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Precious lines up $474m spree

Bangkok: Precious Shipping, Thailand's largest shipping firm, said on Monday it planned to spend $474 million on 15 new vessels to replace its ageing fleet. About 80 percent of the purchase by Precious, a dry bulk carrier, would be funded through bank loans and the rest through cash flow, Managing Director Khalid Hashim told reporters."The first ship will be delivered in 2010 and the rest will be made successively to 2013," Hashim said. Precious operates 44 small-to-medium sized ships with a combined capacity of 1.13 million deadweight tonnes and an average age of about 19 years. The fleet carries mainly commodities and building materials. The firm said last month 25 vessels are more than 20 years of age and need to be replaced over the next 5 to 7 years.  [20/11/07]

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