Hedge Funds Hunt for Shipping Debt
A growing number of hedge funds are moving into shipping debt, an asset class few have invested in before, looking to buy up loans and bonds as banks cut their exposure to the troubled sector.World economy worries and cost pressures are dampening prospects for a proper recovery in many segments of the shipping sector, which has struggled with tough markets for a decade.Meanwhile European banks, particularly German lenders, are trying to offload distressed and performing loans…
HC2 Holding Mulls Global Marine Sale
The diversified holding company HC2 Holdings announced that it is exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, for its Global Marine Group (GMG) subsidiary.As part of this process, Global Marine Holdings, a leading provider of offshore engineering services to the telecommunications, renewables and oil & gas industries through its operating subsidiary Global Marine Systems Limited, has engaged Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and ABN AMRO Bank as joint advisors to explore strategic alternatives for the business."Since our acquisition four years ago…
Deutsche Bank Sells $1 Bln Ship Loan Portfolio
Deutsche Bank is selling a $1 billion portfolio of legacy shipping loans to an entity owned by funds managed by Oak Hill Advisors and Varde Partners, it said on Tuesday.Reuters reported last week that the sale of the portfolio was imminent, as the bank draws a line under sour investments in the sector and starts a fresh push in transport lending.Deutsche Bank said it was not exiting ship financing."Following this disposal and other derisking strategies we have implemented, the…
Deutsche Bank Sells $1 Bln Non-performing Ship Loan Portfolio
Deutsche Bank has found a buyer for the bulk of its bad ship loans as it seeks to draw a line under sour investments in the sector and to start a fresh push in transport lending, people close to the matter said.Germany's flagship lender has agreed to sell a non-performing ship loan portfolio with a notional value of $1 billion to investors Oak Hill Advisors and Varde, one of the sources said.Deutsche Bank and Oak Hill declined to comment, while Varde was not immediately available…
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.
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.
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.
Seaspan Appoints Bing Chen As Chief Executive Officer
Seaspan Corporation announced that Bing Chen will be joining the Company as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and appointed to the Board of Directors in January, 2018. Gerry Wang will be retiring as CEO and Director of Seaspan effective November 3. Upon Wang’s retirement, Peter Curtis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will also serve as Seaspan’s interim chief executive officer until Chen’s arrival, after which he will continue in his current role. David Sokol, Chairman of Seaspan’s Board of Directors, stated, "We are pleased to have reached a very successful conclusion to our CEO search, and to have a seasoned professional like Mr. Chen join our executive team. Mr.
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.
OPEC Set to Prolong Oil Cuts
OPEC will likely agree to extend production cuts for another nine months, delegates said on Tuesday as the oil producer group meets this week to debate how to tackle a global glut of crude. OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, favours extending the output curbs by nine months rather than the initially planned six months, as it seeks to speed up market rebalancing and prevent oil prices from sliding back below $50 per barrel. On Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih won support from OPEC's second-biggest and fastest-growing producer…
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.
Oil and Trump: Russians Full of Optimism in Davos
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, the mood of the Russian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos was distinctly gloomy, with oil prices near 12-year lows below $30 per barrel and Western sanctions depressing their economy and financial markets. Since then, however, Russian stock and bond markets have risen about 50 percent, boosted by rebounding oil and - more recently - expectations the new U.S. presidency of Donald Trump will ease the sanctions imposed over Moscow's actions in Ukraine. Russian officials and company executives at the forum attended by the world's political and business elites in the Swiss Alps this week were far more bullish, with many predicting the markets rally would continue this year.
Proposed New Capital Rules Threaten Shipping
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…
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.
Port Of Hong Kong Volumes Down
Hong Kong port recorded a 16% overall throughput drop in February to 1.2m teu from 1.4m teu in previous corresponding period, accelerating from the 9.6% drop seen in the first month of the year. The container turnover at port since the beginning of 2016 decrease by 12.5% yoy and amounted to 2.86 million TEU. The negative container throughput into the port happened on the background of Chinese economy delay and bad economic environment in the region. Throughput at the main Kwai Tsing terminals was especially hard hit during the holiday-shortened and traditionally slow month…
DP World Launches Tender Offer for $1.5 bln 2017 Sukuk
DP World could buy back around half of its $1.5 billion sukuk offering which is due to mature in 2017 as the global ports operator seeks to reduce the cost of its debt, it said in a statement on Monday. Holders of the Islamic bond have until 1600 London time on May 23 to decide whether to accept DP World's offer to buy the sukuk at $10,555 when the face value is $10,000. The firm will purchase sukuk worth up to $750 million, of which around there was around $1.42 billion of the issue currently outstanding. DP World has hired Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citigroup and Dubai Islamic Bank to act as dealer managers for the tender offer, the statement added. (Reporting by David French)
HCI Group Takes Over 13 Feeder Containerships
The HCI Group and two other investors have taken over a total of thirteen ships from the loan portfolio of HSH Nordbank. The HCI Group structured the portfolio acquisition and is investing a substantial amount itself. The portfolio consists of thirteen feeder ships of between 800 and 1,800 TEU, with an average age of nearly ten years. Deutsche Bank AG will be refinancing part of the portfolio. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price for the vessels. In its role as general manager…
UASC Completes Award Winning Finance Deal
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) announced the recent conclusion of a series of transactions that resulted in the issuance by a U.S. based trust of $162 million of Enhanced Maritime Trust Certificates (EMTC). The EMTCs were issued in an offering pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act, and the transaction marks UASC’s debut financing in the debt capital markets. The EMTCs received a (private) Investment Grade rating by Fitch Ratings Ltd and Kroll Bond Rating Agency and the proceeds were ultimately used to finance the debt portion of two 2012-built 13…
DP World Launches $1.2 bln Sukuk Issue to Cover Tender
Dubai-based ports operator DP World launched a seven-year $1.2 billion sukuk issue on Tuesday, a document from lead managers showed. The issue, structured to be compliant with rules allowing investors in the United States to participate, will price at 237.5 basis points over midswaps, according to the document. This is significantly inside the initial pricing guidance of between 262.5 bps and 275 bps over the same benchmark given earlier in the day, indicating strong investor demand. The transaction will be used to fund the part-repurchase of DP World's $1.5 billion sukuk which is due to mature in 2017, for which preliminary results of a tender offer announced on Tuesday showed investor demand had significantly outstripped the firm's original plan to buy back half of the paper.
NordLB to Shed Shipping Loans to KKR
German state-owned lender NordLB and KKR Credit said they had reached an agreement by which KKR Credit will acquire a $1.5 billion portfolio of shipping loans from NordLB jointly with an unspecified sovereign wealth fund. The portfolio of performing and non-performing loans will include up to 100 ships and will form the seed mandate for a portfolio management company that the buyers plan to set up. NordLB is one of several German banks seeking to cut its ship loan exposure as the container and dry bulk shipping industries struggle with their worst downturn due to a glut of ships, a faltering global economy and weaker consumer demand.
Star Bulk Announces $51.5M Offering Common Stock
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the “Company” or “Star Bulk”) (Nasdaq: SBLK) today announced it plans to make an underwritten public offering for $51.5 million gross proceeds of its common stock. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes. Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Caspian Capital LP and family members or entities owned and controlled by affiliates of the family of our Chief Executive Officer and founder, Mr. Pappas, have indicated…
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…
Japanese Shippers Jolted as Strong Yen Pummels Bottom Line
Japan's big three shippers will report earnings on Monday as yen strength threatens to widen annual loss estimates, in a sector shaken by shrinking demand and over capacity that has already sunk a major carrier. Nippon Yusen KK (NYK), Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (K-Line) - whose combined fleet of over 2,000 vessels includes tankers, dry-cargo carriers and container ships - will issue second-quarter results and updated full-year estimates that analysts say are currently too optimistic.