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MPA given powers to block purchase or disposal of stake in key entities


THE Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will now have the power to reject an acquisition or disposal of equity interest in key designated entities, if it deems they hurt the port's interests.

"These designated entities include designated public licensees, designated business trusts and designated equity interest holders," said Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min, who moved the Second Reading of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Monday.

The subsequent passing of the bill means designated entities will be subject to three key controls relating to changes in equity interest in the entities.

First, anyone who acquires an interest that would result in him or her holding five per cent or more in a designated entity must notify MPA.

Second, MPA's approval must be given first before a person can acquire 25 per cent or more, or 50 per cent or more in a designated entity.

Third, the green light must also be sought from MPA for any disposal that results in a person's shareholding falling below 75 per cent or 50 per cent in a designated entity.

"Given the strategic interests at stake, it is important for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to have oversight on changes in substantive equity control in licensees that provide essential services at the port," Dr Lam said.

"The intent is not to control the day-to-day operations of these licensees, but rather to require MPA's approval to be sought for transactions in equity interest that would materially change the equity control of these licensees," he said.