Prices of newbuilding vessels could well have bottomed out as shipowners are embarking on a new cycle of ordering racing against the trend of newbuilding prices slowly inching up. Asian yards such as China-based Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) believe that the lowest point for newbuilding prices has now been passed.

Hong Kong: Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) saw a drop in earnings in the first quarter due largely to lower newbuilding prices and a drop in business volume.

Singapore: Alternative investment company Uni-Asia has ordered three new 37,000 dwt handysize bulk carriers at a total cost of $73m.

Shanghai: China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) has warned of a possible net loss in the first half of this year after posting a 73.1% plunge in first quarter profit.

Singapore: Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was hit by an additional cessation of shipbuilding contract in the first quarter, adding on to previous defaults from the last quarter of 2012.

Taipei: Taiwan-based Wisdom Marine Group has went on an ordering spree by inking nine dry bulk newbuildings from Japanese shipyards.

Beijing: China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) has placed an order to build a seismic vessel at Shanghai Shipyard.

New York: Classification society ABS grew its fleet by 4% last year to reach 193m gt despite the difficulties faced by the shipping market.

Singapore: Vard Holdings, formerly STX OSV, inked a letter of intent with Simon Møkster Shipping to design and build one platform supply vessel (PSV).

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia-based Coastal Contracts won deals for sell seven offshore support vessels (OSVs) and two oil barges for a combined value of approximately MYR434m ($141.9m).

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