Singapore companies with operations or expansion plans in Libya have been hurt by the ongoing unrest there. Infrastructure firm Boustead evacuated 31 non-Libyan staff, mainly Malaysians and Singaporeans, and has seen its share price drop 13% in the last week.
Meanwhile water specialist Hyflux’s shares have also slumped, as the turmoil threatens two potential mega-sized desalination projects valued at over US$1bn.
In this week's lead comment, Simon Tay discusses the implications of such turmoil for Asian businesses and governments.
"If the countries emerge with working governments, the probability is that they will honour the contracts unless these are tainted by corruption or seem to be superfluous white elephants. The new governments will aim to reassure the international community that they are not autarkic and show their people that improvements are being made to their daily lives.
If what emerges are radical Muslim regimes or incoherent, failing states in key Middle Eastern countries and oil exporters, then it will not be just companies with specific links to the region. Asians and all who have relied on the steady supply of oil will have to face up to the wider implications of the Arab awakening as a rude, unexpected and inadvertent shock to the global economy."
Hyflux and Boustead hurt by Libya unrest [TODAY (Singapore), 25 Feb 2011]
Singapore firm evacuates its workers in Libya [Straits Times, 25 Feb 2011]