Three Italian-related shipping firms are emerging on the market as potential sellers of two bulk carriers and one tanker.
Ireland-based d'Amico Dry (part of d'Amico Società di Navigazione group) seems to be ready to offload another supramax bulk carrier following the recent cancellation of three (probably four) newbuilding units ordered at Yangfan in China. The company prefers not to comment on the following deal but brokers sources say that the 13-years old Medi Nagasaki is being sold to a Greek owner (likely Kouros Maritime) for some US$4.6m.
Also the MR1 tanker ship named Jade, controlled by Italian interests through the Malta-based company Jade Marine and operated by the Sorrento-based Socomar, is reported sold to Vietnamese buyers for a strong price of US$21.5m.
The third Italian-related ship due to be offloaded by Augustea shipping group is the bulk carrier ABY Paola formally owned by ABYO Holdings (a jv participated by Augustea, Bunge, York Capital and Ocean Bulk) and still under negotiations for sale at a firm price of US$19.5m.
Financially-troubled owner and operator of Supramax dry bulk vessels Eagle Bulk Shipping has sold the vessel Peregrine and entered into an agreement to sell two additional vessels, MV Harrier and MV Falcon.
The sale of the three vessels will bring in a total of US$9.2m after brokerage commissions, the company said.
The announcement was made as Eagle Bulk reported a net loss of US$39.3m for the first quarter of 2016, compared to a net loss of US$20.7m for the comparable quarter in 2015. The company's adjusted net loss was US$27.5m, which excludes one-time refinancing expenses of US$5.6m and non-cash vessel impairment of US$6.2m.
Net revenues of US$21.3m saw a dip compared to US$26.3m year-on-year, which was due to the lower time charter hire rates in the first quarter of 2016, according to the company.
"In a quarter which saw dry bulk indices hit all-time lows in February – coupled with the uncertainty and negative business impact of a protracted forbearance with certain of our lenders – Eagle Bulk acted decisively to significantly enhance our liquidity position and improve our long-term financial flexibility through the execution of a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring. Additionally, as part of this transaction, we formed a new corporate structure to facilitate the company's ability to capitalize on market opportunities going forward," commented Gary Vogel, Eagle Bulk's CEO.
"We have also focused on technical enhancements, which includes bringing substantially all vessels under in-house management to help actively pursue operational excellence and cost efficiencies over the long-term."
Total operating expenses for the quarter were US$57.7m, up from US$43.8m last year, which was primarily assigned due to the increase in voyage expenses, refinancing expenses and vessel impairment.
During the quarter, the company's fleet utilization rate was 98.4%.
At the end of March, Eagle Bulk completed a comprehensive balance sheet recapitalization following an agreement with its lenders and holders of the company that provided the company with approximately US$105m in incremental liquidity and enhanced financial flexibility.
Eagle Bulk operates a fleet of about 45 mid-size dry bulkers.
Ningbo Marine has announced it has reached a sale and leaseback agreement with Zhejiang Energy Financial Leasing Company to secure RMB100m (US$15.4m) financing.
Under the agreement, Ningbo Marine will sell its 47,593dwt bulk carrier Ming Zhou 55 to Zhejiang Energy Financial Leasing and lease it back for a period of 36 months.
Ningbo Marine said it is facing financial pressures amid a slump in the bulk shipping market, and the sale and leaseback deal has lowered the company's financing cost and risk.
According to sources, two popular supramaxes have successfully been offloaded by Chinese firm Guoyu Shipping.
The 57,000dwt sized bulkers have gone to an European buyer for approximately US$14m en bloc, after being circulated for the first time some some weeks back.
The two four-year-old sister ships, named Oriental Explorer and Oriental Phoenix, are the last owned ships on Guoyu Shipping's books.
Sources link Primebulk to its second bulker within a week. This time the Greek outfit has gone for the Greek controlled Alexandra panamax, spending US$4.3m on the 15-year-old ship.
Primebulk paid US$3.8m for another panamax in the past week.
Primebulk has a string of bulkers in its fleet from ultamaxes down to handysizes. The new ships marks its entry into the panamax segment.
Primebulk has also been busy selling some smaller older ships, offloading two handies in the space of a month.
Hong Kong's largest shipowner by fleet numbers is looking to raise cash to pay back US$123.8m of convertible bonds as well as ready itself for any potential bargains that appear on the market.
Listed Pacific Basin is looking to raise US$150.6m via a 1.9bn rights shares offering. Its bonds are likely to be repaid this October. The company said that the capital would help the line "at a time when a number of companies in the industry are experiencing financial distress".
Pacific Basin said it is building a war chest to buy secondhand handy and supramax ships which are "at historically depressed prices". These new acquisitions, Pacific Basin maintained, "would be able to generate an earnings premium compared to market indices".
Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd ( "K" Line) will cut in half its fleet of smaller bulkers within its restructuring measures, Bloomberg reports citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.
As disclosed, the cuts would be carried out by returning of ships to their owners and "K" Line is reportedly willing to pay breakup fees for returning vessels early.
The move is being taken as a response to worsening conditions in the shipping industry, especaily in dry bulk business, which have prompted "K" Line to downgrade its forecast of consolidated financial results for fiscal year ending March 2016 as the company expects to log JPY50bn loss (US$445m) against JPY5bn profit announced in January.
The downgrade is assigned to the losses arising from the company's structural reform in dry bulk business, plus additional loss on valuation of investment securities.
As a result, the company has decided to speed up its fleet rationalization, mainly relating to small and medium-size vessels to reduce the exposure to risks from market conditions.
"We estimate roughly 50 billion yen of losses for this purpose, consisting of additional disposal of some of our own fleet, early termination of charter agreements, impairment loss of some of our dry bulk vessels, and so on," the company said early April.
"K" Line is not the only one rushing to cut its losses by getting rid of surplus bulker fleet. Namely, the company's compatriot Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is reducing its Capesize fleet by about 10% by cancelling some charter-in contracts and selling some dry bulkers it owns.
MOL said it has already started returning chartered-in vessels based on agreements with business partners.
The move is being taken as the company recorded a major profit plunge for 2015 amid industry woes plagued by overcapacity.
Due to the restructuring steps, the company is bracing to record a consolidated extraordinary loss of JPY179.3bn (approx. US$1.6bn) in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, a somewhat reduced amount from the projections in February amounting JPY180bn.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) is attempting to shave off its third reported bulker of the year, all within a month.
The sale is no surprise and more bulker sales from the Japanese giant are expected to follow as K Line has publicly stated it intends to cut back its exposure to the sector.
According to sources, the diverse owner has just sold the 10-year-old panamax Serenata, although the deal has still to be totally finalized. Goldenport Holdings, tipped as the buyer of the ship, is said to have paid US$6m for the ship, which would be a good deal for the Greek owner with online portal VesselsValue.com setting the market value for the ship at US$7.30m.
The sale comes quickly after K Line sold the 11-year-old baby cape, Cape Sophia and some weeks before this, it offloaded a supramax.
Hong Kong owners continue to offload vessels this week. Jinhui Shipping & Transportation has just offloaded the 50,800dwt bulker Jin Hui for about US$3m.
The elderly workhorse has been on the sales block together with its sister ship, the 16 year old Jin An. However, after failed attempts to sell the vessels as a pair, Jinhui had to give up and sell them separately.
The sale mirrors another Hong Kong bulker specialist, KC Maritime, who is also attempting to offloaded a pair of its oldest ships.
Singapore-listed Mercator Lines has announced that its judicial manager has entered into a memorandum of agreement for the sale of 2000-built 38,906dwt bulk carrier Kalpana Prem.
The vessel was sold on an arms-length basis to a third party for approximately US$2.93m, reducing the debt owing to major shareholder Mercator International.
The vessel will be delivered during April 2016.
Mercator Lines filled for bankruptcy in January after announcing it was exiting the dry bulk market.