Oslo: Last Friday, Morits Skaugen, ceo of Norwegian tanker firm IM Skaugen, helped set the scene for likely talking points for this week’s Posidonia show in Athens.
“The biggest talking point at Posidonia,” he said, “is likely to be refinance risk and where to find available finance to plug cash flow needs. Alternatives for owners are drying up.”
Expanding on this theme for Maritime CEO today, Skaugen says vessel owners and lenders alike are having trouble establishing the true value of assets – value of vessel or value of mortgage – whether it be offshore service vessels which Skaugen says “look like a disaster”, or tankers which are good at the prevailing spot markets.
“This means,” explains Skaugen, “that charter rates cannot be used as a long term reliable guideline if there are no buyers that can secure finance to buy. This is why there are probably numerous unsold offshore service vessels and probably over 100 tankers for sale, but very few buyers with corresponding finance in place.”
Many ships ordered and built were for short term financial capital owners out of the US and they are now long term owners by default. “This is also probably why there is a big discount on crude oil tanker stocks,” Skaugen reckons.
This also means banks are having to be very careful, and with bond and MLC markets out of sync, capital choices are slim right now.
“Recently I heard that only five out of 45 shipping banks are currently lending, and then only to the more AAA look alike clients,” Skaugen reveals.
Skaugen is the third generation at the helm of one of Norway’s most famous tanker names.
Maritime CEO magazine is being distributed at Posidonia all week, while Splash reporters are bringing unrivalled, exclusive coverage of the event.