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Shipping on the way back up, says Singapore's FSL Trust

Singapore: First Ship Lease Trust believes the worst is over for the shipping industry after a positive start to 2010. Philip Clausius, FSL Trust Management chief executive officer said 2010 had started on a "significantly more positive note". He noted that with freight rate increases container lines were "at or close to cashflow breakeven"; the tanker market was enjoying a "mini-bull run", and the dry bulk market was still well above long-term historical averages.

"All of this leads us to believe that asset values are at or close to bottom valuations at this point," he said. "We think we have moved beyond the point of highest counterparty default risk in this cycle."

With the shipping cycle bottoming out FSL Trust hinted it might relook the $200m bond issue it postponed in December last year. Cheong Chee Tham, FSL Trust Management chief financial officer said market permit it would revisit the offering as it was an important part of their debt funding diversification strategy.

Meanwhile FSL will continue to look for new long term lease transactions. [26-01-10]

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