcorp Marine until there is greater clarity on the investigations. 


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