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Brokers wary as Nobu Su plans dry bulk return

Brokers wary as Nobu Su plans dry bulk return

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Nobu Su’s attempts to get back into dry bulk shipping are meeting a series of speedbumps with brokers and financiers wary of doing business with the Taiwanese magnate.

Su, one of the world’s largest shipowners a decade ago, has been seeking a return into dry bulk as the sector picks up after a lengthy recession.

At the end of November last year he contacted brokers Simpson Spence Young (SSY) seeking to find cargo for the F Whale, an ore/oil carrier.

However, SSY senior management have decided to proceed with caution, telling Su that the company lost money in previous dealings with Su’s firm, TMT.

SSY executive director William Luther wrote in an email to Su, seen by Splash, that SSY Dry Cargo had to write off $800,000 previously when dealing with TMT and its associated companies.

“You will understand therefore there is a degree of trepidation of doing future business when last time we were engaged as your broker there was a substantial accounting shortfall that had to be borne by the company,” Luther wrote.

Su has reacted furiously telling SSY executives that he gave the company so much money in the past that its current attitude is “not a good gesture at all”.

Su’s chequered past has seen him have many run ins with other brokers, most notably a long running legal battle with another British outfit, Clarksons, while he has also initiated legal proceedings against former senior management at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Despite business avenues likely closing with two of the world’s largest broking houses, Su is unlikely to be short of broking offers.

“Brokers are such tarts he will find someone to take him on,” one former broker told Splash today.

Su’s downfall, which he links to the global financial crisis of 2008, is set to be a movie documentary due to be launched later this year.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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