Finance Ministry News

30 Oct 2019

Fincantieri's French Shipyard Bid Gets EU Scrutiny

File Image of a Fincantieri Shipyard (CREDIT: Fincantieri)

Italy's bid to create a European industrial champion in the shipbuilding industry faces hurdles after EU antitrust regulators said Fincantieri's bid for Chantiers de l'Atlantique would significantly reduce competition.The European Commission said the deal between two global leaders in an already concentrated and capacity-constrained market could push up prices for cruise ships as it began an investigation on Wednesday.Italy is hoping the deal will help Fincantieri, Europe's biggest shipyard…

15 Oct 2019

France urges EU Tax on Airplane and Ship Fuels

AdobeStock / © dbvirago

France wants the European Union to work on creating a tax on airplane and ship fuels as part of a push to rein in carbon emissions, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.Le Maire said the tax would complement plans supported by France and Germany for a carbon border tax that would shield European companies from competition from countries with lower emissions standards."It's incomprehensible that carbon emissions targets were set for cars and not for airplanes and ships.

05 Feb 2019

Sri Lanka Port Strike Ends

Photo courtesy of Sri Lanka Port Authority

Sri Lankan customs officers on Tuesday called off a strike that left 6,000 containers stranded at the country's main port and put pressure on food prices, after the government agreed to reinstate their boss for three months.The strike by thousands of officials began a week ago in protest at the sacking of Director General P.S.M. Charles, who authorities blamed for a drop in customs revenue last year.It was not immediately clear how long the backlog of containers would take to clear after unions said late on Tuesday that the strike had ended.About 1…

01 Feb 2019

India Pitches for Blue Economy

India's Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. Photo: PIB

The government of India has allocated a budgetary support of USD 266mln to shipping sector in the interim budget presented by Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.The government has pitched for development of India’s Blue Economy with the Finance Ministry proposing an impressive USD 77mln under Sagarmala. This allocation was up from USD 53 mln (revised estimates) allocated during 2018-19.Underlining importance of developing India’s 7,500 km long coastline and converting them into industrial hubs…

24 Sep 2018

China Navy Ship Makes Maiden Visit to Venezuela

File photo: China's Peace Ark in 2014 (U.S. Navy photo by Shannon Renfroe)

A Chinese naval ship has traveled to Venezuela for the first time, following a visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing this month, where he had been looking to gain China's support for the Latin American nation's struggling economy.The naval medical ship, known as the "Peace Ark", arrived on Saturday at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira for an eight-day period of "friendly visits" to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.Maduro, whose leftist government is under fire in Venezuela as the economy struggles with a fifth year of recession and hyperinflation…

25 Jul 2018

Government Okays USD 1.2 bln for Korea Ocean Business Corporation

File Photo: Hanjin

The government of South Korea decided to invest 1.35 trillion won (USD 1.2 billion) in Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC). The compnay was created in order to help its shipping industry stand on its feet, especially after the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping.Yonhap reported quoting the finance ministry that Cabinet approved a plan to contribute 12.7-percent stakes in each of the country's four port authorities to the KOBC.Earlier this month, the corporation was officially launched in Busan…

12 Apr 2018

For Hire: Battery Hybrid PSVs

Image: Seacor

Systems integrator and equipment maker Rolls-Royce has quietly been adding hybridizing energy-storage packages to a diverse list of vessels. Yet, so, too, has one of its clients — Louisiana-based SEACOR Marine, as it reacts early to tightened emissions and energy-management standards, or EMS, for vessels plying Europe and North America. Fuel savings and energy-company clients seeking green credentials are, it turns out, just part of the upside driving battery retrofits.The fuel savings to be had for keeping thrusters on battery power are a powerful selling point, to be sure.

18 May 2017

Russia Wants to Sell Sovcomflot to Small-stake Investors

Photo: Sovcomflot

Russia plans to sell part of state shipping firm Sovcomflot next month, hoping to draw in a wide range of small-stake investors rather than a strategic buyer who could threaten Moscow's control of the group, banking and industry sources say. The current era of low tanker market prices is far from the ideal time for Sovcomflot to raise revenue with a share offer, as freight rates were at their highs in 2015. Sovcomflot operates the world's second largest fleet of oil tankers. But…

22 Mar 2017

Maersk Reaches Key North Sea Tax Deal with Denmark

File photo: Maersk Oil

Shipping and oil company A. P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday reached an agreement with the Danish state that means it will pay less tax on its North Sea oil and gas activities through 2025. The deal, which has been under negotiation for months, makes it viable to redevelop the Tyra field through which 90 percent of Denmark's gas production is processed, and it is seen as crucial for the Danish company that is seeking to spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. Maersk and its partners in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) -- Shell…

22 Mar 2017

Danish Finance Minister to Report on North Sea Oil Negotiations with Maersk

Denmark's finance minister Kristian Jensen will hold a news conference about the government's ongoing negotiations with the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) about a new tax agreement for North Sea oil and gas operations at 1745 CET on Wednesday, the finance ministry said in a statement.   DUC consists of Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A. P. Moller-Maersk, Shell, Chevron CVX.N and state-owned Nordsofonden.   The deal is seen as crucial for Maersk as it seeks to focus its operations on the North Sea and spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Toby Chopra)

22 Mar 2017

Shell Signs 3-year Contract to Lease Oil Tanks in Panama

Oil company Royal Dutch Shell has signed a three-year contract to lease storage tanks at a large terminal in Panama that had been used by U.S. refining company Tesoro Corp, sources involved in the deal told Reuters. The facility, designed for storage and transshipment of crude oil to tankers, is owned by Petroterminal de Panama (PTP) and includes up to 14 million barrels of storage capacity on the Atlantic and the Pacific shores. "We have signed a contract with Shell for a three-year period involving all the available space we have," said an official from the Panamanian government. The contract still needs final approval by the country's Finance Ministry.   (Reporting by Elida Moreno and Marianna Parraga)

08 Mar 2017

Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals

Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners. "The UK government will publish a discussion paper and establish a panel of industry experts to consider how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields, helping to keep them productive for longer," the ministry said in a statement.

07 Mar 2017

Maersk, Denmark Close In On North Sea Oil Deal

File photo: A.P. Moller - Maersk

Oil and shipping conglomerate A.P Moller-Maersk could land a deal with the Danish government on oil and gas operations in the North Sea within days, political sources with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters on Tuesday. The deal will secure continued production in the Danish part of the North Sea and is seen as crucial for Maersk as it seeks to focus its operations on the North Sea and spin off its energy assets via a listing or merger. The Danish state has agreed to improved fiscal terms, the sources said.

21 Jan 2016

Dutch "Disappointed" with EU Port Tax Edict

The Dutch Finance Ministry said on Thursday it was "disappointed" with an EU Commission order to do away with corporate tax exemptions for six ports, including Rotterdam, Europe's largest. The measure puts the Netherlands at a disadvantage, the government said in a statement, calling on the Commission to ensure fair competition. European Union regulators told Dutch authorities on Thursday to scrap a corporate tax exemption for the ports and also ordered Belgium and France to align their port taxation systems with the bloc's state aid rules. "The Commission's decisions today regarding the Netherlands, Belgium and France make clear that if port operators generate profits from economic activities these should be taxed," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

07 Mar 2016

Indian Budget Proposals for Maritime Sector

Pic: Shipping Corporation of India

Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley in Union Budget for financial 2016-17 (Apr-Mar) has announced imposition of 14% service tax on services provided by domestic shipping companies transporting goods from outside India. “The service tax on services provided by shipping companies by way of transportation of goods by a vessel from outside India up to the customs station in India will be 14% with effect from 1 June, 2016,” said the Budget. Shipping Corporation of India, Mercator and Great Eastern Shipping among others are some of the top domestic shipping companies.

11 Apr 2016

FinMin Says to Stick to Oil Duty Cuts Plans in 2017

Russia's Finance Ministry will go ahead with plans to lower oil export duties next year if prices do not increase significantly, Deputy Finance Minister Ilya Trunin told reporters on Monday. Russia had scrapped plans to cut the duty for this year due to lower prices of oil, the country's main exporting commodity. Oil producers had expressed concern that the government would increase the tax burden as it tries to make up the shortfall in state coffers. The changes will reduce oil export duties while increasing a mineral extraction tax, allowing Russian refineries to reduce crude processing and increase sales abroad. As a part of the change Russia's government should reduce a coefficient of the formula to 30 percent from the current 42 percent…

27 Jun 2016

Morocco Sells 40% Stake in Port Operator in IPO

The Moroccan government raised 1.94 billion dirhams ($197 million) by selling a 40 percent stake in state-owned port operator Marsa Maroc in the country's first initial public offering this year, traders said on Monday. Marsa Maroc was established in 2006 and manages terminals at nine Moroccan ports and provides logistic services. The port operator has said it is seeking funds for expansion as it plans to bid for two other terminals at Casablanca Port and is looking for opportunities elsewhere in North and West Africa. The offering was the first ever for a privatisation and could help to revive Casablanca's stock market, which has suffered from the knock-on effects of the euro zone debt crisis and a lack of foreign investors.

07 Sep 2016

Two Buyers Eye Struggling STX France Shipyard

(Photo: STX France)

Two potential buyers have emerged for STX France, a shipyard subsidiary of the struggling South Korean group STX Corp, according to a French finance ministry source. The French state holds a 33 percent minority stake in STX France, which runs a naval shipyards in Saint Nazaire on the west coast. Lossmaking STX Corp is in administration. A French finance ministry source said a South Korean court was poised to clear a decision to liquidiate STX Corp's assets on Friday this week, a move that could clear the way for the sale of its assets.

08 Sep 2016

Damen, Fincantieri Potential STX France Buyers

Photo: STX France

Dutch group Damen shipyards and Italian group Fincantieri are the two potential buyers that have emerged for STX France, a shipyard subsidiary of the struggling South Korean group STX Corp, French daily Le Monde said on Thursday. "Two foreign candidates, Italy's Fincantieri and Holland's Damen are fighting over the last big French company of the (shipyard) sector," Le Monde said, citing several sources. On Wednesday a French finance ministry source said two potential buyers had emerged for STX France.

25 Sep 2015

Greece Eyes Shipping Money

Theodore Dritsas. Photo Credit: Tovima

Greece's returning Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decided to break up the "super-Ministry" of the Economy, Shipping and Tourism. The shipping portfolio was handed to Theodore Dritsas who will head a stand-alone Ministry of Shipping. Dritsas served as Alternate Minister in charge of Shipping in the previous government. He has strongly objected the privatization of the Piraeus Port. He said his priorities are  strengthening the expertise of seafarers. He said the Greek shipping industry as a whole will aid economic growth in Greece.

10 Oct 2016

France Mulls Majority Stake in STX Yard

France could take a majority stake in the French subsidiary of struggling South Korean shipyard group STX Corp, French daily Liberation said on Monday, citing unnamed sources at the finance ministry. The French state holds a 33 percent minority stake in STX France, which runs naval shipyards in Saint Nazaire on the west coast. Loss-making STX Corp is in administration. "All options are on the table. The government could increase its stake, alone or not, and take a majority stake in STX France as long as necessary," the newspaper quoted the source at the finance ministry as saying. The finance ministry declined immediate comment. Reporting by Michel Rose

12 Oct 2016

DCNS Mulls Buying Stake in STX France

Photo: STX France

The head of the French state-controlled naval defence group DCNS said on Wednesday it was "closely studying" a possible stake purchase in STX France, a shipyard subsidiary of the struggling South Korean conglomerate STX Corp. Herve Guillou said DCNS was not however looking at the option of taking a majority stake. The French state holds a 33 percent minority stake in STX France, which runs naval shipyards in Saint-Nazaire on the west coast. Loss-making STX Corp is in administration.

05 Dec 2016

India to Develop Coastal Economic Zones

Chart: Press Information Bureau, Government of India

In its move to boost the ruling party's flagship Sagarmala (string of ports) project, the government of India is developing Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs). The National Perspective plan of the Sagarmala Programme has identified two maritime clusters for development, one in Tamil Nadu and other in Gujarat. Fourteen Coastal Economic Zones(CEZ) have been identified along the coastline of the country in the National Perspective Plan of the Sagarmala Programme. These CEZs are aimed at promoting development of port-proximate industrial clusters…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2019 - Great Ships of 2019

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