‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending December 25, 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’:                                                                                                         
Heading to the Holiday Season, market activity has been slowing down as would expect. Still several news stories to report reflecting the year’s tumultuous course for the shipping industry. This week’s top news:

Two Maersk-owned offshore assets (‘Maersk Shipper’ and ‘Maersk Searcher’) while under tow by yet another Maersk-owned anchor-handling tug support vessel, AHTS ‘Maersk Battler’, sank off the French coast while en route to Turkey to be demolished. The newsworthiness of the story is not in the shipwreck itself – towing vessels in the open sea is a very complicated exercise and is reflected to the insurance premiums to underwrite the tow, ask us – but in the fact that terrible accidents happen even under mighty Maersk’s watch, even when only Maersk vessels and personnel are involved:

1. Maersk Supply Services vessel pair sink en route to scrapyard (from Splash 24/7)

On the shipping finance front, rather surprising news that RBS has reportedly agreed to sell $600 mil in shipping loans to a syndicate of buyers; the shipping finance team of Reuters in London and Frankfurt once again ‘scooped’ the story; and once again, the shipping trade press was left behind and ‘copying and pasting’ the story:

2. RBS near to selling $600 million of shipping loans: sources (from Reuters)

The fact that shipping banks are leaving the industry, there seem to be an opportunity for alternative financing; two encouraging developments in this front this week:

3. Northern Shipping smashes third fund target (from Splash 24/7)

And after almost three years of efforts:

4. Maritime & Merchant Bank launches (from Splash 24/7)

Still on the same front of credit provided by alternative sources of capital, Bloomberg run a great story this week:

5. The $12 Trillion Credit Risk Juggle (from Bloomberg)

Taking a look on purely shipping companies and events, the Rickmers Trust moved another step closer to liquidation:

6. Rickmers Maritime bondholders vote against restructuring, liquidation looms (from Seatrade Maritime News)

While another 30-year ship-manager / shipowner closed the doors at the insistence of their main credit, the ING bank:

7. ‘That’s it, Flinter is no longer’: Dutch line dissolves (from Splash 24/7)

And Hanjin selling their stake in the Long Beach Terminal (TTI), following their recent bankruptcy:

8. Hanjin to Sell Stake in U.S. Terminal to Mediterranean Shipping (from the Wall Street Journal)

On more hopeful news, the Dow Jones Industrial Index (DJII) almost reached the major milestone of 20,000 points following the rocket-trajectory after the Trump election; some doubts still hover about the nature of the rally (‘faith-based rally), but again, if we learned anything from shipping in 2016 is that rallies, any type of rallies, are better than declines:

9. A Faith-Based Rally? Warning Lights Are Flashing – Before Anyone Gets Too Euphoric About Dow 20,000 (from Barron’s)

And, taking a quick look in 2017, commodities seem to provide a promising place to invest; which, by association, is positive news for shipping:

10. 2017: Time to Buy Commodities (from Barron’s)                                                                     
Merry Christmas, and a most joyous Happy Holiday Season!

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A bright light! 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)

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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.