P&O Takes Two From MHI
A further sign of Japanese inroad in the lucrative, and previously European-exclusive domain, of cruise shipping was sounded last week when the Financial Times reported that P&O is ordering two ships from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as part of a $4.5 billion program to double the capacity of its cruise fleet over the next five years. Contracts for the two ships are reportedly worth $900 million, and the program in total could equal 11 new ships. The two cruise ships -- at 113,000 gross tons -- will reportedly be the largest the company has ordered.
P&O Surges On Positive Report
Shares in Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. surged five percent on Wednesday as a positive newspaper report on the shipping sector highlighted better prospects for the firm. The stock was buoyed by a front page article in the Financial Times saying shipping rates had hit 30-year highs on the back of expanding world trade, rising oil demand and the withdrawal of substandard vessels because of safety fears.
Raw Material Inflation, Shortages Force Hempel to Increase Prices
Leading protective coatings supplier Hempel announces general product price increases. These price changes are driven by raw materials suppliers increasing prices as well as shortages of some raw materials and rising energy costs. Hempel reported that is making as many cost-saving measures as possible, but in order to continue to supply the same quality products and service to its customers in these tough financial times, the company must increase its product prices. In the past year, the average price of raw materials used in coating manufacturing has increased significantly – anywhere from 10 to 60 per cent for key raw materials, such as epoxy, titanium dioxide, industrial metals.
P&O Takeover Garners Regulators Eyes
The Financial Times reported yesterday that European anti-trust regulators are anticipating the launch of a many months long investigation into Carnival Corp.'s bid for P&O Princess Cruises. A decision by the European Commission to open an investigation would be a victory for Royal Caribbean Cruises. The Royal Caribbean deal is being investigated by the UK anti-trust watchdog, which is expected to announce its decision in June.
Shipbuilding Merger: Germany, France Reportedly Eye Deal?
Germany and France are considering merging their naval shipbuilding operations, according to a report from Reuthers which cited a German newspaper report, in a deal that would be one of the largest industrial partnerships in a decade. ThyssenKrupp , French naval shipyard DCNS and the two governments reportedly plan to hold talks soon, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported on Monday. (Source: Rueters)
Clarkson's Maritime Market Analyst Wins Medal
Clarkson Capital Markets (CCM) equity analyst, Urs Dur, winds silver medal for being one of the industry's top stock tipsters. The award was in the marine category in this year's Thompson Reuter's annual 'StarMine Analyst Awards' which are issued in collaboration with the 'Financial Times'. Clarkson Capital Markets (CCM) is the investment banking arm of Clarkson PLC, focussed on the global maritime, energy and natural resources sectors.
Oil Chiefs Justify Profits
According to a Financial Times report, top oil executives recently rejected allegations by some lawmakers that the oil industry was making record profits at the expense of US consumers, emphasizing the high level of investment the companies make to ensure supply and the limitations that have been set by Washington on oil exploration and development within the US. ExxonMobil executives met with lawmakers at a rare joint hearing of the energy and commerce committees. According to the report, the company recognizes that rises in energy prices have put a strain on US household budgets, but emphasizes that there are no quick fixes to rising energy needs and that US consumers should recognize their position in a global market. Source: The Financial Times
China Acquires Global Ports: FT
With the aim to dominate maritime industry China has been acquiring overseas ports with huge investments which crossed USD 20 bln last year, Financial Times reported. Beijing has spent billions expanding its ports network to secure sea lanes and establish itself as a maritime power, says the report. China is aggressively pushing its “One Belt One Road”, a grand scheme to win diplomatic allies and open markets in around 65 countries between Asia and Europe. It is pushing ahead with plans to open new shipping routes through the Arctic circle, the report said.
Daewoo Forecasts Record Sales
Daewoo reported that sales would hit a record $10.6b in 2008 as increasing demand drives up vessel prices, according to the Financial Times. Analysts expect South Korean shipbuilders to post strong earnings this year as they boast order backlogs that will keep them busy for at least three years. Daewoo expects this yearâ€™s orders to reach $17.5bn, 19 per cent less than the record $21.5bn in 2007. The company delivered 43 vessels in the first 11 months of last year, compared with 45 for all of 2006.
VT Order Book Expands
According to the Financial Times, VT has seen its order book rise to about $7.93b on the back of several contract wins. The company said its financial performance was in line with its expectations for the period to the end of December 2007. The order book increased to about $7.93b on the back of two recent acquisitions. Talks with BAE Systems to form a shipbuilding joint venture remained at an advanced stage, VT said. The companies have now received a commitment from the government on the proposed terms of a business agreement for the partnership, seen as crucial for it to go ahead. However, the signing of the joint venture hinges on final approval from the Ministry of Defence for the start of construction of two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy.
Korean Shipyards Bag $1.5bln Newbuild Order from MSC
Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) - two major shipyards in South Korea - are poised to sign a deal worth $1.5 billion to build container ships for Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), according to the Financial Times. The report said that this deal is the latest signal that the South Korea’s troubled shipbuilding industry is showing signs of recovery, after large losses posted by both companies in recent years because of a lack of orders. MSC is working on an order for up to 11 container vessels, the report said. The deals will help local shipyards struggling to win more shipbuilding deals.
Dubai defends Maritime Security Record
The security record of DP World, the state-owned company that runs the port at Jebel Ali, became a political issue in the past month after U.S. legislators started campaigning against its takeover of contracts to run five U.S. container terminals and a range of other cargo and passenger-handling activities as part of its wider $6.8 billion takeover of P&O, the British container ports and ferries operator. DP World was reported to have offered to transfer operation of the ports to a U.S. entity after politicians from both main U.S. parties claimed that it was unfit to take them over because it is owned by the government of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, has been an unreliable partner in combating terrorism, politicians claimed.
BAE and VT in Babcock Talks
According to reports, BAE Systems and VT, revealed that they were considering a joint bid for Babcock, the support services and shipbuilding group, in a move that could trigger the consolidation of Britain's warship construction capability. VT could join with Babcock as a support services group, which could then sell VT's shipbuilding business to BAE and still have critical mass. This would create a single shipbuilding entity in BAE, which would find it easier to cut capacity and become more efficient. Source: The Guardian and The Financial Times
STX Set to Bid for Aker Yards
STX Group of will launch a mandatory buy-out offer for Aker Yards after increasing its shareholding to above 40 percent, reports said. The Korean shipbuilder acquired 39 percent of the Norwegian group for $800m last October. STX Group announced yesterday that it had bought 1.3m shares at Nkr63 a share, bringing its shareholding up to 40.4 per cent, triggering the mandatory buy-out offer. STX Group said that it would launch a buy-out of Aker Yards. STX Group's acquisition of a controlling stake in Aker Yards has raised fears that it could transfer the expertise in cruise ships to its lower-cost Asian yards, leading to the loss of more European shipbuilding jobs.
Supertankers Store 50m Barrels of Oil
According to a Dec. 15 report from Financial Times, oil companies and traders are storing at least 50 million barrels of oil in supertankers in a clear sign of supply outstripping demand as the global economy slows. The current floating storage is enough to meet France’s oil imports for a month and the biggest since late 2001. Storing oil in tankers is unusual as it is significantly more expensive than inland. (Source: Financial Times)
Al Falahi Appointed CEO of GEM
Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) has appointed UAE national Ahmed Essa Hareb Al Falahi as Chief Executive Officer with the task of spearheading the company's strategy to climb the world's leading tanker operator rankings. Hareb joins the UAE-headquartered corporation after an eight year management career at Etisalat - the Emirates' main telecommunications supplier and the largest single non-oil contributor outside UAE Federal Government development programmes. There he headed the mergers and acquisitions division for the Fortune 500 company currently standing 140th among the Financial Times Top 500 global corporations. Yusr Sultan stepped down to undertake a full time board level role as Director. He will concentrate on corporate policy, management team expansion and GEM's strategic growth.
Maersk Tankers Plans to Transport CO2
According to a March 14 report from the Financial Times, Maersk Tankers has become the first major operator to announce plans to enter the market to transport captured carbon dioxide. According to the report, around 750m tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted from large power plants around the North Sea alone. (Source: Financial Times)
U.S. Will Dispatch Warships to South China Sea
The United States is expected to sail warships close to China's artificial islands in the South China Sea within the next two weeks to signal it does not recognize Chinese territorial claims over the area, the Financial Times reported, citing a senior U.S. official. The ships will sail within the 12-nautical-mile zones that China claims as territory around some of the islands it has constructed in the Spratly chain, the report said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing on Thursday that China was paying attention to such reports, and that it and the United States have maintained "extremely thorough communication" on the South China Sea issue. "I believe the U.S. side is extremely clear about China's relevant principled stance," she said.
Carriers Face $1.7b Cost Increase
According to a report in the the UK Financial Times, the British government’s decision to delay production of two new 65,000-ton Royal Navy aircraft carriers could cost an additional $1.7b, driving the cost to $7b per, or 25% higher than when the contract was signed a year ago.
ThyssenKrupp to Exit Civilian Shipbuilding
According to a Sept. 14 Bloomber report, ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, wants to dispose of parts of its unprofitable, non- military shipbuilding units, Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing unidentified people at the company. (Source: Bloomberg)
Maersk Shipping Investment Plans on Hold
A.P. Moller-Maersk will not invest significantly in its shipping business over the next five years and will focus on its oil, drilling rigs & ports. Maersk intends to move away from the shipping side of things and go towards sectors which generate higher profits and are more stable, reports Reuters, as informed by a recent Financial Times article. Maersk Line, the company's container shipping unit, has struggled with profitability due to the global economic slowdown and an oversupply of vessels that could intensify next year. The subsidiary is a barometer of world trade as its fleet carries more than 15 percent of all sea-borne containers. Source Reuters/Financial Times
Kashagan Output May Not Start Till 2016
Output at Kazakhstan's huge Kashagan oilfield may not start until 2016, the Financial Times said on Sunday, citing Kazakhstan's minister for economy and budget planning. Erbolat Dossayev told the FT he hoped production could be restarted late next year. "But if not, we will wait until 2016," the FT cited him as saying in an interview. Production at the offshore deposit, the world's biggest oil find in 35 years, started in September but was halted in early October after the detection of gas leaks in the $50 billion project's pipeline network.
Anglo American to End Investment in Deep Sea Miner Nautilus
Diversified miner Anglo American said on Friday it will end its investment in deep sea mining company Nautilus Mining."We are exiting our small minority shareholding in Nautilus, as part of the prioritisation of our portfolio on our largest and greatest potential resource assets," Anglo spokesman James Wyatt-Tilby said, confirming a report in the Financial Times.Anglo has a 4 percent stake in Toronto-listed Nautilus. Nautilus mines offshore in Papua New Guinea and Australia for minerals such as copper, gold, nickel and cobalt.(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Susan Fenton)