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FSL Trust focusing on refinancing its fleet

FSL Trust focusing on refinancing its fleet
Having returned to an even keel with a second successive year of profitability FSL Trust is now focusing on securing financing for when its existing arrangement expires in September 2017.

Singapore-listed FSL Trust, reported a $14.15m profit for 2015 and has a fleet of 22 vessels on a mix of long term charters and spot exposure through trading in pooling arrangements.

Looking ahead Alan Hatton, ceo of FSL Trust Management told Seatrade Maritime News that the main thing it was focusing on was the refinancing of its fleet. “Now it’s looking at how we can provide real runway for the fleet.”

Although the Trust has 18 months remaining on its existing financing arrangement that covers 21 of the 22 vessels in its fleet Hatton said they wanted to be proactive in their approach to refinancing rather than leaving it until 2017.

He said it was “very much their preference” to retain financing for the fleet as a whole.

As to whether the trust planned to renew or expand its fleet this will in part depend on whether capacity for that can be included in its financing discussions.

While FSL Trust has returned to profitability for the past two years it is yet to start paying distributions which were suspended in 2013 and Hatton said they had “resisted the temptation” to restart distributions and did not say when it would restart payments.

The trust had been aiming to start paying distributions again by the third quarter of 2015, however, an anticipated slowdown in earning in the second half of the year meant it has held back from the plan.

FSL’s Q4 profit was just $83,000 as it took a hit from having two product tankers in dry dock in the quarter. In the first quarter of 2016 it expects to take a $4.2m hit from the loss on the sale of two panamax containerships Ever Radiant and Ever Respect.