Singapore Designates ST Logistics, Shell Among Critical Entities

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore designated nine companies, including ST Logistics Pte. and Shell Plc’s local unit, as critical to the economy, a classification that will heighten government oversight on any takeover moves involving these firms.

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The designation under the Significant Investments Review Act 2024 will require buyers to get approval before holdings in such designated entities reach significant thresholds including 25% or 50%, according to a posting on the Government Gazette on Friday.

Sembcorp Specialised Construction Pte., ST Engineering Marine Ltd., ST Engineering Land Systems Ltd., ST Engineering Defence Aviation Services Pte., ST Engineering Digital Systems Pte., Shell Singapore Pte., ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte., and Singapore Refining Company Pvt. were the other companies that made the list.

The law allows for Singapore government to block takeovers, ownership changes or control in such entities by those that have acted against national security interests.

Shell earlier agreed to sell its Singapore assets to a joint venture between commodity trader Glencore Plc and Indonesia’s PT Chandra Asri Pacific. The transaction involved Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore, which comprises refining and chemicals assets on Bukom and Jurong islands.

The designation of the entities come in the midst of shifting supply chains and an intensifying rivalry between China and the US, Singapore’s top two trade partners. Similar investment regimes exist in the world’s two largest economies, as well as in Australia, Japan and the UK, to safeguard strategic sectors such as artificial intelligence, production of semiconductors, cybersecurity, aerospace, or energy.

While the city-state already has a range of laws in place to monitor and manage companies and groups in sectors critical to national security, such as telecommunications, banking and utilities, the new law seeks to widen the scope to any entity that is incorporated, operates or provides goods or services in Singapore.

--With assistance from Stephen Stapczynski.

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