Oil Tight on Libyan Port Struggles
Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east seek to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market. Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past but have struggled to find buyers because Western nations insist they will deal only with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.
Financiers Turning the Tide on Shipbreaking Practices
The shipping industry has long been criticised by campaigners for allowing vessels to be broken up on beaches, endangering workers and polluting the sea and sand. Now, it is being called to account from a quarter that may have a bit more clout - its financial backers. Norway's $1 trillion Oil Fund, a leader in ethical investing, in February sold its stake in four firms because they scrap on the beach. Three of the firms excluded by Norway's fund - Taiwan's Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) of Thailand - say they have been unfairly singled out.
Struggle to Control Libyan Oil Ports Adds to Global Supply Worries
Libyan oil production could face protracted disruption as factions in the east have sought to seize control of crude exports, adding pressure to a tight global market.Eastern factions have tried to take over oil exports in the past yet struggled to find buyers as Western nations insist they will only deal with the internationally recognised National Oil Corporation (NOC) based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.But this has not stopped eastern forces from seeking control of the ports, accusing Libya's western-based government of failing to share revenues fairly.The latest tussle for power has already slashed national production to about 600…
HSH Nordbank Aims to Buy Shipping Loans from Other Banks
Germany's HSH Nordbank, once the world's biggest ship financier, aims to buy shipping loans from other banks and make new investments in the industry as it emerges from years of turmoil, a top bank official said.The bank's regional government owners are selling the lender to buyout groups Cerberus Capital Management and J.C. Flowers, with investors GoldenTree, Centaurus Capital and Austrian bank BAWAG also taking stakes."HSH, at the end of this process of privatization, will for the first time since 2008 be restored.
Oil Prices Fall as US Drillers Add Rigs
Oil prices slipped on Friday, extending losses after data suggested drilling is ramping up in the United States, easing the focus on efforts by OPEC and other producers to support prices by cutting supplies. U.S. crude futures for March delivery fell 98 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $52.80 a barrel at 1:14pm EST (1814 GMT). The session high was $54.08 and the low was $52.58 a barrel. Brent was down $1.15, or 2 percent, at $55.09 a barrel. The U.S. weekly oil and gas rig count from Baker Hughes showed that U.S. drillers added 15 oil rigs in the week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks. That brought the total count to 566, the most since November 2015. "We're in a holding pattern at this point in time," said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group.
Global Shipping Meltdown Impacts European Banks
The collapsing maritime shipping industry is stoking another European banking headache, this time in economic powerhouse Germany, says a report in WSJ. While the Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest bank, reported earnings, warned that its losses on shipping loans could be as high as EUR600 million ($641 million) this year after nearly doubling last year to EUR559 million. Stephan Engels, Commerzbank’s chief financial officer (CFO) admitted that there was little immediate prospect of recovery.
NordLB forms JV Ship Loan Restructuring
German bank NordLB and two partners have formed a joint venture that will specialise in advising on the restructuring of non-performing ship loans, the state-backed lender said on Monday. The shipping industry has been stuck in a multi-year slump brought about by global economic weakness and overcapacity, weighing heavily on lenders with exposure to the sector, including NordLB, HSH, Commerzbank and state development bank KFW. The venture, Crystal Ocean Advisors, will offer restructuring services for troubled ship financing portfolios but will not take ownership of the assets. NordLB, shipper Offen Group and alternative assets specialist Caplantic will each own a third of the business, NordLB said.
Perfect Storm Turns Permanent for Struggling German Ship Lenders
Germany's shipping lenders are preparing for sustained pain as weakening trade and an over-supply of ships show no signs of easing, industry officials said. Europe's biggest economy was one of the world's main centres of global ship finance before the 2008 credit crisis and the five most involved banks still have around 80 billion euros ($88 billion) of loans outstanding to the sector, a difficult exposure to manage given tighter scrutiny from bank regulators. "The structural imbalance from the over-supply of transport capacity and low demand will continue and we don't expect any encouraging upswing as a result," shipping bank DVB Chief Executive Ralf Bedranowsky said on Thursday.
Crude Prices Firm Ahead of US Data
U.S. payroll, jobs data may support oil prices; demand outlook improving. Crude oil futures edged up on Friday, building on the week's gains, as traders and analysts eyed U.S. jobs data which could give further momentum to rising prices. Brent futures rose 19 cents to $37.26 a barrel as of 1203 GMT, after settling 14 cents higher in the previous session. The crude benchmark is set to end the week with a gain of more than 5 percent. U.S. crude futures traded up 13 cents to $34.70 a barrel, having settled down 9 cents in the previous session. While U.S. crude inventories rose to a new record of 517.98 million barrels last week, output fell for a sixth straight week to 9.08 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration. Cuts in U.S.
Oil Turns Lower after US Crude Build
A bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories to fresh record highs pushed oil markets lower on Wednesday after an early rally over concerns about production cuts in Canada's oil sands region due to a wildfire. U.S. crude stocks, which have been setting record highs since January, grew 2.8 million barrels last week, government data showed, about a million barrels more than analysts' expectations. Gasoline stocks also posted a surprise increase. The data overshadowed concerns over evacuations in the Canadian province of Alberta, where a wildfire raged unchecked through the Canadian city of Fort McMurray in the heart of the country's oil sands region, prompting some companies, including Suncor Energy and Royal Dutch Shell, to cut back production.
Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years
Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on Wednesday after hitting a 10-month low in volatile trade, as growing U.S. production and reduced Chinese refinery activity fed mounting concern over the stubborn global crude glut. U.S. crude futures settled at $42.53, down 98 cents or 2.3 percent, after touching a low of $42.13, the lowest intraday level since August 2016. Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped more than 20 percent, with only brief rallies. More than 1 million front-month crude contracts changed hands on Wednesday, far exceeding the daily average of 560,000 contracts.
NordLB Eyes Full-Year Loss
German state-backed lender NordLB now expects to report a loss in 2016 after non-performing loans in shipping, where it is one of the world's top lenders, helped push it into the red in the first quarter. The results at NordLB, which previously said it expected an earnings decline this year but did not point to a loss, bode ill for German peers HSH, Commerzbank, DVB and KFW, who have also been forced to take writedowns and boost capital buffers against shipping loan portfolios turning bad. "We are expecting NORDLB to close the current year with a negative result," Chief Executive Gunter Dunkel said in a statement on Wednesday. That would be its first full year loss since 2009.
ECB urges Bremer Landesbank to boost capital amid shipping crisis
The European Central Bank has urged German state-owned lender Bremer Landesbank to shore up its capital resources against non-performing loans in shipping, three sources familiar with the matter said. Bremer (BLB) needs another 700 million euros ($800 million) in equity, weekly magazine Focus reported earlier on Saturday, citing talks between the city-state's finance chief and parliamentary leaders. "There are close discussions with the ECB," one of the sources told Reuters. Strengthening BLB's capital is a "matter of intense talks," a second source said.
MOL Plan to Build New HQ
MOL Group announced its plans to relocate its corporate headquarters by 2021 to MOL Campus, the company’s new 83,000 sqm office, which will be designed by one of the most renowned architectural studios in the world, the UK-based Foster + Partners. The 120-meter high building, which will be the future workspace for up to 2500 employees, will be located on the banks of the Danube in the southern part of Budapest, close to the current HQ building. The modern design mirrors MOL Group’s…
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.
Oil Extends Rally on Possible Producer Action
Oil prices were up about 1 percent on Friday, on track for their biggest weekly gains since May, after a short covering rally was triggered by comments from Saudi Arabia's oil minister in the previous session about possible action to help stabilize the market. The market, however, pared some gains after data showed U.S. oil drillers added rigs for a seventh straight week, the longest recovery in the rig count in over two years. They added 17 rigs, the biggest increase since December. Brent crude futures were 56 cents higher at $46.60 at barrel by 1:16 p.m. ET (1716 GMT) after touching a more than three-week high of $46.99 earlier. U.S. crude rose 66 cents to $44.15 after touching its highest level since July 22 at $44.57 per barrel.
German Banks Step up Efforts to Offload Toxic Shipping Debt
Top national lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are stepping up efforts to offload distressed shipping loans, finance sources said, as the German banking system grapples with $100 billion in toxic debt from the sector. While the shipping sector is showing signs of recovery after a near-decade long downturn, it is still struggling with an excess of ships and sluggish growth in global trade, which has led to some shipping companies going to the wall. German banks, once global leaders in ship financing, have written off billions of euros in loans to shipping companies, while other European lenders - facing capital pressure from regulators - have quit the business.
German Banks Count Cost of Global Shipping Crisis
German banks are struggling to recoup tens of billions of dollars of loans as a global shipping industry slump hits them hard. The lenders - among the biggest backers of shipowners over the past 20 years - are behind up to a quarter of the world's $400 billion of outstanding shipping loans, three shipping financiers told Reuters. This would make them collectively more exposed than banks from any other single country in terms of outstanding debt to the sector. These institutions…
Oil Rallies as Hopes Grow for Output Cut
Oil rallied to four-month highs on Thursday, underpinned by a surprisingly large drop in U.S. inventory levels the previous day and by growing expectations for the world's largest producers to agree to cut supply. Brent crude futures were last up 55 cents on the day at $52.41 a barrel by 1408 GMT, having risen to a session peak of $52.65, the highest in four months. U.S. futures rose 46 cents to $50.29 a barrel, having broken above $50 for the first time since June this year. A number of OPEC oil ministers plus Russia's energy minister set to attend an energy conference in Istanbul are expected to meet together informally although they are unlikely to make any new decisions, OPEC sources said.
S. Africa Becoming Preferred Destination for Ship Arrests
At the recent annual Maritime Law Conference (MLA) held at Arabella in the Western Cape, various prominent government and international speakers took to the floor to debate and discuss national global maritime phenomena including inter alia; the progress in handling international oil spillages, port congestion, salvage and vessel arrests. Progress and unity was evident amongst the highly respected panel of speakers including Captain Rufus Lekala (TNPA Chief Harbour Master), Captain Alan Reid…
Oil Prices Soar 4%
Oil prices jumped 4 percent on Tuesday, bouncing back from multi-month lows on expectations that OPEC will agree later this month to cut production to reduce a supply glut. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih is expected to travel to the Qatari capital, Doha, this week for meetings with oil-producing countries on the sidelines of an energy forum, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is due to meet on Nov. 30 to agree to limit output. An outline deal was reached in September but negotiations on the detail are proving difficult, officials say. Traders and analysts also pointed to a report from Monday about a last ditch effort by OPEC to bring the world's top producers together to rein in production…
Rickmers Pact with Commerzbank AG
Financially-strapped Rickmers Maritime has entered into a deed of consent with Commerzbank AG, Singapore Branch, reports Reuters. Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd., the holding Trustee, has entered into a memorandum of agreement for sale of "India Rickmers" vessel securing CMB facility. The deed in relation to a settlement of senior loan facilities is extended by CMB to a subsidiary of trust. CMB has agreed to waive repayment of a material portion of remaining debt owed under CMB facility following partial prepayment.
Rickmers Sells Vessel to Survive
Rickmers Maritime Trust has completed the sale of a vessel in connection with the settlement of senior loan facilities that German lender Commerzbank's Singapore branch extended to a unit of the trust. "The Trustee-Manager wishes to announce that the sale of the “India Rickmers” vessel has been completed. The Trustee-Manager will update its noteholders and unitholders if there are any further developments," Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd., in its capacity as trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime has announced in a statement.