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Monday, October 23, 2017

Banking News

Alpha Bank Securitize Shipping Loans

Logo: Alpha Bank

Greece's Alpha Bank has successfully completed its second financing transaction of $250 million through shipping securitization with Citi, following the inaugural shipping securitization issuance of $500 million in 2014. "Alpha Bank has successfully completed its second financing transaction of USD 250 million through shipping securitisation with Citi, following the inaugural shipping securitisation issuance of USD 500 million in 2014," said a press statement. The transaction…

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.

Navios Acquires Two Container Vessels

File Photo: Navios

Navios Maritime Containers, a growth vehicle dedicated to the container sector, announced today that it has agreed to acquire two 2009-built 4,250 TEU container vessels for an aggregate purchase price of $19.75 million. The vessels are expected to be delivered to Navios Containers’ fleet in early November 2017. Based on the current rate environment, the vessels are expected to generate approximately $1.5 million of EBITDA over the next twelve months, based on fixed operating expenses and 360 revenue days.

TPG Founders Acquire 100% Ownership

(Photo: TPG Marine Enterprises, LLC)

Indiana based maritime logistics company TPG Marine Enterprises, LLC said it has purchased 100 percent ownership of its primary operating company TPG Mt. Vernon Marine, LLC, which provides harbor services on the lower Ohio River under the names of Mt. Vernon Barge Service, Green River Barge Service and MVBS Jeffersonville, LLC. It also owns TPG Chicago Dry Dock, LLC, located on the Calumet River. Prior to the purchase at the end of September, TPG Marine Enterprises held majority ownership of TPG Mt.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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…

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…

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.

Report Examines Dutch Banks’ Approach to Shipbreaking

Photo courtesy of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of human rights, labor rights and environmental organizations working to prevent dangerous and dirty ship recycling practices worldwide, has made available a report titled Case study: Dutch banking groups and shipbreaking on its website. This is the English version of a report initially published by the Dutch consultancy Profundo, on behalf of the Eerlijke Bankwijzer (Fair Bank Guide), an initiative that aims at providing information to the public on how banks invest their funds, and FNV Mondiaal, a trade union organization.

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.

Court Orders Swiber to Stop Payment of Bank Guarantees

File photo: Swiber

Swiber Offshore Construction, part of troubled Singapore oilfield services firm Swiber Holdings, has received an interim court order to halt payment of bank guarantees for projects it was involved in, a stock exchange filing showed. Parent company Swiber Holdings last month applied to place itself under judicial management, after initially filing for liquidation, becoming the largest local company to fall victim to the slump in oil prices. Judicial management allows for a company to be nursed back to health under the supervision of the Singapore Court.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2017 - The Marine Design Annual

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