London: One of the world’s most well-known transport lawyers, Harry Theochari, has told GulfShip News that the Middle East is set to see plenty of new and huge shipowning entities.
The head of transport for global law firm Norton Rose maintained the region has the perfect ingredients to hand to be a strong shipowning base.
“The Middle East is going to become particularly important,” Theochari said. “It has a lot of institutions that want to be shipowners.”
He said these institutions have two advantages: first, they have their own product in the form of oil and gas, and secondly, they have plenty of money. Theochari said he knew of one company that has a $2bn warchest ready to enter shipping when the time is right, and that this company, which he refused to identify, did take a look at the Cido ships that were for sale last year, but deemed them inappropriate.
With items such as bunker fuel remaining costly, shipping has become more and more expensive and a significant percentage of the end product, so producers need to look at the whole supply chain, Theochari posited.
“Many owners will have their foundations in government or sovereign funds and will not have to worry about chartering as they have their own product,” the lawyer noted.
“If Saudi Arabia put its own mind to shipping it could change the whole tanker trades,” he mused.
He told GulfShip News: “Watch the Middle East market, they’ll be some very exciting developments coming out of there.”
Read our full interview with Harry Theochari over on our Maritime CEO website HERE. [28/03/13]