More applications lodged to wind up companies
THE number of new applications to forcibly liquidate companies here shot up 24 per cent to 246 last year.
Muted economic growth was one factor driving the increase, along with the challenges of a tight labour market and rising costs faced by firms.
It was the highest number since 2004, but well below Asian Financial Crisis peaks.
Last year, 161 companies were wound up, a 27 per cent jump from 2013.
In the first quarter of this year, 57 winding-up applications were lodged, up from the 50 applications in the same period last year, according to figures from the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office. Fifty-three companies were wound up, a rise from 33 previously.
But the insolvencies are still down from a 1999 peak, when 455 applications were made and 370 companies were wound up.
Chou Sean Yu, partner at WongPartnership, said the companies wound up are from various sectors, including a trading company and an event-management company, based on cases his firm has handled.
The speed of companies in paying their bills slowed in the last two quarters, said Lincoln Teo, chief operating officer of DP Information Group.
Corporate insolvency figures are expected to rise as challenging conditions persist and economic growth remains muted, experts said.
This could affect sectors like shipping, and oil and gas, which have been adversely affected by global trends, said David Chan, partner at Shook Lin & Bok.