‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending May 28th, 2017

‘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, periodically humorous, occasionally sarcastic, sporadically artistic, inferentially erotic, but always insightful and topical.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:

While lots of shipping hope has been laid at the feet of a Chinese recovery, China’s sovereign debt has been downgraded mostly on concerns of slowing growth:
1. China’s sovereign debt downgraded by Moody’s (Financial Times)

2. China Moves to Stabilize Currency, Despite Promise to Loosen Control (The New York Times)

A seemingly major investor for shipping, but not clear whether there are string attached; in any event, the funding gap in shipping could suck up Dubai’s billion fund in seconds:
2. Dubai looking into forming $1 billion shipping investment fund (Reuters)

Shipping is a commodity b2b business. Od, isn’t it?
Quoting Basil M Karatzas, at Splash 24/7
3. Has Shipping Become Commoditised? (Splash 24/4)

In a weak overall market, mergers in the commodities trading world, and other news:
4a. Sowing Glencore’s Waves of Grain (Bloomberg)

4b. Huntsman and Clariant unveil $20bn tie-up (Financial Times)

4c. Noble Group, a big Asian commodities trader, is teetering

4d. War on Sugar Turns Years of Growth Into Market Tipping Point (Bloomberg)

OPEC had once promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to drive oil prices higher. This week’s developments from Vienna show that OPEC may not be in charge of the oil markets as it used to be:                                                                                         5a. OPEC Should Watch Glencore’s Bunge Jump (Bloomberg)

5b. OPEC’s Weakest Link Is Not Who You Think It Is (Bloomberg)

5c. Opec: more of the same (Petroleum Economist)

5d. BP and Glencore warned over bullish fossil fuel forecasts (Financial Times)

5e. Oil market awaits ‘whatever it takes’ details as Opec gathers (Financial Times)

And the reason for OPEC’s dwindling chances controlling the oil markets:
6. New era beckons as Euronav VLCC is first to load US oil (Lloyd’s List)

Soft tanker asset prices have been conducive for M&A activity, with Scorpio Tankers acquiring the Navig8 Products Tankers fleet, creating the biggest player in the sector:                                                                                                                     7a. Scorpio Tankers fleet worth $3 bn after Navig8 Product Tankers takeover (Seatrade Maritime)

7b. Scorpio Announces Merger With Navig8 Product Tankers (The Maritime Executive)

While the world of ‘commodity shipping’ is struggling to recover, the cruiseship market has been strong, and China’s prospects in the sector cannot be ignored: 8a. China Tops Two Million Cruise Passengers (The Maritime Executive)

8b. Princess Tells “Chinese Story” Along Silk Road Route (The Maritime Executive)

8c. Greece To Bolster Cruise Capabilities (The Maritime Executive)

The current issue of the Economist is running a series of articles the oceans:
9a. How to improve the health of the ocean (The Economist)

9b. Getting serious about overfishing (The Economist)

9c. Megaprojects threaten Hong Kong’s iconic dolphins (The Economist)

“I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore.” Genesis 22:15-18, and “like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted” Genesis 32:12. Apparently, sand is not as plentiful these days:

10a. The World is Running Out of Sand (The New Yorker)

10b. An improbable global shortage: sand (The Economist)

Majestic sunset: Piraeus. Image credit: Karatzas Images

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending January 28, 2017

‘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’:

1a. HSH Nordbank to sell €1.64 bn portfolio to financial investors (The Financial Times)

1b. China Not Europe May Salvage HSH as German Bank Looks East (Bloomberg)

2. The multinational company is in trouble (The Economist)

3. Trump Is Paving the Way for China to Rule the World (New Republic)

4. China stakes a claim for globalism without liberalism (The Financial Times)

5. How Trade and Sanctions Made This Russian Fisherman a Billionaire (Bloomberg)

6. Korea Extends Aid Package to Hyundai Merchant Marine (The Wall Street Journal, Logistics Report)

7. Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight (The Wall Street Journal)

8. BHP Billiton bypasses brokers with new online auction platform (Splash 24/7)

9. Japan’s Dirty Secret (Bloomberg)

10a. Why Saudi Arabia May Unravel OPEC’s Big Deal (Bloomberg)

10b. BP Sees a Future of Slowing Oil Demand Growth, Abundant Supplies
(Bloomberg)

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Museumshafen Oevelgönne, Hamburg. Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

‘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


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending December 4, 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’:

This week’s news predictably has been dominated by Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd at US$ 4 billion; a couple of years ago, Hamburg Süd had considered a merger of sorts with co-patriot Hapag Lloyd but concerns on pricing and also managerial control had the Oetker family shareholders walk away; some time later, in a new order of priorities, Hamburg Süd sold hook, line and sinker, hooker and exited shipping after 80 years in the business. The price seems a multiple of NAV and of hard assets rather than a multiple of EBITDA and cash flows (although Hamburg Süd being a private company, there is little info to draw upon):

1. Maersk Line to Buy German Shipping Line Hamburg Süd in $4 Billion Deal (from the Wall Street Journal Logistics Report)

Now, much speculation whose hands will be forced to make a move in the rapidly changing seascape of the containership liner business:

2. And then there were 11. Who will follow Hamburg Süd? (from Splash 24/7)

And, also worth reading from the Financial Times:

2A. Asian shipping lines navigate a war of attrition (from the Financial Times)

And, in rather surprising news that rather mud further the waters, the 2M alliance has given Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) the cold shoulder for joining the alliance:

3. Ship Alliance Backtracks on Hyundai Merchant Marine Membership (from the Wall Street Journal Logistics Report)

The dry bulk freight market keeps being reasonably strong; lots of sale & purchase (S&P) activity has been reported with many buyers coming out of the woods; some say that this is another sign of a recovering market; in a recent article in Seatrade, Basil M. Karatzas argues that the activity should not be considered a breakout pattern:

4. Is it really the right time to buy ships? (from Seatrade Maritime News)

In the energy world, surprising news with OPEC agreeing to a 10% cut of oil production; the agreement is contingent on several factors and OPEC members are not the best behaved bunch, thus the news has to be taken with a grain of salt; shipping analysts do not seem to agree whether this is a positive or negative net development for the overall shipping industry; such is the world of shipping… No doubt, this is big news if OPEC manages to abide by the agreement:

5. OPEC Confounds Skeptics, Agrees to First Oil Cuts in 8 Years (Bloomberg)

However, the following article can be only be positive for the shipping:

6. Saudi Arabia Becomes Net Fuel Oil Importer (from the Maritime Executive / Reuters)

Staying with macro-economics and the ‘big picture’, a lot has been written about Wilbur L Ross as the leading candidate for Secretary of Commerce under the incoming White House administration; via his firm WL Ross, Mr Ross has been an active distress investor in shipping for crude oil and product tankers, gas tankers and dry bulk vessels. It has been surmised that Mr Ross’ familiarity with the shipping industry, having now access to the highest levels of the government, will act as a catalyst for the industry’s crises; a recent article on Bloomberg reminded the audience that the shipping investments by WL Ross have not been stellar, to say the least, bringing into question whether hopes laden on his person may have to find a port:

7. Wilbur Ross’s Funds Have Posted Mediocre Returns in Last Decade (Bloomberg)

On related news, the nominee for Secretary of Transportation Ms Elaine Chao does have a long interest in the shipping industry via the family business, Foremost Maritime:

8. Trump Picks Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary (from The New York Times)

In the world of finance, RBS failed their stress test last week; although RBS is not active in shipping anymore, more than US$ 6 billion of RBS shipping loans are up for sale; one has to wonder how, if at all, the latest stress test would affect the development of the shipping loan sale discussions:

9. RBS Must Add $2.5 Billion in Capital After Failing BOE Stress Test (from the Wall Street Journal)

And, also on HSH Nordbank AG:

9A. HSH Nordbank holds meetings with potential buyers: sources (from Reuters)

Princess Cruise Lines, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation, was fined an eye-popping $40 million after pleading guilty to illegal oily waste discharges in the US:

10. Princess Cruise Lines to Pay Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty for Deliberate Vessel Pollution (United States, Department of Justice, Press Release)

mv-cap-san-marco-9

Hamburg Süd’s post-panamax containership MV ‘CAP SAN MARCO’ entering the Port of Hamburg. Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.