Iran Tanker Released, Sets Sail for Greece
An Iranian tanker sailed through the Mediterranean towards Greece on Monday after it was released from detention off Gibraltar, and Tehran said that any at U.S. move to seize the vessel again would have "heavy consequences".The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday. Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece and was scheduled to arrive next Sunday at 0000 GMT.The…
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…
CMA CGM Made Merger Approach to Hapag Lloyd
The world's no. 3 container shipping line CMA CGM of France has made an exploratory approach to German rival Hapag-Lloyd over a possible merger as players in the sector hunt for tie-ups to beat depressed conditions, finance sources say.Three finance sources with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be named due to market sensitivity, said CMA CGM had initiated discussions in recent months with Hapag-Lloyd, which is ranked fifth globally, to look into some form of share merger of the two groups."The idea which has been proposed...
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.
Maersk Likely to Shelve Plans to List Drilling Division
Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk is likely to shelve plans to list its struggling offshore drilling division because of weak market conditions, according to five finance sources familiar with the matter.The Danish company is now expected to focus on a trade sale of Maersk Drilling, and extend the timeline to divest the unit beyond its initial target of the end of 2018, said the sources who declined to be named as the discussions are private.Maersk group has not publicly put a price tag on the division…
Preparation Propels Financial Peace of Mind
Like marine coatings, preparation is everything when it comes to sourcing and attracting marine finance support. If you’re familiar with the maritime industry at all, this won’t come as a shock: we’ve seen better days. Like many industries, this is one that goes up and down and, right now – depending of course on sector your focus resides – we’re pretty far down. This severe downturn began in late 2014 and we’ve seen many financing sources exiting the offshore market since. It seems that lenders have zero interest in lending into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
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.
Gulf Bidders Emerge for UASC-linked Shipping Unit
Gulf-based bidders have emerged for the part-owned subsidiary of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) whose sale is key to finalising the merger between UASC and German container shipping line Hapag Lloyd , sources close to the matter said. Last week, sources told Reuters that Hapag Lloyd was close to completing the 7-8 billion-euro merger after UASC shareholders agreed terms to repay outstanding debt. A sale of United Arab Chemical Carriers (UACC) - in which UASC holds the biggest stake - is also part of the terms of the Hapag Lloyd merger deal.
Hapag-UASC Tie-up Nears Completion
German shipping line Hapag Lloyd is close to completing a merger with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) after UASC's shareholders agreed terms to repay outstanding debts, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. The deal to create the world's fifth-biggest shipping company, valued at about 7 billion to 8 billion euros ($7.8-$8.9 billion), had been scheduled to complete at the end of last year. It would give Hapag Lloyd access to bigger ships on the major Asia to Europe trade route.
Hapag Lloyd-UASC Merger Hits Snags
A merger of Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has hit a snag, with the German shipping line and some banks seeking assurances that UASC's top shareholder Qatar remain committed to the deal for the long term, sources say. Hapag Lloyd Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen told a news conference this week he had underestimated the complexity of the 7 billion to 8 billion euro ($7.6-$8.7 bln) deal, which will create one of the world's largest shipping lines. Two finance sources…
Energy, Finance & the GoM
Some positive market indicators could presage an investment revival in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico – and beyond. The good news, reported by Bloomberg, is that in the third quarter of 2016, the largest oil companies increased cash from operations by nearly $26 billion. This reflects a 67 percent increase from the previous quarter and more than twice the amount of the first quarter of 2016. Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Total and BP indicated that the increase was due to lower spending, increased output and rising crude prices, although the numbers were still below last year’s numbers.
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.
Interest in RBS Greek Shipping Unit Cools after Brexit Vote
Royal Bank of Scotland is facing setbacks over a proposed sale of its Greek ship finance business, with potential suitors backing off, partly because of the British vote to leave the European Union, sources told Reuters. Britain's June 23 vote has raised the risk of recession and earnings downgrades that have battered bank shares. Reuters reported earlier that week that RBS had received bids for its Greek shipping operation. Sources said Credit Suisse and China Merchants were among the suitors. Banking and finance sources say Brexit has put into doubt any advancement of discussions for now - highlighting the fallout for transactions that had been in the works.
Interest in RBS' Greek Shipping Unit Cools Post-Brexit Vote
The Royal Bank of Scotland is facing setbacks over a proposed sale of its Greek ship finance business, with potential suitors backing off, partly due to the British vote to leave the European Union, sources told Reuters. Britain's June 23 vote has raised the risk of recession and earnings downgrades that have battered bank shares. Reuters reported earlier that week that RBS had received bids for its Greek shipping operation. Sources said Credit Suisse and China Merchants were among the suitors. Banking and finance sources say Brexit has put into doubt any advancement of discussions for now - highlighting the fallout for transactions that had been in the works.
RBS to Exit Greek Shipping Portfolio
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is winding down its Greek operation and is looking to sell its USD5 billion shipping loans portfolio, Reuters reported on Saturday. Citing finance sources familiar with the plans, Reuters said the move was part of the UK state-backed bank's efforts to shrink its international business. Part of a wider strategy by the bank to shrink parts of its international business, the decision comes as Greece makes a final attempt with international creditors for a bailout and to prevent a financial meltdown in the country.
Payment Problems Disrupting Iran Food Deals
Payment problems are disrupting commercial food cargoes to Iran, with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain and sugar stuck in transit, as Western banking sanctions complicate deals and trade financiers scale back exposure. Iran is not barred from buying food or other "humanitarian" goods under sanctions imposed over Tehran's pursuit of nuclear technology, but measures by the European Union and the United States have made trade more difficult over the past two years. Several international trade sources, with knowledge of deals that have been affected, told Reuters that ships carrying cargoes of grain, including wheat and soybeans, as well as raw sugar, have been stuck for several weeks outside Iranian cargo ports such as Bandar Imam Khomeini and Bandar Abbas.
Investors Snap Up Shipping Loans, Reflecting Growing Confidence
Global private equity firm KKR has bought $150 million worth of shipping loans from two European banks amid a surge of interest in the industry as world trade in goods picks up along with the global economy. There have been a flurry of deals in recent months for ship finance loans, many of which are being put up for sale by banks under pressure to boost their capital in order to adhere to new, stricter industry legislation born of the financial crisis. The banks have suffered alongside the shipping firms they lent to, as the latter endured one of their worst downturns in decades.