Pioneer Marine hunting distressed assets

Pioneer Marine hunting distressed assets

Singaporean handysize bulk owner Pioneer Marine is gearing up to buy up distressed assets. Despite remaining in the red for the second quarter with a net loss of $3.7m, the line’s founder is adamant that the time is ripe to pick up bargain hulls.

Pankaj Khanna, Pioneer’s ceo, commented, that having been able to cancel the majority of its newbuild plans, the company would seek “opportunistic acquisitions”.

“The first half of 2016 will be remembered for some time to come as one of the weakest periods for the dry bulk industry in modern history. Freight rates bottomed in February and saw marginal improvement through the second quarter to levels barely above operating cost levels,” Khanna said in a quarterly update.

Khanna noted how secondhand prices surged in the second quarter with good quality Japanese assets seeing as much as 30% increase in value.

“Good quality Japanese built assets are in short supply and we are now seeing some vessels that were sold in February being remarketed at prices that are 30-40% above trough valuations,” Khanna noted.

Khanna founded Pioneer Marine four years ago, having served for many leading shipowners including George Economou. His full biography can be accessed via this Maritime CEO cover story from last year.

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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