News  ยป  European investors return to S&P market

European investors return to S&P market

European buyers have burst back into the secondhand market, buying up large modern tonnage following the recent surge in dry bulk freight rates.

“After a prolonged period of Chinese domination, we have seen an unexpected, but not insignificant, return of the European investor,” Galbraith’s said in its weekly report.

European buyers were behind two of the newbuild resales and a handful of other modern vessels sold last week, brokers reported.

John Angelicoussis’ Anangel Shipping was understood to have bought a 177,000 dwt capesize newbuilding under construction at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding yard for $65m. The price paid was estimated to be 10% higher than the initial contract price of around $59m, said Galbraith’s.

In mid-2008 capesize newbuildings were being ordered for a price of around £100m.

By comparison, a modern capesize was valued at $54.1m, up from $48.8m a month ago, according to data from the Baltic Exchange. The vessel was originally contracted by Seacrest Shipping and is due for delivery in November.

A kamsarmax newbuilding was also sold last week, with Italian owners reported to have paid $37m for the 82,800 dwt bulk carrier, scheduled for delivery from Tsuneishi Zosen yard in January.

This price was “attractive” considering the improvements in the dry bulk market over the last months, brokers said. It was just below the Baltic Exchange’s price assessment of a five-year-old, 72,000 dwt panamax, which rose to $34.3m yesterday.

Although the deal is reportedly being denied, clients of Adelphia Shipping were rumoured to have paid $35.8m for the 2004-built, 76,930 dwt Boomerang .

Orion Bulkers, which owns the vessel, was unavailable to comment on the deal yesterday.

Clarksons reported that the 2009-built, 91,800 dwt Sea Breeze had been sold at $41m by the Cafiero Mattioli Group.

Greece dominated modern panamax sales though, with brokers reporting that six of the 10 panamax bulk carriers sold this week were built after 2000.

It was likely that many of the negotiations on deals to Europeans started when freight rates were climbing significantly earlier this month, Galbraith’s reported.

“It remains unclear whether this recent mini-boom has run its course, but without doubt, purchasers of the vessels will be hoping that their recent acquisitions do not come back to haunt them,” the broker said.

Greece’s Eastern Mediterranean took the 2005-built, 76,608 dwt Maple Valley for $30m, and Nasdaq-listed Euroseas bought the 2000-built, 74,020 dwt Four Coal for $27.5m from Italian shipowner Premuda.

Galbraith’s reported that Greece’s Tsatsakis Shipping & Trading was understood to have bought the Japanese-controlled 2001-built, 76,623 dwt Bonita for $25.5m. However, Gibson said the Eiko Kisen-owned panamax was sold to Greece’s Modion Maritime Management for $27m.

A lower price of $25m was paid by Oceanfreight for the 2001-built, 74,716 dwt Maddalena D’Amato .

This was representative of the low-priced remaining time charter contract attached to the vessel.

Gibson reported that the D’Amato di Navigazione-owned panamax still had four to six months time charter at a below market value of $13,150 per day. By comparison the average time charter rate was $23,150 per day yesterday.

Many owners were anticipating further falls in asset values later this year, with well-priced opportunities arising from distressed sales, Gibson said.

Glory Wealth, which has recently pulled out of a number of time charters, was reported to have sold two supramax newbuilds for of $27.5m each. This was a low price when compared to the average value of a modern supramax, which rose to $27.4m yesterday, according to the Baltic Exchange.

Singapore-based Wilmar International has bought the 57,000 dwt Glory Wisdom and Glory Talent , which are under construction at Taizhou Kouan shipyard and due for delivery in October 2009 and March 2010.

This article is compiled on the basis of publicly available sources. Reported transactions may not have been confirmed with the buyers or sellers named. Accordingly, Lloyd’s List cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information.

Liz McCarthy