‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending December 18, 2016

‘Shipshape 10 List’, a list of news and articles published in the current week that a senior executive in shipping, shipping finance, commodities, energy, supply chain and infrastructure should had noticed; news and articles that are shaping the agenda and the course of the maritime industry.

Sometimes seemingly tangential, sometimes humorous, occasionally sarcastic, but always insightful and topical.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:

It has been an overall slow week, as one would have expected. Just a week before Christmas, freight markets took a breather, especially for the capesize vessels, while sale & purchase activity (S&P) has slowed down, too. In the deal-making world, most people are preoccupied with putting the finishing touches on the deals already on their table and get them signed by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, in what we seemingly call ‘real world’ these days, for shipping finance, as deadlines approach, there are even more concerns about the state of the shipping banks in the future given new regulations and active regulators:

1. Proposed new capital rules threaten struggling shipping sector: bankers (from Reuters)

while all along, European banks have not settled yet with ‘legacy concerns’:

2. UniCredit to Raise $14 Billion, Shed Bad Loans and Cut Jobs in Overhaul (from The Wall Street Journal)

If shipping banks are not functioning and alternative funding is getting tight as well, capital markets seem to spring eternal hope according to the next two articles:

3. Setting Sail (Again) on Wall Street (The Maritime Executive)

Basil M. Karatzas: Ενθαρρυντικά σημάδια για τη ναυτιλία και τις κεφαλαιαγορές

The broader, macro-picture is even murkier than shipping finance as much has been said and postulated recently on trade, trade agreements and possibly tariffs and other trade growth curtailers:

4. An early salvo in a trade war between America and China? (The Economist)

5. The End of Globalism (Foreign Affairs)

However, in the short term, business seem at least decent for now, but again, one has to recall that we are at peak shopping season and in September and October, the containership liner market was shaken by Hanjin’s bankruptcy that pushed backwards deliveries:

6. Cargo Volume Surges at Nation’s Largest Port Complex in November (from the Wall Street Journal)

Staying with the containership liner business, Hyundai Merchant Marine was handled a major setback this week when the company was not accepted as a full member at 2M Alliance and had to settle for cargo slot sharing, etc agreements:

7. Hyundai Merchant Marine Reaches Cargo Agreement With 2M Alliance (from the Wall Street Journal)

AP Moeller Maersk have held their investment day in Copenhagen this past week in a light of a bouncing market that has been playing in the hands of the company with the recent developments instigated from S Korea (HMM, Hanjin, etc) The company is under new leadership of recent, and high expectations of managerial and financial engineering for splitting the business and focusing on the liner business while relegating the energy business to a stand-alone business entity:

8. Maersk’s Rose-Tinted 2017 (from Bloomberg)

Interesting that Maersk’s drive to potentially spin-off the energy business comes on the heels of OPEC agreeing to cut production in order to ‘stabilize’ the market (OK, to increase oil prices).

9. OPEC’s Historic Deal Won’t Be Enough to Drain Oil Stockpiles (from Bloomberg)

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Talking oil prices at Columbia University’s SIPA with OPEC’s Secretary General H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkinko, Center Director Jason Bordoff, CGEP Fellow Adrian Lajous, and Antoine Halff, CGEP Program Director. Image credit: Karatzas Images

At an event this week at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), attendees were treated to a detailed account by the OPEC Secretary General H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo on how the historic OPEC agreement came to pass.

For those in shipping you had an exceptionally good year and think of splurging on something major, the following article on superyacht sales may be of interest:

10. Superyacht Sales Rebound (from Barron’s)

while for those more inclined to spend some holiday spirit in a house by the beach, the following investigative reporting article from The New York Times on private equity may provide some leads on how to make big money in order to splurge on superyachts:

How the Twinkie Made the Superrich Even Richer (from the New York Times)

sunlight_ship_piraeus_dec2016bmk_4041

Always seeing the bright side of things… Image credit: Karatzas Images


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