Harry Vafias is in typically bullish form when Maritime CEO comes calling for our first interview of 2019.
The StealthGas CEO spent much of last year selling off older tonnage, and now has his eyes out for some bargains to bolster his LPG fleet amid what he sees as a healthy equilibrium for the global LPG shipping sector.
“The stars finally seem to align,” Vafias tells Maritime CEO citing the low orderbook, an ageing existing fleet, increasing demand and the higher price of oil as reasons for his optimism.
“Our plan for the new year is to buy back our own shares since they are trading at a big discount to NAV or start a dividend if the market continues to improve,” Vafias reveals.
StealthGas will also continue to sell more of its older ships in 2019, with Vafias saying he’s in the market for modern secondhand LPG carriers if he regards the prices as reasonable.
In total, StealthGas sold seven ships last year having just completed a mammoth 26-ship newbuild project.
Another prediction for this year from the charismatic Greek is for LPG to start as shipping fuel for some vessels around the world.
“We are big believers of this idea, LPG is environmentally friendly, cheap and abundant,” he says.