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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Banking News

Coal Ship entering Newcastle Port  - Credit; jeayesy/AdobeStock

Australian Coal Port's Loan Terms Linked to Social, Emissions Goals

Australia's Port of Newcastle has signed a A$515 million ($398 million) loan with National Australia Bank (NAB) that links interest payments to non-mandatory social and environmental targets, the companies said.The world's largest coal port will pay less if certain targets are met, including reducing its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and screening all customers for modern slavery risks, they said in a joint statement.The loan also contains metrics focused on mental health first aid…

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Top Japanese Lenders Join Shipping Industry Scheme to Cut Carbon

Leading Japanese lenders have joined an initiative that links the provision of shipping finance to cuts in carbon dioxide emissions as the sector accelerates efforts to go green.In recent weeks, Shinsei Bank Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing and MUFG Bank have signed up to the scheme, the banks said.With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.In 2019, a group of leading banks signed up to environmental commitments known as the “Poseidon Principles”…

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EU and UK Clinch Narrow Brexit Trade Deal

Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.The deal, agreed more than four years after Britain voted narrowly to leave the bloc, means it has averted a chaotic finale to the tortuous divorce that has shaken the 70-year project to forge European unity from the ruins of World War Two.It will preserve Britain’s zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the bloc’s single market of 450 million consumers…

Martijn van den Berg (Photo: Zuyderzee Capital)

Martijn van den Berg joins Zuyderzee Capital

Zuyderzee Capital, the specialized investment and advisory services company focused on maritime and logistics, announced a new strategic initiative intended to broaden the overall consulting service offering to its client base: Operational & Administrative Advisory.Martijn van den Berg joins the firm as Director responsible for the new business unit.Martijn joins Zuyderzee Capital having spent more than 24 years at ABN AMRO Bank and its predecessors including many years in the…

(File photo: Philly Shipyard)

Theisen Returns to Philly Shipyard as CFO

Philly Shipyard announced Wednesday that Jeffrey Theisen will re-join the company as Chief Financial Officer, effective September 8. Theisen fills the vacancy created by last month's sudden passing of Brian Leathers.Theisen previously served as Philly Shipyard's CFO for eight years, from 2007 - 2015. He was involved in the spin-off of Philly Shipyard from its parent Aker American Shipping and subsequent listing of the company on Oslo Axess, and he was instrumental in securing backlog and negotiating various financings, investments and other significant transactions.

© John Regan / MarineTraffic.com

Singapore Court Appoints Supervisor for Xihe Holdings

The Singapore High Court has appointed Grant Thornton Singapore as the supervisor of Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd and four of its subsidiaries, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.The court decision followed an application by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd (OCBC) to place Xihe Holdings and the subsidiaries under the business adviser's supervision.The subsidiaries involved are Da Xin Tankers (Pte) Ltd, Hua Guang Shipping Pte Ltd, Nan King Maritime (Pte) Ltd…

(Photo: Brian Leathers)

Philly Shipyard CFO Brian Leathers Passes Suddenly

Philly Shipyard announced the unexpected death of its chief financial officer, Brian Leathers, age 60. “It is with great sadness that we share the news of Brian’s passing, and our entire organization mourns his death. Brian was a well-respected colleague and friend to many. His positive energy, enthusiasm, and dynamic personality will be sorely missed,” said Steinar Nerbovik, Philly Shipyard President and CEOLeathers joined Philly Shipyard in early 2019 as the company’s strategy…

(Photo: Trafigura)

Trafigura Offers COVID-19 Premium

Commodities trader Trafigura Beheer has become the first company to offer a defined Covid premium on an Asian syndicated loan, paying up to an extra 20bp all-in on its latest US$1bn-equivalent financing.The novel pricing structure is a first for Asia, if not globally, and could set a precedent for other price-sensitive borrowers looking to limit the long-term effects of the pandemic on their funding costs.Without the Covid premiums, the terms of Trafigura's new deal are little…

(Photo: Port of Rotterdam Authority)

Port of Rotterdam to Trial PIN-free Container Handling

This week, various parties in Rotterdam will be launching a new pilot project, in which containers are handled and released without a PIN code: a widely used verification method in this transport segment. The project revolves around a new application, Secure Container Release, which replaces the PIN code with a digital signal: a solution that is significantly less susceptible to fraud. It is not only intended to make container handling more efficient, but also safer. Participants in the three-month trial include CMA CGM…

Sara Baade (Photo: Sailors' Society)

Sailors’ Society Names Baade as CEO

Global maritime charity Sailors’ Society announced Sara Baade has been appointed as its new chief executive officer, starting in September 2020.Baade has a strong background in management and strategic policy and brings extensive experience in leading an international welfare charity from her current role as CEO of The Army Families Federation. Her career also includes working as a senior civil servant for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, a directorship at the charity UK Skills and substantial experience in investment banking.Sailors’ Society’s Chair of Trustees…

(File photo: DP World)

DP World Launches $9 Billion Financing

UAE global port operator DP World has launched a $9 billion financing into a targeted syndication process involving less than 10 banks, according to banking sources.The financing, which backs the borrower's privatization, was expected to sell down in a general syndication, but instead DP World decided to offer the deal to a select group of relationship banks.“(The deal is) going out to less than ten relationship banks that have already showed interest in the deal but were unable to join in the senior phase…

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Crude Oil Held in Sea Storage Hits New Record

Traders are storing an estimated record 160 million barrels of oil on ships - double the level from two weeks ago as they seek to tackle a glut of stocks created by a slide in global demand from the coronavirus, shipping sources say.Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia have agreed a record cut in output from May of 9.7 million barrels per day, or almost 10% of global supply, to help support prices and curb oversupply.At…

© Joseph Myerscough / Adobe Stock

Outlook for India's Ship-breaking Turns Negative

The outlook for India's ship-breaking industry has turned negative amid volatile scrap prices and a falling rupee, says ICRA.The country's ship-breaking activity, while tepid during CY2019 due to subdued demand and depressed scrap prices, gathered momentum at the start of CY2020 following the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur cap regulations from January 2020. But weakness in the international shipping markets further aggravated by the coronavirus has since dampened sentiments.

© Grispb / Adobe Stock

Meatpacker JBS Flags Export Logistics Issues Amid Coronavirus

Brazil's JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, has identified potential logistics issues amid the coronavirus crisis including container shortages and port disruptions, according to executives discussing earnings results on Thursday.JBS executives said in a call on fourth-quarter earnings results that its export operations had not been hit by any disruptions, such as those that have affected frozen container cargos arriving in China in recent weeks. They said the company is banking on its long-term relationships with shipping providers to keep exports flowing.

© Eugene Sergeev / Adobe Stock

Golar LNG Appoints New CFO

Golar LNG said on Tuesday it has appointed Callum Mitchell-Thomson as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective April 20.In October 2019, Golar LNG announced its current CFO, Graham Robjohns, would step down. Robjohns will remain in his current position until April 20, 2020 and will leave Golar on April 30, 2020.Robjohns' successor, Mitchell-Thomson, has 21 years of experience advising energy, utility and infrastructure companies on M&A and capital markets transactions while working for JP Morgan.

Global shipping Hit by Coronavirus

Global shipping holds its breath as the coronavirus continues to spread and generates massive economic and financial uncertainty.Two weeks ago, BIMCO argued that – from an economic perspective - when China sneezes, we all catch the flu. Since the SARS outbreak in 2003, the global economy has become much more interlinked with China and the Chinese economy has grown to become the second largest in the world.While hard facts and reliable data are in high demand, they are in short supply…

Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Branson: Virgin Cruise Line Will Overcome Coronavirus Fears

British entrepreneur Richard Branson heralded his first cruise ship "Scarlet Lady" on Friday as targeting a younger generation of holidaymakers with a range of attractions that he believes will outweigh any fears around coronavirus.Despite the unfortunate timing, with passengers on one ship quarantined in Japan after hundreds caught the virus and another turned away by five countries over fears someone on board may be ill, Branson sees cruises as a growth area.In an event at Dover…

EU Clears OLT Takeover by SNAM and FSI

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of OLT Offshore LNG Toscana by SNAM and the UK’s First State Investments International (FSI), under the EU merger regulation.According to the Commission, OLT is active in the management of a floating storage and regasification unit for liquefied natural gas in Italy.SNAM is the holding company of the Snam group, which is active in the development and integrated management of gas infrastructures and, in particular, in the transmission…

Japan Builds First Commercial OWF

After having reached financial close for offshore wind farms at Akita Port and Noshiro Port in Japan,  Akita Offshore Wind Corporation (AOW) has announced that it is to commence construction this month.The Offshore Wind Farms are comprised of the bottom-fixed offshore wind farm and the onshore substation and transmission lines and together are expected to be the first large-scale offshore wind power project in Japan established on a commercial basis.AOW was established in 2016…

International Seaways Signs Refi Deal

New York-headquartered product tanker company International Seaways has closed on senior secured credit facilities worth a total of USD 390 million.The crude oil and petroleum product tanker company said that the facilities consists of a 5-year USD 300 million senior secured term loan facility, a 5-year USD 40 million revolving credit facility, of which USD 20 million has been drawn, and a 2.5-year USD 50 million senior secured term loan credit facility.The NYSE-listed ship owner…

Photo: Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI)

Nestlehutt tapped to lead SCI

The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) selected Rev. Mark S. Nestlehutt as its new President & Executive Director, succeeding the Rev. David Rider, effective February 18, 2020.With more than two decades of church experience in Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Australia and South Africa, Mark joins SCI from Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he serves as Rector. His previous employment and interests include service as an officer in the U.S.

Bart B. Kelleher has taken over as CEO of Chembulk Tankers (Photo: Chembulk Tankers)

Chembulk Tankers Announces Leadership Changes

Chembulk Tankers announced on Wednseday that Bart B. Kelleher has taken over as Chief Executive Officer for David Ellis, who has resigned for personal reasons. Ellis will be available to the company through January 31, 2020.Kelleher has held senior executive roles within Chembulk since joining the company in early 2016, initially as Chief Strategy Officer and then Chief Financial Officer in early 2019. Prior to joining Chembulk, Kelleher was the Chief Operating Officer for Principal Maritime Management and held roles in investment banking…

Claas Matthies (Photo: SAL Heavy Lift)

SAL Hires Matthies, Bibow in Leadership Roles

SAL Heavy Lift and owners Harren & Partner have appointed Claas Matthies, Managing Director, as the new group Chief Information Officer (CIO). Matthies takes on the leadership of the group’s digital strategy combined with responsibility for Group Accounting and Merger & Acquisition activities.Alongside this new position comes the appointment of a new Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in the form of Soeren Bibow who joins SAL and Harren & Partner after a more than 20-year long…

CSEIP Buys 25% Stake in Arkona OWF

Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners (CSEIP) acquired 25% stake in the Arkona offshore wind farm (OWF) from Norwegian energy company Equinor.Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised CSEIP on the EUR 340 million financing of the acquisition. The financing was arranged by Goldman Sachs.The 385 MW offshore wind farm, which is located in the German Exclusive Economic Zone in the Baltic Sea and comprises of 60 Siemens Gamesa 6MW turbines, was opened in April 2019. Following the transaction…

File image of a Bourbon offshore support vessel underway. CREDIT: Bourbon

Bourbon Assets Taken Over by Creditor Banks

French marine services group Bourbon Corporation, which has been in a court restructuring process after its business was hit by volatile energy markets, said its assets would be taken over by its creditor banks.Bourbon said the Marseille commercial court had ruled that Bourbon's assets would be transferred to Société Phocéenne de Participations (SPP) from Jan. 2, 2020.SPP is owned by BNP Paribas, Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel Alpes Provence, Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Paris et d'Ile de France…

Sovcomflot Profits Up on Stronger Tanker Market

Russia's state-owned tanker carrier Sovcomflot (SCF Group) reported improvements on both the top and bottom line in the third quarter benefiting from a stronger tanker market.The energy shipping company posted a net profit of  $26m as revenue increased in the third quarter.Sergey Frank, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PAO Sovcomflot, said: “We are satisfied with the Group’s performance over the third quarter. Sovcomflot steadily follows through on its strategy of increasing the share of large-scale industrial shipping projects in its portfolio."He added: "During the reporting period…