Hong Kong: The director of one of Hong Kong’s oldest shipping lines has lashed out at private equity’s intervention in the industry, arguing that the downturn is far more harsh as a result of all the new money in shipping.
Kingsley Koo, the current chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, told Splash: “There is too much speculation in shipping.” He said there were too many funds with too much money investing in shipping. While Valles typically orders one or two ships at a time, private equity is ordering “by the hundred”, Koo said.
Koo urged fellow owners not too build new ships, as the markets are too fragile too absorb more tonnage. Valles’s fleet sees 12 ships on the water plus three product tankers on order, which Koo stressed was replacement tonnage.
While he felt tankers were picking up, Koo, whose past career included a lengthy stint at American class society ABS, was concerned about dry bulk prospects.
“I worry for some of the owners on the dry side,” Koo said.