Baltic Exchange Succumbs to Singapore as Shipping Turmoil Deepens
The crisis in global shipping and a tax exodus by big Greek vessel owners have helped finally seal the fate of London's Baltic Exchange after at least three approaches to buy it over the last six years of its near-three centuries history. Some 95 percent of shareholders voted on Monday in favour of a takeover deal from Singapore Exchange, valued at 87 million pounds ($112.87 million), trumping more than one effort from the London Metal Exchange to snap it up. "For Baltic shareholders it does release value…
IBIA investigates: Brexit and Sulphur Regulations – what now?
The prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union – nicknamed ‘Brexit’ – has raised a number of questions regarding the status, now and in the future, of sulphur regulations in the UK. In response to some of the questions raised, IBIA has investigated the short term reality and future scenarios. The EU’s sulphur regulations contained in Directive 1999/32/EC and subsequent amendments – the EU Sulphur Directive – go beyond the minimum requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s MARPOL Annex VI.
Post-Brexit: UK Chamber Calls for ‘Free Trade Commission’
The UK Chamber of Shipping remained neutral on the question of the UK’s membership of the EU but we recognise the decision of the British people. The chamber has always argued that the shipping industry is resilient by its nature. Shipping moves 95% of the UK’s international trade and we don’t see that changing. We may now be beginning the process of leaving the European Union, but we are still an island nation that has to make its way in the world through buying and selling, and the shipping industry is here for that very purpose. What we need now are cool heads.
World Stocks Tumble as Britain Votes for EU Exit
Global capital markets reeled on Friday after Britain voted to leave the European Union, with $2 trillion in value wiped from equity bourses worldwide, while money poured into safe-haven gold and government bonds. Sterling suffered a record plunge. The blow to investor confidence and the uncertainty the vote has sparked could keep the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates as planned this year, and even spark a new round of emergency policy easing from major central banks. The traditional safe-harbor assets of top-rated government debt, the Japanese yen and gold all jumped. Spot gold rose more than 5 percent and the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to lows last seen in 2012 at 1.5445 percent. Stocks tumbled in Europe.
British Gov't Met Potential Buyer for Tata Steel UK
The British government opened talks on Tuesday with potential buyers for Tata Steel's UK operations, including Sanjeev Gupta's commodities company Liberty Group, as it stepped up its battle to find a buyer for the loss-making business. Accused by opposition lawmakers of being "asleep at the wheel" when India's Tata Steel put its entire British operations up for sale last week, Prime Minister David Cameron also met ministers to discuss the options for a business which employs 15,000 people. Britain's business minister Sajid Javid met with Gupta in London to establish how firm his interest was in the business. He was later due to fly to Mumbai to meet Tata Chairman Cyrus Mistry to agree the process for a sale.
UK's Peel Ports to Expand Liverpool to Weather Container Slump
Peel Ports, one of Britain's largest port operators, expects to withstand the container shipping slump with a bold project aimed at attracting cargo to Liverpool away from southern gateways, its chief executive said. The container market, which ships retail goods from iPhones to designer clothes and food products, has been hit hard by a slowdown in demand for goods from Asia, especially China. The Baltic exchange's main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping dry bulk commodities such as coal, has fallen to the lowest level since data is available on the China slowdown. Peel Ports, which competes with Associated British Ports…
Groundwork Begins on Successor Subs in UK
Groundwork has started on the renovation of a central shipyard complex that be used for outfitting future Royal Navy Successor submarines, British Forces News said. BAE Systems had announced last year a $459 million modernization of the entire shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in anticipation of government approval of the nuclear deterrent submarines, which will replace Vanguard-class vessels. Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed earlier this week that Britain will order four new Successor submarines to replace the Vanguard-class of nuclear subs.
Rescue Ships Head for Libya, as Migrants Die Also in Balkans
British and German warships made ready to sail for waters off Libya as Europe ramped up rescue operations in the Mediterranean after up to 900 desperate migrants drowned last weekend on a boat heading for Italy. Yet hours after European Union leaders agreed in Brussels on Thursday to treble funding for EU maritime missions and pledged more ships and aircraft, 14 clandestine migrants were killed when a train ploughed into dozens of Somalis and Afghans making their way in darkness along a rail track in a Macedonian gorge. The incident highlighted the variety of routes that growing numbers are taking to escape war and poverty in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and chance their luck in a wealthy region that offers, at best, a chilly welcome.
UK Will Force Fridman to sell N.Sea Assets
Britain is ready to force the sale of Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman's recently acquired North Sea energy assets unless it receives unspecified assurances within the next week, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said on Thursday. Britain on Wednesday wrote to Fridman's investment vehicle saying he had seven days to explain why he should be allowed to retain ownership of North Sea assets just acquired from German utility RWE. "If assurances are not supplied, we've set out our position and our intention to act, and the prime minister entirely agrees with that," Cameron's spokesman told reporters. RWE on Monday finalised the sale of its oil and gas production unit DEA UK to Fridman's investment vehicle LetterOne…
BAE Systems Gets $1.3b for New UK Warships
The U.K. Ministry of Defense has signed a $1.3 billion contract with BAE Systems for equipment to build the next generation of warships for the British navy, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today. BAE Systems has been working on plans to provide Britain with 13 new warships since 2010, Reuters reported, adding that the new contract enables the shipbuilder to continue developing the project by investing in the equipment and facilities needed before building can begin. According to the U.K.
Britain to Ban Fracking in National Parks
Britain said on Monday it would ban fracking in national parks, reversing a policy announced last year, in a concession to the opposition Labour Party which had called for tighter controls to be written into law. "We have agreed an outright ban on fracking in national parks, sites of special interest and areas of natural beauty," said junior energy minister Amber Rudd during a debate on new laws regulating the extraction process. Last year the government said fracking -- extracting gas and oil by pumping chemicals, sand and water at high pressure into underground rocks -- would be possible within national parks in exceptional circumstances. The government also accepted a Labour proposal to tighten several other rules governing when and where fracking would be permitted.
Obama, Cameron Reject Calls for More Iran Sanctions Now
U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday pushed back against calls for further sanctions on Iran now over its nuclear program, saying such action could harm ongoing negotiations. In a joint news conference, Obama and Cameron urged U.S. lawmakers to exercise patience and hold off on any legislation calling for further sanctions. "There is no good argument for us to try to undercut, undermine the negotiations until they've played themselves out," Obama told reporters. "Congress needs to show patience," he added. (Reporting by Jeff Mason, Roberta Rampton; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
Britain to Screen Passengers for Ebola
Britain said on Thursday it would start screening passengers entering the country through London's two main airports and the Eurostar rail link with Europe for possible cases of the Ebola virus. "Enhanced screening will initially be implemented at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Eurostar terminals," a statement from Prime Minister David Cameron's office said. "(It) will involve assessing passengers' recent travel history, who they have been in contact with and onward travel arrangements as well as a possible medical assessment, conducted by trained medical personnel." Reporting by William James
HMS Prince of Wales Assembly Begins
Construction of HMS Prince of Wales, the second of two new aircraft carriers for the U.K. Royal Navy, has moved forward with the docking of two of the ship’s largest hull sections – Lower Block 02 and Lower Block 03. The movement of the blocks into the dock at Rosyth marks the beginning of the ship’s assembly phase and comes only days after Prime Minister David Cameron announced that HMS Prince of Wales will enter into service, ensuring that the U.K. will always have one aircraft carrier available.
Tripoli Airport Ablaze, Rockets Leave Libya in Chaos
Diplomats flee Libyan chaos; Politicians appeal for international intervention. Clashes in Tripoli, Benghazi kill around 160 over two weeks, while Libyan capital face fuel, power shortages. A rocket hit a fuel storage tank in a chaotic battle for Tripoli airport that has all but closed off international flights to Libya, leaving fire-fighters struggling to extinguish a giant conflagration. Foreign governments have looked on powerless as anarchy sweeps across the North African oil producer, three years after NATO bombardment helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi. They have urged nationals to leave Libya and have pulled diplomats out after two weeks of clashes among rival factions killed nearly 160 people in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
Cameron Questions France's Sale of Warships to Russia
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday questioned France's plan to sell Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, saying fulfilling such an order would be unthinkable in Britain after the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine. When asked about France's plan to press ahead with a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell the ships to Russia, Cameron said: "Frankly in this country it would be unthinkable to fulfil an order like the one outstanding that the French have. "But we need to put the pressure on with all our partners to say that we cannot go on doing business as usual with a country when it is behaving in this way." (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
UK Minister Rebuffs Plea to Delay SOx Limit Implementation
An attempt by the UK’s Chamber of Shipping last week to persuade the British government that the industry needed more time to comply with new sulphur emission limits entering force on 1 January next year received short shrift from the shipping minister. However the Chamber, along with other European shipowners' associations, is reported to be determined to continue its campaign, reports shipping trade association Maritime London. The owners’ organisations say that switching to…
BP & CNOOC Sign 20-yr LNG Deal
BP and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) today announced a heads of agreement for the supply of up to 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year over 20 years starting in 2019. The agreement was signed in London by BP Executive Vice President, Dev Sanyal and CNOOC Chairman, Wang Yilin, in the presence of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang. Bob Dudley, BP Group Chief Executive said: “This is a significant deal for BP and China but it also marks a step up in global connectivity in the gas market.
Cheeki Rafiki: Under Pressure, USCG Resumes Search
U.S. authorities resumed a hunt on Tuesday for four British yachtsmen missing in the Atlantic Ocean after a public appeal backed by UK politicians and British billionaire Richard Branson not to give up on finding them just yet. The sailors on board the yacht Cheeki Rafiki went missing on Friday as they were returning to Britain from a sailing event in Antigua in the Caribbean and reported that the vessel was taking on water, forcing them to change course to head to the Azores. The U.S. Coast Guard, supported by U.S. and Canadian air forces, mounted a search about 1,000 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but called it off on Sunday due to treacherous conditions, saying there was little chance of finding them. But relatives of the missing men set up a petition to urge U.S.
U.S. Coast Guard Resumes Search for 4 Missing UK Sailors in Atlantic
U.S. authorities on Tuesday resumed a search for four British sailors missing in the Atlantic Ocean for four days after an appeal from the British public and UK politicians. U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ross Rudell said the search was resumed early Tuesday morning. British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the renewed search for the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki who have been missing since Friday after reporting the yacht was taking on water during a trip from Antigua in the Caribbean back to England.
Divorce Costs Could Sour Scotland's North Sea Hopes
Scottish nationalists are betting $2.5 trillion of hydrocarbons trapped miles beneath the North Sea could bankroll an independent Scotland, but winning control of the European Union's largest oil reserves would be no blank cheque. Scotland says the bulk of Britain's North Sea oil and gas reserves are in its waters, while London says any division would be subject to negotiations should Scots vote to end their 307-year-old union with England in a referendum on Sept. 18. Oil is the punch in Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's pitch for independence: he accuses London of squandering the North Sea's mineral wealth and says Scotland would be one of the world's richest countries if it took control of its own destiny.
Britain Oil Review: New Regulator Needed to Lift Output
Britain urgently needs its oil and gas companies to pay for a new regulatory body to encourage industry collaboration and counter plunging North Sea production rates, a government review, the first since the mid-1990s, said on Monday. Britain's oil and gas output has fallen about two thirds since its peak at the turn of the century, but reforms could lead to 200 billion pounds ($330 billion) worth of extra oil and gas being extracted, the government said. The North Sea is thought to contain billions of barrels of hard-to-reach oil but with many platforms and pipelines coming to the end of their working lives, time is fast running out to get at them. The review's task was outlining how to make that easier.
Navy's 'USNS Bowditch' Checking Philippine Pilotage Waters
As U.S. Navy assets steam towards the Philippines to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, Navy hydrographers are busy charting safe passages through potential navigation hazards created by the receding storm surge. 'USNS Bowditch', a Navy survey vessel, was one of the first ships on station and began immediately surveying the approaches to San Pedro Bay. "In many natural disaster situations around the world, forward-deployed Navy and Marine Corps assets act as first responders for U.S.