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Pacific Basin shuffles fleet

Hong Kong: Pacific Basin Shipping reports that it has bought two younger vessels, the six-year-old Aries Forest (to be renamed English Bay) and Ocean Melody (to be renamed Champion Bay) of 32,834dwt, for $27.7m each. At the same time it has and sold and chartered back the 11-year-old 27,860dwt Patagonia for $21.0m and 12-year-old 28,429dwt Ocean Logger for $19.8m. The moves will allow pacific Basin to improve the age profile of its owned fleet while retaining operational control of the older vessels for a further 3.5 years, said ceo Richard Hext. The group's core fleet now comprises 73 owned, managed and long term chartered in vessels (including newbuildings). Separately it is announced that Paul Over is to step down from the group's Board in March 2007, but will stay on a senior advisor to the group with special responsibilities for marketing the International Handymax Carriers (IHX) pool as well as business development in the Middle East and Atlantic.  [12/09/06]

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