Swiber profit drops 99.9%

Singapore-listed offshore services provider, Swiber Holdings (Swiber) posted a profit of USD70,000 down 99.9% year-on-year for the first quarter ended 31 March 2015, due to the depletion of the company’s order book last year.
Revenue fell 17.3% to USD164.9 million in 1Q15 as compared to USD199.5

Teekay Tankers’ rates surge

NYSE-listed Teekay Tankers reported higher-than-expected profits for the first quarter, driven by its highest rates in years.
The product and crude tanker owner reported a net income of USD39 million for 1Q15 versus USD26.4 million in 1Q14. Adjusted earnings of USD0.34/share topped the Wall Street

Iran Fires on Singaporean Vessel

By Reuters 2015-05-14 09:05:22

Iranian naval vessels fired what appeared to be warning shots over a Singapore-flagged ship in international waters in the Gulf on Thursday, prompting it to flee to United Arab Emirates waters, U.S. officials said.

The Alpine Eternity, a 29,130 gross tonnes oil products tanker, has safely reached the UAE port of Jebel Ali after coming under attack in the Gulf, its manager said.

The UAE sent Coast Guard vessels toward the ship once it reached UAE waters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy ships turned away, one U.S. official told Reuters, adding the account was based on preliminary information.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were unaware of any U.S. Navy involvement.

A spokesman for the vessel’s Norwegian manager Transpetrol said it was attacked at sea at 0800 GMT on Thursday on its way to the UAE port of Fujairah.

“The nature of the attack is still unclear,” the spokesman said. “She reached UAE waters and she is in the port of Jebel Ali now. The vessel is safe and there are no injuries to crew.” The spokesman said the attack had been reported to Singaporean authorities.

A second U.S. official said there were about five Iranian ships and described the shots as “small arms fire.”

“Once the ship went into UAE territorial waters, the Iranian ships broke off,” the official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders from Gulf nations are set to meet Thursday in a rare, high-profile summit on U.S. efforts to broker a nuclear deal with Iran. The United States and five other world powers are in talks with Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

Iran, currently in a standoff with a Saudi-led coalition over security inspections of one of its own cargo ships, last month intercepted a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. It forced that ship into Iranian waters by firing shots across its bow.

Saudi-led forces have imposed inspections on ships entering war-torn Yemen in an attempt to prevent weapons being smuggled to the Iran-allied rebel Houthi group that controls much of the country.

Iran complained to the UN Security Council of the Saudi-led coalition’s forces hindering its attempts to send aid to Yemen as a standoff loomed on Wednesday over an Iranian cargo ship bound for the Arabian Peninsula.

Gulf Arab nations in the military coalition have since March 26 been bombing Houthi militia and allied army units that control much of Yemen as well as inspecting ships in a bid to stop weapons smuggling.

Iran said on Wednesday it would not allow coalition forces to inspect the humanitarian shipment. Saudi Arabia has accused Tehran of arming the Houthis, charges the Islamic Republic denies.

Millions of barrels of oil pass through the Bab el-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz every day to Europe, the United States and Asia, waterways which pass along the coasts of Yemen and Iran respectively.


Greece Unblocks Piraeus Port Sale, Accepts Bids

By Reuters 2015-05-14 08:54:50

Greece has asked three firms to submit binding bids by September for a majority stake in the country’s biggest port, Piraeus, a senior privatisation official told Reuters on Thursday, unblocking a major asset sale.

Greece had shorlisted China’s Cosco Group and four other groups for a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port last year but the sale was halted after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government came to power this year.

Pressing ahead on the sale is expected to be one of the major concessions offered by Tsipras to EU and IMF lenders during ongoing talks to secure aid.

Athens late on Wednesday wrote to investors with an amended invitation to bid for 51 percent rather than the previous 67 percent stake, the official said.

Only three of the five initial bidders – Cosco, Dutch container terminal operator APM Terminals, and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services – are still interested in the port, the official said.

“It will be for 51 percent with an option to reach 67 percent in five years if they invest 300 million euros,” he said. “We want to name the winner at the end of September or early October.”

The new leftist-led government is trying to renegotiate a 240-billion-euro bailout and has said it will review asset sales, but wants the state to remain involved in any privatizations.


“Very Off-Broadway” Arbitration Event an Industry Hit

By MarEx 2015-05-14 08:31:32

On May 1, the New York Maritime Consortium (a coalition of leaders from New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR), the Society of Maritime Arbitrators (SMA), the Maritime Law Association (MLA) and the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents (ASBA)) hosted an event called “Seven Days in May: Resolving your Arbitration Insecurities” and Maritime TV was there to record it and provide video sequences for the on-stage production. A real world scenario involving a marine casualty was played out culminating in an arbitration hearing and award. In the words of NYMAR Chairman, Clay Maitland, it was a “Very Off- Broadway production”.

Industry professionals played the roles of participants in the events and hearing, which highlighted the benefits of New York arbitration. Throughout the program, which featured a combination of stage performances and video production written by Freehill Hogan & Mahar’s Don Murnane, the audience was asked to vote on how they would have acted in the circumstances and how they would resolve the disputes. The results of each vote were immediately tabulated and displayed. The event was approved for 3 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.