Nordic American Tankers Letter to Shareholders

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) Chairman and CEO, Herbjorn Hansson, Issued a letter to shareholders addressing the yearend rally in the crude tanker market and strongly increased rates.

Dear Shareholder,

As we approach the end of the year, I would like to share with you some thoughts on recent events. The best suezmax tanker rates for a year or two are with us now. For each day passing by, we come closer to stable improved conditions. These last few months have been a busy and exciting time for us. We have established a new company, Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (NAO), where NAT is the largest shareholder. The fourth quarter started quite slowly, while the tanker market for crude oil has strengthened considerably during the last few weeks. The stronger market manifested itself first in the super tanker sector (VLCC), and is now having a positive impact on the Suezmax sector. As I write this, broker reports are quoting Suezmax spot market rates of about $35,000 per day. The longer it lasts, the better. The fourth quarter can still be expected to remain weak as a certain time is needed to improve the rates across our fleet.

We obviously see the recent development as a positive sign. As we enter 2014, the fundamentals of our business can accommodate these spikes occurring more frequently, in turn raising the average rates achieved by our fleet.

Bright spots on the horizon are the strong tendencies we see in global ton-mile demand (transportation work) coupled with, most likely, negative tanker industry fleet growth in 2014. Recently, there have been many reports in the media about US energy independence. The US accounts for only about 15% of our business; the focus in the crude shipping sector is tilting eastward. Global oil consumption is still growing, and the distances for transporting the oil are increasing.

In November, we announced the creation of Nordic American Offshore - an offshore supply vessel company employing a similar strategy to NAT. NAO, which at this time owns six supply vessels, is a separate company from NAT. The company was primarily financed through a private placement, which was well received and oversubscribed. NAT also has made an investment in NAO of $65 million, which is slightly in excess of the cost of one Suezmax newbuilding. The plan is to have NAO listed on the NYSE during the first quarter of 2014.

The reasoning behind the investment in NAO is twofold. Accounting for the related equity issue, the transaction is demonstrably accretive, at today's rates. NAO has substantial contracted revenue and a potential for strong dividends, which will flow through to NAT shareholders. We are hopeful that the value of NAT's investment would increase. We have seen NAO shares trading over the counter (OTC) in Oslo at levels above the issue price. Secondly, many of the same management resources will serve both companies. This will decrease NAT's general and administrative costs and give NAO a cost advantage too.

The shipping downturn has lasted for a long time. However, the signs of a recovery are becoming clearer and clearer. NAT will benefit from the turning tide. We have made significant investments in our ships during the weak market -- an investment that will bear fruit as conditions improve.

We already see the benefits of fuel-saving technologies that we have applied to our existing vessels. Thanks to our investment in maintenance, the technical condition of our fleet is excellent.

We believe our shareholders are not served by endlessly ordering new ships when the existing tonnage is perfectly capable of the job. Some companies spend plenty of time talking about the benefits of new ships, but those new ships only exacerbate the oversupply problem we have and drive down rates for the entire sector. We are in the business of generating returns -- not acting like the neighbour who every year has to buy the flashiest new car.

We would also point out that our fleet gets high marks in vetting, with a proven record in adhering to strict industry standards of quality and safety. That means safety for the crew, safety for the environment and safety for assets.

We focus on risk management. Many companies failed to manage their balance sheets and to protect their equity position. The investors in several of those companies ended up with holdings worth zero. We have always stated we are shareholder friendly and protecting our position and strength during the downturn is part of that strategy.

With the establishment of NAO, NAT is in an even stronger position than before and we are constantly evaluating the best way to safeguard shareholders and capture the tanker market recovery. The management of NAT has no incentive to indiscriminately grow the fleet or assume large risks. We will stay the course, acting responsibly and conservatively.

I wish you all and your families all the best for the holidays and look forward to a prosperous and exciting 2014.

Regards,

Herbjorn Hansson, Chairman & CEO

nat.bm
 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Russia Ships First Oil From Offshore Arctic Platform

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy markets share.

Shipping Turns From Banks to Equity Markets for Cash

Shipping companies are turning to equity markets to fill a growing funding gap, betting that investors hungry for decent returns will provide capital to a sector

Keel-Laid for Navy's 10th LCS at Austal Yard

The Navy and Austal USA held a keel-laying ceremony for the future 'USS Gabrielle Giffords', the Navy's 10th littoral combat ship (LCS), in Mobile, Ala., informs

Tanker Trends

Pirates Approach Tanker in Bab El Mandeb

The U.S. Navy Maritime Liaison Office in Bahrain (MARLO) has advised that on or about 12:30 UTC on 14 April, the Master of an oil tanker reported being approached by a white-blue skiff in position 12.

Shippers Turn to Equity Markets as Sector Eyes Recovery

Shipping companies are turning to equity markets to fill a growing funding gap, betting that investors hungry for decent returns will provide capital to a sector

YPF Tenders to Buy Fuel Oil for June

State-run oil company YPF launched its second fuel oil tender in April, this time to buy two 50,000 metric ton cargoes (some 375,000 barrels each) to be received

News

Crewman Claims Ferry Captain "Rushed Back To Bridge"

The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized two days ago rushed back to the bridge after it started listing severely and tried in vain to right the vessel,

Canaveral Tops State List for Sand Bypass Funding

The Canaveral Harbor Inlet Sand Bypass Project has earned the top state ranking for 2014/15 inlet management funding. As a result, Port Canaveral is expected to receive $100,

Rotterdam port's throughput almost stable

The Port of Rotterdam’s throughput in the first quarter of 2014, at 109 million tonnes, was 0.2% below the level for the corresponding period last year.Split up by goods type,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1773 sec (6 req/sec)