Singapore-headquartered trader Triumph Global is suing embattled insurer Bond & Credit Company (BCC) in Australia over unpaid claims arising from the collapses of Rhodium Resources and Longview Resources. 

Triumph’s Hong Kong subsidiary entered into four commodity trades with Rhodium and another with Longview in early 2020, with a total value of just under €21.5mn, court documents show. 

Triumph would purchase goods, including copper cathodes and steam coal, from Singapore-based Supernova Enterprises, before immediately selling them to one of the two companies with payment due in 180 days. 

However, by September 2020, Rhodium and Longview had fallen into financial difficulties and failed to make payment. Rhodium, which has since been renamed Antanium, was estimated to have owed more than US$620mn to creditors at the time of its collapse. 

Triumph sought to reclaim the funds from BCC, but the insurer says it is not liable to make payment under the policy. BCC has yet to file a defence as of press time, and declined to comment when contacted by GTR. 

In similar cases filed against BCC, disputes have centred on whether the claimant actually took title of the goods being traded. 

The insurer has argued in other cases that traders or funders did not take “physical control” of the goods themselves, in keeping with the wording of the policy, and that having title through documentation alone is not sufficient. 

Claimants, however, say it is ordinary practice in commodities trading to have multiple back-to-back transactions where title to the goods is passed by transferring documentation alone. 

In the Triumph case, the trader argues that “‘physical control’ under the policy does not mean actual physical possession of goods, [but] instead means title to goods by way of documents, including sales contracts and shipping documents such as bills of lading (BLs)”. 

Triumph says that in each of the transactions, original BLs were delivered to its offices by Supernova before being passed onto Rhodium or Longview. 

“Each of Supernova, Triumph HK, and Rhodium, as parties to a chain or string of simultaneous contracts concerning the same goods… did not intend, expect nor insist that those sales contracts would be performed by actual, physical delivery of the Rhodium goods to them,” it says, and makes the same argument in Longview’s case.  

Triumph also argues that BCC “knew, or ought reasonably to have known” that the traders involved would not take physical possession of goods. If that was a requirement, it says policies sold by BCC were “neither suitable nor appropriate” for the insured parties. 

Triumph did not respond when contacted. 

The majority of similar lawsuits filed against BCC remain ongoing, although GTR revealed in April it had reached a settlement with trade finance platform Marketlend over insurance claims arising from the insolvency of Singapore-based trader Kams. 

And in May last year, an Australian court ordered BCC to pay a claim of A$7.2mn filed by trade financier Thera Agri Capital Management. The insurer subsequently lost an appeal against that decision. 

Meanwhile, legal wrangling following Rhodium’s insolvency continues to drag on. 

A moratorium granted by the Singapore High Court in January 2021 – which has since been extended multiple times – was intended to give Rhodium an opportunity to restructure. The Triumph case shows that a scheme meeting of creditors was scheduled for May this year. 

Longview was wound up by a Hong Kong court in November 2021.