Merrill Lynch News

18 Sep 2019

IPO Expected for Italian Yacht-Maker Sanlorenzo

Italian motor yacht maker Sanlorenzo aims to list on the Milan Stock Exchange at about the same time as the rival Ferretti Group, with an initial public offering (IPO) expected to be launched as early as the second half of October, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.The group is controlled by Italian entrepreneur Massimo Perotti through a family holding which bought back shares from third party investors in the recent years.The group plans to issue a mix of existing and new shares, targeting a free float of about 35%, one of the sources added.Sanlorenzo has picked Unicredit, Banca Imi and Bofa Merrill Lynch as global coordinators for its IPO.

18 Dec 2018

Ardmore Shipping Appoints Curtis McWilliams as Chairman

(L-R) Reginald Jones and Curtis McWilliams. Photo: Ardmore Shipping

The US-based chemical tanker company  Ardmore Shipping Corporation announced that Reginald L. Jones is stepping down as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company effective December 31, 2018. Curtis McWilliams has been appointed as Chairman of the Board effective January 1, 2019, said a stock exchange announcement from the company.Jones will remain as a director until the Company's annual general meeting in 2019, when he does not intend to stand for re-election. He is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Greenbriar Equity Group LLC…

17 Jun 2018

Navios Maritime Containers files for a $100 million IPO

Angeliki Frangou. File Photo: SUNY Maritime College

Monaco-based container ship company Navios Maritime Containers has filed with the SEC to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering. The information of IPO was originally provided by the IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital. The Navios Holdings company run by Angeliki Frangou was founded in 2017 and booked $69 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2018. According to the company website: "We are a growth-oriented international owner and operator of containerships.

26 Oct 2017

Marine Finance for Brown Water Operators

© Merek / Adobe Stock

A primer for navigating the ‘ups and downs’ of marine money for domestic stakeholders. Vessel financiers are resourceful and adaptable to changing markets. On the domestic side, financiers of Jones Act and “brown water” assets have continued to serve their customers through shifting shoals in both broader capital markets and in the marine markets – both known for their ups and downs. Marine finance can take many forms. In the broadest sense, funding can be done through loans, where the vessel is owned by the borrower…

04 Oct 2017

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.

18 Jan 2017

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.

21 Dec 2016

RBS Near to Selling $600 Mln of Shipping Loans

Royal Bank of Scotland is close to selling at least $600 million worth of shipping loans from its portfolio, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. RBS, which is more than 70 percent state-owned, is still in the throes of a restructuring, which includes asset sales, job cuts and tackling multi-billion dollar charges to settle litigation and pay regulatory fines for past misconduct. The sources said buyers of the various shipping loan tranches included Japanese financial services firm Orix Corp , Germany's Berenberg Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and asset manager Davidson Kempner. Bank of America and Berenberg declined to comment. Orix could not be reached for comment. Davidson Kempner and RBS declined to comment.

21 Feb 2016

Bulk shippers hit by perfect storm as global economic doldrums take toll

Photo Nordic Bulk Carriers

Off the coast of a nearly deserted island below the southern tip of Hong Kong, at least 10 massive ships that normally carry hundreds of thousands of tons of coal or iron ore lie idle near one of the world's busiest sea routes. These empty vessels paint a grim picture for the dry bulk shipping business that veterans of the industry say is grappling with an unprecedented crisis of too many ships and not enough cargoes. The hollow boats underscore the global economic doldrums that policymakers are struggling to overcome. "This is the worst we have seen in recent times.

19 Feb 2016

US Oil Rig Count Lowest Since Dec 2009

The number of oil rigs in the United fell for a ninth straight week to the lowest level since December 2009, data showed on Friday, as energy firms continued to cut spending amid the collapse in crude prices. Drillers cut 26 rigs in the week ended Feb. 19, bringing the total rig oil count to 413, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. The number of oil rigs in operation were less than a third of the 1,536 in service during the same week a year ago. Oil has shed 70 percent from highs above $100 a barrel in a selloff that has seen little pause over the past 20 months, forcing a collapse in the rig count as well. Since last Friday though, some traders believed the market had seen a bottom on talk that OPEC was on a plan to reign in production.

07 Jan 2016

Oil Options Lurch Closer to $20 Goldman Doomsday Forecast

When U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs said last year that oil could fall as low as $20 per barrel, it assigned a fairly low probability to that scenario. Fast-forward five months and in some parts of the world the forecast has already proved correct. Canadian physical crude has been selling this week at below $20 per barrel, less than it costs to extract and transport. Traders in the options market, meanwhile, are taking protection against prices falling below $25. The developments reflect growing concerns that a market already awash in too much oil is now suffering the double-whammy of a sharp slowdown in U.S. and Chinese demand.

12 Nov 2015

ACL Acquires AEP River Operations

Mark Knoy (Photo: American Commercial Lines)

Marine transportation service company American Commercial Lines (ACL) announced it has acquired commercial inland barge company AEP River Operations from American Electric Power (AEP). AEP River Operations is based in Chesterfield, Mo., with operations in Paducah, Ky.; and Convent, Algiers and Belle Chasse, La., and delivers approximately 45 million tons of products annually. Mark Knoy, president and CEO of Jeffersonville, Ind. based ACL, had previously run AEP River Operations for a decade before joining ACL in 2011.

09 Oct 2015

Zim plans Wall Street IPO

Photo: ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd

Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping Services has hired two banks to carry out its initial public offering (IPO) in the US, Bloomberg reported. Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd has hired Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit and Barclays Plc to lead a New York IPO, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, says the report. The IPO is planned for the first half of 2016. The shipping company, controlled by billionaire Idan Ofer’s Kenon Holdings Ltd., is planning to list shares by the first half of next year…

28 Aug 2015

Oil Plunge Deepens High-yield Gloom

US crude fell to a more than six-year low this week, clouding the picture for a high-yield energy sector that already faces a significant cull when credit lines are reevaluated in autumn. Lower-quality names, especially in exploration and production, are already struggling to stay afloat, and with crude dipping below US$38 per barrel, a bad scenario has got worse. According to CreditSights, E&P companies typically obtain credit lines worth around 55%-65% of the estimated value of their reserves, which is redetermined by banks semi-annually. Since the last one in spring, US crude prices have fallen by nearly a third - meaning many companies now face steep cuts to the amount they can borrow. Many are likely to default, and some could well go under.

23 Jun 2015

Ecopetrol Breaks Silence in Risk-on Day for LatAm Markets

A recovery in LatAm debt spreads opened a window for Colombia's Ecopetrol on Tuesday when it printed a US$1.5bn 11-year bond - the state-owned oil company's first debt issue in nine months. Optimism over Greek debt talks spurred risk buying on Tuesday, leaving LatAm debt spreads tightening against a weaker US Treasury market, and also benefiting the oil credit that has received a battering in secondary this year. "We are trading well today and are tighter across most credit spreads," said a New York based trader focused on Latin American credits. Even with Heinz's jumbo US$10bn multi-tranche deal in the US high-grade market, Ecopetrol came on a relatively quiet day in the primary market, leaving the runway open for the Colombian borrower.

28 May 2015

Lifting of US Crude Oil Export Ban Possible within Year

The U.S. Congress could lift the 40-year old ban on domestic crude oil exports within a year as a drop in gasoline prices and the potential return of Iranian oil to global markets makes it an easier measure for politicians to support, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said on Thursday. U.S. gasoline prices have dropped since last year along with global crude prices, thanks to strong crude output from the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. On Thursday, the U.S. average for regular gasoline at the pump was nearly $2.74 a gallon, down from $3.65 a year ago, according to the AAA motorist club. If that remains the case, it has the potential to allay politicians' fears that they could be blamed any rise in gasoline prices if the crude oil export ban was lifted.

21 Apr 2015

Rejig at Pan Ocean

Image: Pan Ocean

South Korean bulker operator Pan Ocean re-sumitted its rehabilitation plan to the South Korean court that will see discount rate of cash repayment and decision of reduction of capital. The shipowner will see it reduce payments to creditors as it raises KRW 850bn ($785m) through a new share sale. Pan Ocean went into receivership after incurring over $ 5 billion in debts in 2013, after being battered by tonnage overhang following the global financial crisis. A series of debt-to-equity swaps saw Korea Development Bank become Pan Ocean's biggest shareholder.

27 Feb 2015

Petrobras Downgrade Shakes Market

Moody's shocked bond investors this week with a surprise two-notch downgrade that put Brazilian oil company Petrobras in junk territory. The move was seen by some investors as overly assertive, leaving them to add exposure incrementally. "It was aggressive," said Jack Deino, head of emerging market portfolio management and senior portfolio manager at Invesco. "It just reflects the rating agencies' proclivity to shoot from the hip. In late January, Moody's demoted the company to Baa3 from Baa2, warning more ratings actions were on the horizon if the company failed to release audited results. It stuck to its word, exceeding expectation with a cut to Ba2 late on Tuesday. So far, the massive wave of forced selling out of high-grade account portfolios has yet to truly transpire.

25 Feb 2015

Oil Tankers Idle for Months off US, Puzzling Some

Late last November, the tanker Olympic Flag carrying 650,000 barrels of Angolan crude dropped anchor about 7 miles off the coast in Delaware Bay, a seemingly routine shipment destined for a nearby Philadelphia refinery. What happened next was anything but routine. Instead of discharging its cargo within days and heading off for the next port, the ship idled offshore for nearly 11 weeks, discharging the oil at an unaccountably slow rate, according to shipping sources as well as vessel tracking data on ThomsonReuters Eikon. That vessel finally set sail two weeks ago - but by then it had already been joined by five more idling tankers, an unusual and costly congregation that has puzzled experts and traders.

23 Feb 2015

Tankers Idle at Big Stone, Puzzling Some

Late last November, the tanker Olympic Flag carrying 650,000 barrels of Angolan crude dropped anchor about 7 miles off the coast in Delaware Bay, a seemingly routine shipment destined for a nearby Philadelphia refinery. What happened next was anything but routine. Instead of discharging its cargo within days and heading off for the next port, the ship idled offshore for nearly 11 weeks, discharging the oil at an unaccountably slow rate, according to shipping sources as well as vessel tracking data on ThomsonReuters Eikon. That vessel finally set sail two weeks ago - but by then it had already been joined by five more idling tankers, an unusual and costly congregation that has puzzled experts and traders.

06 Feb 2015

Gazprom holds First Investor Day in Asia

Investor Day in Hong Kong courtesy Gazprom

Gazprom held the 10th annual Investor Day for the first time in the Asia-Pacific Region – in Hong Kong (February 3) and Singapore (February 5). Taking part in the events were Andrey Kruglov and Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairmen of the Gazprom Management Committee; Dmitry Lyugai and Vsevolod Cherepanov, Members of the Gazprom Management Committee as well as heads of the Company’s specialized structural units and subsidiaries. The events were met with great interest by the investment community.

14 Dec 2014

Investors Gamble Forest Preservation Will Pay Off in Carbon Markets

Some private investment companies are looking to profit from preserving forests in developing countries, betting that the emissions reductions can be sold in future carbon markets. London-based Permian Global said on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Peru this week that it will invest $100 million in projects to avoid deforestation in Latin American countries. Permian and other investment companies, such as Hong Kong-based InfiniteEARTH and Brazil's Biofilica, are hoping that a new U.N. climate change deal, due to be agreed in a year's time, will let forest-based offsets be used in compliance markets and traded internationally. That means emissions reductions from a project that prevents deforestation in Indonesia, for example, could be sold in Europe or in the United States.

15 Oct 2014

Ocean Rig Partners Files for IPO

DryShips Inc. through its majority owned subsidiary, Ocean Rig UDW Inc. of offshore deepwater drilling services, today announced that Ocean Rig’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Ocean Rig Partners LP  filed a Registration Statement on Form F-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for the initial public offering of its common units representing limited partner interests. A registration statement relating to the MLP’s common units has been filed with the SEC but has not yet been declared effective. The common units may not be sold nor may offers to buy them be accepted prior to the time the registration statement is declared effective.

25 Sep 2014

Ensco Prices $1.25-Billion Senior Notes Offering

Bank Notes: File image

Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., DNB Markets, Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers in connection with the offering. The final prospectus supplement and related prospectus for this offering may be obtained on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at or from underwriter representatives.

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