El Paso is also selling many assets, including most of the company’s San Juan Basin natural gas assets in New Mexico, in an effort to shore up its balance sheet. The sale of these assets is expected to raise around $800 million.
El Paso, like many other firms in the US utility industry, is suffering amid a crisis of investor confidence that has seen share prices tumble and credit lines dramatically cut. At the start of April, El Paso’s stock price stood at around $47, but yesterday closed at $23.88. Part of this fall was the perception that last week’s apparent suicide of the company’s corporate treasurer, Charles Dana Rice, was linked to the company’s recent troubles – a view that El Paso denies.
One London-based trader at a rival US company said today: “It’s no surprise that they are moving out [of Singapore]. I just hope the European side doesn’t get cut too much as they have good people and a good operation there.”