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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Banking News

Kuwait Oil Tankers Inks Financing for Eight Tankers

Kuwait Oil Tanker Company said on Thursday it had signed a 140 million dinar ($467 million) financing deal with three local banks for eight oil tankers, state news agency KUNA reported.   The 10-year financing was obtained from Warba, Ahli United and Kuwait International banks, KUNA said.   Reporting by Ali Abdelati 

Kuwait Oil Tanker Signs Financing Deal for 8 Tankers

Photo: Kuwait Oil Tanker Company S.A.K

Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) said on Thursday it had signed a 140 million dinar ($467 million) financing deal with three local banks for eight oil tankers, state news agency KUNA reported. The 10-year financing was obtained from Warba, Ahli United and Kuwait International banks, KUNA said. Earlier, KOTC and South Korean construction firm Hyundai Heavy Industries have co-signed a contract worth USD 213.36 million to build three immense gas tankers, as part of a major KOTC fleet overhaul.

Start of Golar's FLNG in Cameroon May Draw More Africa Clients

Golar LNG said on Monday it had started production at its floating LNG (FLNG) platform in Cameroon, the world's second working example of the nascent technology and a milestone likely to boost its Fortuna project in Equatorial Guinea. As the cost of land-based LNG plants more than tripled in the decade to 2013, Golar pioneered the conversion of ageing LNG tankers into giant refrigerators capable of chilling gas into its liquid form at minus 162 Celsius. Natural gas when liquefied can be shipped and sold around the world on tankers, like oil. By starting up the pilot floating plant in Cameroon, Golar is removing uncertainty about the risks associated with squeezing equipment into a fraction of the space occupied by an LNG plant on land, shipping analysts and industry sources say.

South Korea Restuctures Mid-Sized Shipbuilders

File Photo: STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

The South Korean government decided to restructure two financially-troubled mid-sized shipbuilders, said a report in Business Korea. While filing for court receivership for the debt-ridden Sungdong Shipbuilding, the government has decided to save STX Offshore and Shipbuilding Co. on condition of slashing 75 percent of its production workforce. The two shipbuilders are heavily indebted to Korea's two state-run banks, as they have struggled with snowballing losses amid unfavorable oil prices and the worldwide industry downturn.

Boskalis Chief Scoops Up More Company Shares

Peter Berdowski (Photo: Boskalis)

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. announced that its CEO Peter Berdowski today acquired 50,000 Boskalis shares.   The shares were purchased by Berdowski with his own funds through a bank.

Navios Maritime Partners to Acquires a 2005 Panamax

Photo:  Navios Partners

Navios Maritime Partners, an owner and operator of drybulk and container vessels, announced today that it agreed to acquire a 2005-built Panamax Vessel for $12.95 million, with delivery expected in March 2018. It also announced that its board of directors has adopted a distribution policy of $0.08 per common unit annually. Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Navios Partners stated, “I am pleased we were able to restore distributions for our unit holders.

HSH Nordbank Sold to Buyout groups Cerberus, Flowers

Germany's HSH Nordbank, formerly the world's largest ship financier, is being sold to private equity firms as it emerges from crippling writedowns and state bailouts amid the deepest sector slump on record. The bank's state owners on Wednesday said that they sealed the sale to a consortium of buyout groups Cerberus and J.C. Flowers, with investors Goldentree, Centaurus and Austrian bank BAWAG also taking stakes. The purchase price for 94.9 percent of HSH is roughly 1 billion euros ($1.22 billion), they said.

Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Delivers World's Largest Ore Carrier

Ore Tianjin: File Photo:

Shandong-based Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co, a subsidiary of Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co, delivered a very large ore carrier (VLOC) to Brazilian miner Vale SA, said Chinese state media. China Daily said that the ship, named Ore Tianjin, has 400,000 metric tons' carrying capacity and is the first VLOC the group has made for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Leasing. Aiming to reduce the shipping cost by increasing capacity and enhance the operator's global competitive edge…

Vitol Returns for $8 Bln Loan Refinancing

Geneva-headquartered energy and commodities trader Vitol has signed an US$8bn loan refinancing of credit facilities agreed in October 2016, the company announced on Wednesday. The revolving credit facility, which is used for working capital and general corporate purposes, comprises a three-year tranche and a 364-day tranche. The three-year tranche totals over US$7bn. ABN AMRO Bank, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC Bank and ING Bank were active bookrunners on the transaction. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, MUFG, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Lloyds Bank, Mizuho Bank, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered Bank, SMBC and UniCredit Bank were mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.

North Carolina Ferries Change Course for the Future

Credit: NCDOT

Shoaling shifts NCDOT’s propulsion needs, prompting a sea change. Thrustmaster waterjets step in to carry the day. In Swansboro, N.C., boatbuilder U.S. Workboats (formerly Armstrong Marine) is assembling the linchpin of the North Carolina Department of Transport’s (NCDOT) business plan for its future Outer Banks ferry services. Separately, in both Hatteras and Ocracoke, crews are preparing to break ground on new parking additions and visitor facilities. The Ocracoke Express passenger…

Study Assesses Hurricane Impacts Coral Reefs

The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) recently concluded a study that gives new insight into the effects Hurricane Rita had on the Gulf of Mexico’s important coral reefs and banks in and around the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. The $357,000 study, entitled Post-Hurricane Assessment of Sensitive Habitats of the Flower Garden Banks Vicinity, provided an understanding of hurricane impacts, characterized the condition of the banks, and created a baseline for future assessment. “Protecting marine resources is an important part of the MMS mission and it’s essential for MMS to identify and assess any damage to these valuable habitats,” said MMS Director Liz Birnbaum.

Bank of Ireland Winding Down Shipping Loans

Bank of Ireland said it is winding down its shipping business, joining other banks looking to cut non-core lending and exposure to an industry suffering its worst downturn. Many European banks are already bogged down by a sluggish economy and face tough capital demands from regulators which are eroding profitability, leaving many looking for ways to shore up their balance sheets. Parts of the shipping industry are suffering their deepest ever downturn as international trade slows. Around 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea. "As previously stated, Bank of Ireland no longer lends within the shipping finance sector and we have been winding down the portfolio," the bank, Ireland's largest by assets, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Hellenic Ship Finances Look Up

Photo Credit: Iolcos Hellenic Maritime Enterprises

The overall Greek loans of Hellenic maritime companies and ship owners (drawn and committed but undrawn) rose to $64.019 billion by the end of 2014, 4.1% higher than the $61.498 billion of 2013. Petrofin Research in its latest annual research says that drawn loans are up by 2.85% and Commitments by 18.11%, the latter prompted by the high Greek newbuilding orders. Of the 5 Greek banks active in the shipping finance market, National Bank of Greece shows an increase by 7.33% and Aegean Baltic by 11.99%. The rest show minor decreases.

Greek Banks Mull Cutting Shipping Portfolios

Greece's leading banks are considering offloading part of their portfolios of shipping debt worth billions of dollars in a bid to shore up their capital, according to banking and ship financing sources. Greece has secured an extension to its bailout from its European partners, but the danger of it unravelling and of Greece being pushed out of the euro zone still exists, raising the risk that Greek banks could face large deposit losses in the future to add to those they have already had. "There are several portfolios being shopped around at the moment, including shipping loans," one banking source said. The banker and a ship-finance source said such debt could be attractive for private equity players who have been scooping up distressed assets in shipping due to the sector downturn.

Cyprus Financial Crisis: Effect on Shipping Interests

Cypriot Transport Minister, Tasos Mitsopoulos, states the nation's shipping registry will not be affected by turmoil in banking sector. The Minister downplayed the impact of Cyprus's banking crisis on the local shipping industry, pointing out that none of the island's banks are active in ship financing, reports Tax-News. Despite Mitsopoulos's assurances, many shipping companies' bank deposits in Cyprus are expected to be heavily impacted by the banking sector developments, and could see losses topping 40% on amounts over EUR100,000, alongside the imposition of capital controls, which may restrict the companies' business activities. Source: Tax-News    

Minoan Lines To Sign Loan

Ferry operator Minoan Lines will sign a $253.5 million syndicated loan jointly arranged by Citibank and National Bank of Greece to finance four highspeed ferries under construction, according to officials. Participating in the syndicated loan are Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank, Commercial Bank of Greece, Deutsche Schiffsbank, Landesbank Schleswig-Holstein Girozentrale, Alpha Credit Bank, BNP, Commerzbank, Meespierson, Schiffhypothekenbank zu Luebeck, Nedship Bank, ABN AMRO Bank and Efibanca.

EX-IM Bank, Marad Agreement to Facilitate Shipping

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a program to provide Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital loans for shipping, logistics and other companies involved in ocean freight transportation. The agreement also updates certain shipping requirements for Ex-Im Bank transactions. Under the agreement, Ex-Im Bank can provide working capital loans to export service providers, enabling them to extend credit terms to their export clients. The Bank will also increase its working capital guarantee from 90 percent to 95 percent for U.S. companies that ship on U.S. flag vessels. Ex-Im Bank and MARAD also agreed to raise the minimum threshold for Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed U.S.

KfW uses Eurofin to target Greek owners

Eurofin to act as its consultant. clients and identifying ship financing opportunities for the bank. Dr. clients. stronger than it has ever been. good banks such as KfW IPEX-Bank have to be selective. finance, and short-term trade finance. scale. refinancing at market rates at all times.

Wisdom Marine Takes Loan for Japanese Orders

Wisdom Marine Group signed a two-tranche syndicated loan agreement for $5.92 million (USD) and ¥11.88 billion ($119.43 million, USD) with six domestic banks to finance its orders with three Japanese shipbuilders, Taipei Times reported. The syndicated loan was co-led by First Commercial Bank and Bank of Taiwan, with participating loans from Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, Bank SinoPac and Bank of Kaohsiung. Wisdom Marine and its subsidiaries placed orders with three Japanese shipbuilders Oshima Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Sasebo Heavy Industries Co Ltd and Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co Ltd to build six bulk vessels. Delivery is anticipated sometime between this year and 2015.

Merchant Bank Invests in New BWTS Project

Photo courtesy of Capital Corp Merchant Banking

Capital Corp Merchant Banking, a U.S.-based merchant banking group, say they have been working on an environmentally friendly ballast water treatment system (BWTS) project with a client and have entered into USD $41-million funding agreement with them. This patent-pending project makes better, more energy-efficient use of existing ballast water treatment technologies, resulting in a smaller energy footprint of the system and decreasing the ship's power-capacity needs. The funding structure Capital Corp Merchant Banking has devised consists of providing its client with $19M in common stock…

Indonesia Plans to Build 22 Ports

Image: PT. Pelabuhan Indonesia II

Indonesia Port Corporations (IPC) or PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) II, Indonesia’s state-owned port operator is to build 22 ports in the country in the next five years for an anticipated cost of around $3.5 billion. “We are targeting to build 22 ports from Belawan to Sorong within five years,” Pelindo II chief executive Richard Joost Lino said. The Indonesian port projects are to be financed by cash and loans and once completed each will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs.

ECB Reviews Shipping Loans

Image: European Central Bank

European Central Bank (ECB) kicked off a review into the risks of banks’ shipping exposure, Reuters reported. ECB is conducting an in-depth review of banks’ exposure in shipping amid rising provisions for bad debt in an industry still mired in crisis. The ECB’s banking supervisor sent an email at the end of last week asking a raft of European banks for details of their shipping loans and the status of their loan loss provisions as an “initial step” in a broader review of lending in the sector, one of the sources quoted the email as saying.

UASC Signs Credit Facility for Two Containership Newbuildings

Principals at signing ceremony: Image UASC

United Arab Shipping Company S.A.G. (UASC) informs it has concluded a bilateral facility worth USD 190 million with Burgan Bank’s Corporate Banking Group to finance the acquisition of two 14,000 TEU vessels from among UASC's new building order of 17 vessels comprised of eleven 14,000 TEU vessels and six 18,000 TEU vessels. UASC explains it has ordered these ultra large container ships from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. shipyard in South Korea. The giant box-ships, which are state of the art vessels capable of running on conventional fuel and liquefied natural gas…

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