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Jul 8, 2014

Grain exporters to feel more price pain as shipping rates set to rise

LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – An improved outlook for global
bulk shipping rates spells bad news for grain exporters as they
go into the latest sales campaign, with increased freight costs
squeezing profit margins and adding to price competition in
leading markets.

U.S wheat exporters look to be the hardest hit as ship
owners prepare to crank up rates, expecting a clamour for their
vessels. The biggest hike may be to the major Middle Eastern
market – giving smaller producers, situated nearer the region, a
price edge.

Jul 1, 2014

Iran’s oil exports drop in June, stay above Western limits

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – Iran’s crude oil exports dropped
in June after a spike in May, yet sales were still above the
level allowed by an interim deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s
nuclear programme, according to sources who track tanker
movements.

Under the agreement signed in November between Iran and six
world powers, which came into effect in January, Iran’s exports
should average 1 million barrels per day (bpd) through to July
20.

Jun 27, 2014

Greece’s Alpha Bank to securitise 1 bln euros of shipping loans -sources

ATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) – Greece’s Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to securitise about 1.0 billion euros (0.80 billion pounds) of shipping loans this summer in one of the first European asset-backed deals in this industry for years, a banker with Alpha Bank and another finance industry source said on Friday.

Europe’s asset-backed market has not recovered from financial crisis, but the European Central Bank and the Bank of England have both said they want to revive it to provide money for credit-starved businesses and help to revitalise the region’s economy.

Jun 27, 2014

Exclusive – Greece’s Alpha Bank to securitise 1 billion euros of shipping loans: sources

ATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) – Greece’s Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to securitise about 1.0 billion euros ($1.36 billion) of shipping loans this summer in one of the first European asset-backed deals in this industry for years, a banker with Alpha Bank and another finance industry source said on Friday.

Europe’s asset-backed market has not recovered from financial crisis, but the European Central Bank and the Bank of England have both said they want to revive it to provide money for credit-starved businesses and help to revitalize the region’s economy.

Jun 24, 2014

Exclusive: Iran seeks to resolve HSBC freeze on some trade financing – sources

LONDON/ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran is lobbying to get HSBC to process humanitarian trade transactions that Europe’s biggest bank has frozen because of concerns about potential breaches of international sanctions, sources familiar with the trades told Reuters.

Banks such as HSBC are responding to tougher scrutiny over financial dealings with some countries including Iran, even as the Islamic Republic has won relief from some sanctions since its interim deal with world powers last November under which it has scaled back some aspects of its disputed nuclear program.

Jun 24, 2014

Iran seeks to resolve HSBC freeze on some trade financing -sources

LONDON/ANKARA, June 24 (Reuters) – Iran is lobbying to get
HSBC to process humanitarian trade transactions that
Europe’s biggest bank has frozen because of concerns about
potential breaches of international sanctions, sources familiar
with the trades told Reuters.

Banks such as HSBC are responding to tougher scrutiny over
financial dealings with some countries including Iran, even as
the Islamic Republic has won relief from some sanctions since
its interim deal with world powers last November under which it
has scaled back some aspects of its disputed nuclear programme.

Jun 20, 2014

Baltic Exchange and LCH.Clearnet in talks on ship futures tie-up

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – London’s centuries-old Baltic
Exchange and clearing house LCH.Clearnet are in talks about a
tie-up aimed at breathing new life into the loss-making Baltex
dry bulk freight derivatives platform, the two groups said on
Friday.

Baltex was launched by the Baltic Exchange in June 2011 as
the first central electronic marketplace for freight forward
agreements (FFAs), which enable investors to take positions on
freight rates at a point in the future, but it has been little
used by brokers who have preferred to trade FFAs by phone or on
screens of their own to maximise their commission.

Jun 20, 2014

Europe set for compliance chaos with new ship fuel sulphur rules

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – Northern European regulators
will face a battle with many shipping companies over new EU
rules aimed at cutting pollution from ship fuels as some owners
are likely to find it cheaper to pay fines than to comply.

Ships are typically powered by heavy fuel oil or bunker oil,
both of which produce harmful pollutants such as sulphur dioxide
which can cause respiratory and heart problems.

Jun 12, 2014

Egypt pushing ahead with Suez port expansion projects – official

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – Egypt is pressing ahead with
plans to develop a new wheat storage facility and expand port
operations at two terminals in the Suez area as the country
looks to bolster strategic food reserves and attract investment,
a top port official said.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as armed forces chief
toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July following
mass protests, was sworn in on Sunday and seeks to fix Egypt’s
economy while overcoming political divisions after a long period
of turmoil and bloodshed.

Jun 10, 2014

Iraq won’t import wheat from Syria, trade minister says

LONDON/ABU DHABI, June 10 (Reuters) – Iraq’s trade minister
said on Tuesday the country does not import wheat from
neighbouring Syria as the produce was not high enough quality,
describing sales efforts by Damascus as a political move to
“make some problems” for Baghdad.

Earlier on Tuesday, a source with Syria’s state cereal body,
the General Establishment for Processing and Trade (Hoboob),
said it had sold 200,000 tonnes of wheat to neighbouring Iraq in
a tender.