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Americans top charts in distressed asset acquisitions this year

This year has seen American owners top the list of buyers of distressed tonnage, snapping up vessels sold at bank sales and at auction deals, according to data provided by VesselsValue.

Asset values reached a 25-year low for bulkers, containers and offshore vessel types in 2016, with a spike in the number of bankruptcies and vessel seizures by banks. US owners have been buying these vessels sold at auction or at bank sales, spending $624m on 52 distressed vessels so far. JP Morgan has been leading the charge followed by Eagle Bulk. The $624m figure comes in at just under double what Greece has spent, totalling $385m.

In 2016, US companies did not buy any vessels at bank sales or at auction, showing a marked shift in behaviour.

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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