The likely sale of the 272-year-old Baltic Exchange to the Singapore Exchange, as exclusively revealed by Splash today, has not been without its detractors, chief among them, John Banaszkiewicz, the managing director of Freight Investor Services (FIS), who last month returned as dry chairman of the Forward Freight Agreement Brokers’ Association (FFABA).
Banaszkiewicz told Splash: “The sale of the Baltic Exchange marks a turning point in the history of the freight market and we hope that it is a change for the better.
“Like other contributors and users of Baltic data FIS is concerned that the devil will be in the detail of any potential deal and the risk remains that market participants will be exposed to new conditions that, while manageable for the bigger shareholders, might negatively affect the market as a whole.
“We look forward to receiving the fuller details and being able to discuss the sale and its implications with The Baltic and the buyer in depth.”
In an open letter to members this February on the sale speculation, Baltic chairman Guy Campbell promised: “We certainly have a responsibility to consider the interests of shareholders, but all our members, including principals, brokers, panellists, smaller members, participants in the FFA market, and even the wider shipping community, will be considered.”
In outlining the sales discussion today, the Baltic said that most of the structures of the institution would remain the same for at least five years following any sale.