Taipei: It’s been a good week for embattled Nobu Su’s shipping line TMT. A US judge has ruled that the Taipei-based Shanghai Commercial Bank must cooperate with TMT and stop its arrest of the 37,000 ton bulk carrier, C Handy. This follows a similar ruling last month on TMT vessel B Handy.
TMT is seeking to restructure its business using American Chapter Eleven legislations which allows companies to keep operating during financial difficulties.
US District Judge Lynn N Hughes sitting in Houston, Texas where TMT has extensive business interests has ordered the Taiwanese Shanghai Commercial Bank to cease its arrest of the C Handy, a modern two-year old Hyundai built vessel, and allow Nobu Su’s money held in a retention account to be used to pay for bunker, crew and other charges so that the C Handy can start trading again. The bank did not oppose the move.
The sitting lasted only one hour and Su hailed the decision “as a welcome step forward in my efforts to keep Taiwan in the forefront of the shipping business despite the wish of many other European shipping lines to see me closed down as a competitor coming from Asia. I welcome the fact that the banks are now seeking consensus and I will work with them in that spirit.”
In London this week Su met with cargo brokers and traders from Antwerp and Immingham who expressed their hope that his C Ladybug cargo ship would soon be back in business.
A TMT spokesperson said: “There are cargoes ready to go to Africa and Asia from Antwerp and Immingham and cargo agents keen to work with TMT so that prices can come down to normal. The delaying actions by one of our creditors banks is a problem we shall work hard to overcome. “
TMT representatives are set to meet shortly with senior Flemish politicians from the ruling government to explain that Antwerp is being damaged by actions from firms outside Europe using the Belgian legal system to stop TMT from trading.
In London on Tuesday, Su signed an important new contract for TMT so that one of his tankers, C Elephants, has been chartered by Chevron to carry crude. Su maintains that with nearly all of his ships out of their difficulties and back earning money he can restore TMT to profitability. [20/09/13]