Marine Link
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Maersk Wants Trade Finance Role

(File photo: Maersk Line)

Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipper, is venturing into trade finance, as it seeks to fill a lending gap left by indebted banks pulling out of the crisis-hit shipping industry. Moving into traditional bank territory and further down the shipping value chain, Maersk Line, part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, is offering to finance shipments and remove the paper trail from financing deals. Maersk says it has no need to ask for collateral - one of the biggest headaches for banks and customers in trade finance deals - because it is carrying the goods on its vessels.

Hyundai Merchant Marine, BlackRock in Investment Talks

(File photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine)

South Korean shipper Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd (HMM) is in talks with BlackRock Inc about a potential investment but details have yet to be discussed, a HMM spokesman said on Monday. BlackRock is in talks with HMM to invest up to 1 trillion won ($880 million) in the nation's largest shipper, the Korea Economic Daily reported on Monday, citing unidentified investment banking and shipping industry sources. A BlackRock spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment. HMM shares were up 1.2 percent in morning trade, compared to a 0.2 percent fall for the wider market.

Antwerp Port Blocked as Boxship Runs Aground

File Image: the port of Antwerp

Traffic to and from Antwerp, Europe's second-biggest port, was halted on Monday after a container ship ran aground on the banks of the river Scheldt which connects the port to the North Sea. A spokeswoman said workers were trying to tow the 366-metre CSCL Jupiter away but could not say when this would be completed. "We're heading for low tide in the coming hours, that does not make things easier," the spokeswoman said. Covering a space of 20,000 football fields, the port of Antwerp is the 15th largest container port in the world and handles 214 million tonnes of maritime freight each year.

Hafnia Says Product Tanker Market Weakened

Photo: Hafnia Tankers

The overall product tanker market weakened further during the second quarter of 2017, reflecting the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand of tonnage, said Denmark based Hafnia Tankers. High inventories and reduced trading activity did not support any additional increase of freight rates, however we did see the start of reduced oil inventories by the end of Q2, which in combination with a reduced orderbook, as well as growing oil consumption, are needed for an improved market.

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.

Capital Product Partners Sings Pact for $460 Mln Refinancing

Photo: Capital Product Partners L.P.

Capital Product Partners  entered into a firm offer letter for a senior secured term loan facility of up to $460.0 million with HSH Nordbank AG and ING Bank as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners and BNP Paribas and National Bank of Greece S.A. as arrangers. The lenders also include Alpha Bank S.A., Piraeus Bank S.A. and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (Publ). The closing of the credit facility is subject to finalization of the long form loan documentation. "We intend to use the net proceeds of the loans under the New Facility…

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.

Philippines says China Will Halt Expansion in South China Sea

China has assured the Philippines it will not occupy new features or territory in the South China Sea, under a new "status quo" brokered by Manila as both sides try to strengthen their relations, the Philippine defence minister said. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also said the Philippines was working on a "commercial deal" with China to explore and exploit oil and gas resources in disputed areas of the South China Sea with an aim to begin drilling within a year. The defence minister, Delfin Lorenzana, told a congressional hearing the Philippines and China had reached a "modus vivendi", or a way to get along, in the South China Sea that prohibits new occupation of islands.

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…

Turkey to Rehabilitate Bank for Maritime Sector

Turkish deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said one of the eight troubled banks controlled by a central bank fund would be rehabilitated to provide financing for the maritime sector. Turkey's central bank last year seized eight commercial banks, whose 1999 losses approached $4.7 billion, and is weighing plans for rehabilitating and possibly selling them. Turkey promised the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it would decide on a plan for dealing with the banks this month, after receiving a $295 million installment of its $4 billion loan backing a disinflation program in July. Turkey has hired consulting firms to draw up a strategy for resolving the banks' bad loan portfolios and advise on restructuring them with an eye toward eventual sale.

As Korean Shipyards Founder, Central Bank Dragged into Rescue Bid

They are South Korea's "too-big-to-fail" firms - the world's largest shipbuilders that are both a massive economic force and an important national symbol - and the government wants the central bank to fund an unconventional rescue of the sector. The three biggest shipbuilders - Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd and Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd - sustained record losses last year, dragged down by the global commodities plunge and falling trade volumes. The government wants the central bank to print money to buy bonds in two state banks propping up shipyards as well as shippers - a measure some officials call quantitative easing. Publicly, the Bank of Korea (BOK) says it is willing to cooperate.

Proposed New Capital Rules Threaten Shipping

© Petr Jilek / Adobe Stock

The global shipping industry will hit a credit crunch if proposed new bank capital rules are implemented in a sector already weighed down by toxic debt, bankers involved say. The Basel Committee of banking supervisors from nearly 30 countries met in Chile last month in an effort to complete the new rules for lenders in the world's major financial centres. It is now trying to pin down the details. While the rules do not target shipping specifically, some of the biggest rises in…

Euronav Secures Loan for VLCC Refinancing

Photo courtesy Euronav NV

Tanker shipping company Euronav NV announced it has signed a new $410 million senior secured amortizing revolving credit facility. The facility has been made available on December 16, 2016 for the purpose of refinancing 11 vessels as well as Euronav’s general corporate and working capital purposes. The credit facility was used to refinance the $500 million senior secured credit facility dated March 25, 2014 and will mature on January 31, 2023 carrying a rate of LIBOR plus a margin of 2.25 percent.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Aug 2017 - The Shipyard Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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