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Apr 17, 2014

Shipping firms turn to equity markets as sector eyes recovery

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Shipping companies are turning
to equity markets to fill a growing funding gap, betting that
investors hungry for decent returns will provide capital to a
sector recovering from its worst downturn since the 1980s.

Ship owners ordered large numbers of vessels between 2007
and 2009, just as the global economy sank into crisis. Prospects
have brightened in recent months as world trade picks up and the
ship glut is absorbed.

Apr 3, 2014

Investors snap up shipping loans as global economy lifts trade prospects

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) – Global private equity firm KKR
has bought $150 million worth of shipping loans from two
European banks amid a surge of interest in the industry as world
trade in goods picks up along with the global economy.

There have been a flurry of deals in recent months for ship
finance loans, many of which are being put up for sale by banks
under pressure to boost their capital in order to adhere to new,
stricter industry legislation born of the financial crisis.

Apr 2, 2014

Iran, Russia working to seal $20 bln oil-for-goods deal – sources

LONDON/ANKARA, April 2 (Reuters) – Iran and Russia have made
progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be
worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost
vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people
familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were
discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000
barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment
and goods.

Mar 26, 2014

Iran heads for 5th month of oil exports above sanctions limit

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – Iran’s oil exports have stayed
above levels allowed under Western sanctions for a fifth month,
according to sources who track tanker movements, in a further
sign that a deal to ease some restrictions is helping Tehran
sell more crude.

Under the deal, Iran’s exports are supposed to be held at an
average 1 million bpd for the six months to July 20. But
shipments to Asia have topped that level at least since
November, according to ship tracking data.

Mar 19, 2014

Libra Group invests in Greece as economy turns up

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – Global conglomerate Libra
Group, with its origins in Greek shipping, has invested $500
million in Greece since 2012 and expects other investors to snap
up assets as the country emerges from years of turmoil, its
chief executive said.

After it nearly went bankrupt and crashed out of the euro
zone in 2012, Greece’s fortunes have revived in recent months as
a six-year recession shows signs of bottoming out, and investor
confidence in its prospects has risen.

Mar 13, 2014

Western banks cold-shoulder Iran trade finance scheme

LONDON/ANKARA (Reuters) – Despite a diplomatic thaw, Western banks are steering clear of attempts by Iran to get them involved in financing humanitarian transactions, fearing they could be penalized under U.S. sanctions, bankers and government officials told Reuters.

Iran was never barred from buying food or other humanitarian goods under sanctions imposed because of its disputed nuclear program, but measures by the European Union and the United States have made trade generally more difficult over the past two years by hindering payments and shipping.

Mar 11, 2014

Ship glut burdens LNG tanker market, slashes profits

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Deliveries of new gas tankers
have created a glut that is threatening to tip some operators
into losses, just as other shipping markets emerge from their
worst downturn in decades.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker market was until
recently the only bright spot in an otherwise depressed freight
industry. A global surge in the demand for gas, led by Japan in
2011, boosted trade, tied vessels to longer routes and drove
rental rates to record highs.

Feb 27, 2014

Iran’s oil fleet looks to come in from cold as exports pick up

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Iran’s oil tanker fleet is
gearing up for more business, with some vessels taking to the
high seas after over more than a year at home ports, another
sign that an easing in Western sanctions is enabling exports to
begin to pick up.

Iran and Western governments reached an interim agreement in
November to restrict Tehran’s disputed atomic work in exchange
for limited sanctions relief for six months, which came into
effect in January.

Feb 27, 2014

New orders threaten fragile shipping sector recovery: survey

LONDON (Reuters) – Overcapacity threatens to derail a fragile recovery in the global shipping sector as ship owners and investors place orders for new vessels betting on better times, a survey showed on Thursday.

Ship owners ordered large numbers of vessels between 2007 and 2009, just as the global economy sank into its biggest crisis since the 1930s.

Feb 26, 2014

Exclusive: Iranian oil exports rise in February, more to ally Syria

LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s oil exports have risen further in February for a fourth consecutive month, according to sources who track tanker movements, adding to signs that the easing of sanctions pressure on Tehran is helping its oil exports to recover.

The increase in shipments is around 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to one tracker company, which would take Iranian exports to at least 1.30 million bpd for February.