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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Banking News

Image: Porto di Carrara

F2I Buys Porto di Carrara

Italian infrastructure investment fund F2i announced its entry into the ports sector with the acquisition of the Porto di Carrara Spa (PDC Spa) Group, which owns port terminals at Carrara, Marghera and Chioggia.The Group, which each year handles around 5 million tons of solid bulk cargoes, is one of the main Italian port hubs and operates in the strategic sector of supplying some of the key Italian industrial segments, said a press release from the biggest Italian infrastructure fund with around 5 billion euro in assets under management.Most of the steel supplies for the districts of Brescia…

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

Pic: G2 Ocean

CargoX's Blockchain B/L Test Successful

The new dry bulk shipping company G2 Ocean and emerging markets specialists Manuchar have announced the successful trial of CargoX’s blockchain-based Smart Bill of Lading (B/L) Solution, and in doing said the traditional bill of lading is “ready for retirement."According to a statement form G2 Ocean, a joint venture of two of breakbulk and bulk shipping companies - Gearbulk and Grieg Star, the two companies concluded their test of the blockchain-based B/L system in April.“Paper Bills of Lading are already considered a historic artefact.

David Tolley (Photo: Intelsat)

Tolley to Join Intelsat as EVP & CFO

Intelsat has announced the appointment of David M. Tolley as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective June 3, 2019.Tolley will report to Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Spengler, and oversee Intelsat’s global finance organization. He will serve on Intelsat’s Management Committee and be based in the company’s U.S. administrative headquarters in McLean, Virginia.Tolley brings over 20 years of financial experience to Intelsat. He most recently served…

Seabury Maritime, BASS Partner on Fleet Solutions

Seabury Maritime LLC (“Seabury Maritime”), a global maritime and transportation investment & merchant banking and industry advisory firm, a division of Seabury Capital Group LLC, has announced its new collaboration with Norway-based BASS Software (“BASS”), a leading provider of fleet management solutions for the maritime industry.As part of the agreement, Seabury Maritime will be providing strategic advice and business development services to BASS, which are aimed to enhance the company’s continuous commitment to growth and close customer support in key markets across the globe…

Image: Seabury Maritime PFRA LLC

Frieght Cost Set to Rise Due to IMO 2020

With less than ten months before the IMO 2020 regulation on sulfur oxide emission goes into effect Jan 1, carriers and shippers alike are facing an 'uncomfortable uncertainty' over its potential effects on costs and freight rates as they enter the 2019-2020 trans-Pacific contracting period.The International Maritime Organization 2020 (IMO 2020) regulation on sulfur oxide emission will translate into an increase in freight rates, said Seabury Maritime, the global maritime and transportation investment & merchant banking and industry advisory firm…

Image CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

Hedge Funds Hunt for Shipping Debt

A growing number of hedge funds are moving into shipping debt, an asset class few have invested in before, looking to buy up loans and bonds as banks cut their exposure to the troubled sector.World economy worries and cost pressures are dampening prospects for a proper recovery in many segments of the shipping sector, which has struggled with tough markets for a decade.Meanwhile European banks, particularly German lenders, are trying to offload distressed and performing loans…

MD Dave Acton, FD John Brebner, Sales & Operations Director James Gregg. (Photo: Motive Offshore Group)

Motive Offshore Appoints Brebner as Finance Director

Motive Offshore Group, which is headquartered in Boyndie, Aberdeenshire, has seen a record turnover for 2018 and is set to exceed its projected 20% increase on the previous year.To support founding directors James Gregg and Dave Acton with their ongoing growth strategy for the business, John Brebner has joined the management team as finance director as Motive plans to start on the acquisition trail in 2019.Brebner, who has been a non-executive director on Motive’s board since February last year…

African Sprinter (Courtesy of Monjasa)

Monjasa: New Bunker Location on the Suez

Monjasa expects a 200,000mts volume increase from its new supply location Djibouti. The objective is to challenge status quo and provide a valid alternative to the traditional Suez and Jeddah bunker markets.Strategically located at the mouth of the Red Sea, Djibouti is fast developing into an attractive bunker destination on the busy Suez waterway. Improved maritime infrastructure and heavy investments in port developments are expected to further advance trade going in and out…

Logo: ITIC

ITIC Warns Members After Uncovering Fraudulent Diversion of Cash

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has warned its members to perform proper bank account checks when transferring funds to principals and intermediaries.The warning comes following the fraudulent diversion of a significant sum of cash transmitted in good faith by ship agents to the master of a ship. The ship agents received a request from a shipowner to deliver $45,000 in cash to the ship’s master during an upcoming port call. The funds were remitted and received by the agents who…

A rendering of a typical FSRU.  Credit: Sener

Uniper intensifies LNG plans with Japan's Mitsui OSK

Mitsui OSK Lines to own, fund FSRU in Wilhelmshaven; FSRU could be operational in H2 2022.Energy group Uniper on Monday entered agreements with Japanese shipping group Mitsui OSK Lines to handle potential deliveries of liquefied natural (LNG) gas into Germany.Discussions about LNG have flared up recently as the German government wants to diversify away from pipeline gas arriving from Russia, Norway and the Netherlands.

Pic:  Star Bulk Carriers

Star Bulk Carriers Reports Profit for Fourth Consecutive Quarter

The global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargoes Star Bulk Carriers Corp announced the third quarter ended September 30, 2018 marks the fourth consecutive profitable one.The Marousi, Greece-based company said that the total revenues for the third quarter of 2018 increased to $188.5 million from $80.8 million in the third quarter of 2017.Petros Pappas, Chief Executive Officer of Star Bulk said: "we achieved $128.7 million in TCE Revenues, $80.1 million in Adjusted EBITDA and Net Income of $26.1 million.

File Image: A laden boxship transits the Suez Canal. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Andriy Kovach)

Egypt Denies Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln Euro Loan

Egypt's government denied in a statement on Thursday that the Suez Canal Authority was seeking a 300 million euro loan from Gulf lenders. Three senior banking sources that did not wish to be named had told Reuters last week that the authority requested a loan from Gulf banks in order to purchase two dredgers. "The Suez Canal has not borrowed any money from any foreign banks, and everything that had been mentioned about this issue is nothing but baseless rumours," the government statement said.

Image: Seabury Maritime

Seabury Maritime Expands Executive Team

The global maritime and transportation investment bank and industry advisory Seabury Maritime PFRA (SMPFRA), a division of Seabury Capital Group, announced the appointment of Fernando Lehrer as Executive Director, Head of Marine Services, and Nikos Petrakakos as Vice President, Head of Maritime Environmental Innovation.Lehrer and Petrakakos are joining the SMPFRA’s leadership to further advance the company’s strategy to provide an integrated platform to its clients that delivers…

The Secretary (Shipping) Gopal Krishna shared the award with Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari. Photo: PIB

India's ‘Sagarmala’ Receives Gold Award

Indian Ministry of Shipping’s flagship program for port-led-prosperity ‘Sagarmala’ received the ‘Gold Award’ in infrastructure sector in the recently concluded 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 in New Delhi, recognizing the programmes’s contribution to India’s socio-economic transformation and it's role in propelling fast-track growth and infrastructure development. The Sagarmala Programme also received the ‘Order of Merit’ at the Summit. The Secretary (Shipping) Gopal Krishna shared the award with Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari.

File Image: A Boxship transits the suez Canal (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Andriy Kovach)

Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln euro Loan

Egypt's Suez Canal Authority is seeking a 300 million euro ($350.19 million) loan from Gulf banks, three senior banking sources told Reuters on Tuesday.   The loan will be used to finance the purchase of two new dredgers, the sources said.   The authority had signed a contract with Dutch firm Royal IHC for the equipment last year but failed to secure funding from local banks.   The sources provided no further details and the Canal authority could not be immediately reached for comment.   Reporting by Ehab Farouk

file Image: Richard Greiner,Moore Stephens partner, Shipping & Transport

Ten Years After, Shipping Industry Confidence Holds Firm

Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-May 2018 according to the latest Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The average confidence level expressed by respondents was unchanged at the four-year high of 6.4 out of 10.0 recorded in February 2018. Confidence on the part of owners was also sustained at a four-year high, of 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up from 6.4 to 6.7. The rating for charterers was up to 6.7 from 5.0 and confidence in the broking sector was up from 6.1 to 6.3.

Image: Moore Stephens

Shipping Industry Confidence Holds Firm: Moore Stephens

Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-May 2018 according to the latest Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The average confidence level expressed by respondents was unchanged at the four-year high of 6.4 out of 10.0 recorded in February 2018. Confidence on the part of owners was also sustained at a four-year high, of 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up from 6.4 to 6.7. The rating for charterers was up to 6.7 from 5.0 and confidence in the broking sector was up from 6.1 to 6.3.

© krunja / Adobe Stock

Chinese Exports Accelerate Even as Trade War Escalates

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world's two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Aug. 23.In a statement on its official website late on Wednesday, China's commerce ministry criticised the U.S.

Dorothea Ioannou (Photo: The American Club)

American P&I Club Manager Prepares for Further Growth

Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. (SCB), the Manager of the American P&I Club, has recently announced a series of appointments designed to service the Club’s growing membership and help fulfil longer-term goals of continued expansion. The American Club has grown its membership substantially over recent years, tonnage having increased by some 25 percent over the past 24 months, and these appointments are intended to consolidate the Club’s continuing service capabilities in the future.The…

Photo: Danaos Corporation

Norton Rose Fulbright, Citibank on USD 2.2bln Danaos Corp Restructuring

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Citigroup and other lenders of Danaos on a $2.2 billion restructuring of NYSE-listed Danaos Corp (DAC), one of the world’s largest independent owners of modern, large-size containerships.Norton Rose Fulbright’s Athens, London and New York offices advised Citigroup and certain other lenders (including China Exim Bank and Eurobank) on new money, take out and refinancing facilities, restructuring support agreements, debt for equity arrangements…

From left to right: Sanghun Lee, Samsung SDS; Daphne de Kluis, ABN AMRO; and Paul Smits, Port of Rotterdam Authority (Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn)

Container Logistics Blockchain Pilot Launched in Rotterdam

There is still a lot of space in the logistics sector to use digitization to achieve more transparency and, particularly, more efficiency.ABN AMRO, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Samsung SDS, the logistics and IT arm of Samsung, have joined forces to launch a pilot based on blockchain technology. The pilot starts in January next year, and the results will be announced in February 2019. The ultimate goal is for a complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains."The transportation…

Image: Hansa Heavy Lift

Hansa Heavy Lift Delivers Egina Carousel to Nigeria

Hansa Heavy Lift  has transported a giant carousel together with eight reels, weighing a total of 3,508.7 metric tonnes, from Newcastle, United Kingdom to Lagos, Nigeria destined for the Egina Oil Field.The voyage took place on board the super heavy lift vessel HHL Lagos, which was mobilised in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to prepare the vessel with additional deck strength for the extralarge carousel, which weighed over 2,200 metric tonnes including spooled product and had a diameter of over 25 metres.“Close connection between the Hansa Heavy Lift engineering…

Pic: ABN Amro

Container Logistics Blockchain Pilot Launched in Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam Authority, Samsung SDS and ABN AMRO are preparing to launch a container logistics blockchain pilot.The pilot will seek to use blockchain technology to build a platform for efficient and paperless administration processes for the international finance and logistics surrounding container transport. The result should make it just as easy to transport, track and finance goods and services as it is to order a book online.Currently payments, administration and…

© Igor Groshev/AdobeStock

New Maritime Fuel Rules: Industry Frets About Cost, Strategy, Supply

There are studies and reports from classification societies, scientific organizations and governmental agencies assuring maritime industries that carbon-heavy fuel is peaking and will be replaced by 2050, if not by 2035, with zero carbon power alternatives. No question, they chorus, shipping can meet the IMO goals of a 50% reduction in 2008 levels of GHS by 2050.But as the hot breath of various deadlines bear down upon them, with the 2020 sulfur cap in the forefront, ship owners…

Abdullah Aldubaikhi (Photo: Bahri)

Bahri Targets Acquisitions in Asia, Middle East

Saudi Arabia's Bahri is targeting acquisitions in Asia and the Middle East as the exclusive oil shipper for state energy giant Saudi Aramco seeks to expand its reach, the chief executive said on Wednesday.Bahri is the world's largest owner and operator of very large crude carriers (VLCCs). Saudi sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF) owns 22 percent of the company and Aramco has a 20 percent stake."We are looking at multiple acquisitions in the Middle East and Asia worth tens of millions of dollars…