News:Europe

Cash rich shipowners inking newbuilding orders with Greeks to the fore

Liquidity problems for shipbuilders and shipowners have played into the hands of the cash rich says Seasure Shipbroking's VesselsValue (VV) platform and has resulted in a flurry of orders this year, with Greek interests to the fore.

VV data early May shows Greek owners have placed 35 orders worth just under $2bn for new bulkers and tankers in the first four months of the year. Furthermore, VV estimates the value of the orders exceeds by some $550m the actual reported value of the vessels spent at the shipbuilding yard.

And, there are still a number of multi-ship contracts said to be under negotiation.

According to VesselsValue Deals database, globally 119 orders have been placed since the start of 2017, with eight Greek owners among those placing orders. After the 35 inked by Greeks, US-based operators have placed 14 orders, Singapore owners booked 10 vessels, Norwegians eight and Dutch six, to round out the top five ordering countries.

Lou Kollakis' Chartworld Shipping leads the way with 12 bulkers and two tankers ordered, for $309m, but worth according to VV, some $417m.

VV said: "Many in the shipping industry are worried there is an imbalance of supply and demand between the number vessels currently on the water and the amount of cargoes. This situation does not look to improve in the near future as there is just under 66m dwt of tankers and bulkers to be delivered during the rest of 2017, representing 47% of the current bulker and tanker order book."

It goes on to explain that over the last five years, a major source of finance and investment in the newbuilding market came from the private equity sector which invested heavily to capitalise in the post-crash market downturn.

"Today the preference from the private equity sector is to invest in tonnage already delivered and on the water so an immediate return on their investment can be realised. This led to a lack of newbuilding finance available and resulted in a gap in deliveries at the major shipyards and therefore increased appetite from them to take orders.

"In early 2017 the cash rich Greek community took advantage of this, securing a number of orders at competitive prices. As we progress through 2017, yard capacity has reduced but continued buying demand from the private sector remains. This is one of the major factors that has led to the increase in newbuilding prices over the past five months," says VV.

vvorders

Posted 17 May 2017

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David Glass

Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

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