Basil M Karatzas and Karatzas Marine Advisors Quoted in the News

The shipping industry has been maintaining a very active profile in the mainstream international business press. Major bankruptcies, reorganizations, merges, vessel arrests and auctions are daily routine these days. Shipping banks, shipping loans actively and non performing loans (NPL) along with provisions are of concern or interest to many.  And, the  freight market that keeps surprising in terms of volatility.

We are delighted that Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., and its founder Basil M Karatzas have become the contact to have for shipping market expertise; with prompt access to market information and a vast network and access to senior executives worldwide, in the shipping industry and several complimentary industries, the company has had a front row seat to today’s developments in the maritime industry and has been enjoying an active deal-flow and the trust of many in the shipping industry.

Dry-Bulk Shipping Owners Get Reprieve as Rates Rebound
(Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2016)

What Will Save the Shipping Industry? Eight Industry Thoughts Leaders Weigh In   (LLoyd’s List, November 17, 2016)

Taiwan Approves $1.9 Billion Aid Package to Troubled Shipping Companies
(Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2016)

Varsler shippinghavari (translated as ‘Warning Signs for Shipping’)
Dagens Næringsliv, (November 11, 2016 – In Norwegian)

Τα απόνερα από την εκλογή Τραμπ
(Η Ναυτεμπορικἠ, November 10, 2016 – In Greek)

Israel’s Zim Looking to Sell Most Global Shipping Operations
(Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2016)

Japan’s Largest Shipping Firms to Merge Container Operations
(Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2016)

Offen Group Selling Two MR Tankers
(Lloyd’s List, October 25, 2016)

Pressure on German shipping lenders unlikely to ease
(The Financial Times, September 21, 2016)

Guest Voices: Shipping Banks Face Sinking Prospects as They Postpone Reckoning
(Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2016)

It’s not over – Shipping industry adapting to difficult times
(Wärtsilä, September 12, 2016)

Shipping industry not buoyed by low fuel costs
(The Cayman Islands Journal, June 1, 2016)

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Aptly named containership vessel MV ‘King Basil’ departing the port of Piraeus. Image credit: Karatzas Images

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

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Lexis Nexis – Hanjin Receivership Free Webinar

Hanjin Shipping‘s filings in early September 2016, for receivership in South Korean court and subsequent filing for Chapter 15 protection in US federal bankruptcy court, have been making front-pages news even in general interest newspapers and media. The case revolves around logistical, legal and financial considerations interweaved perilously together and can potentially affect everyday life with peak shopping season soon upon us.

LexisNexis Legal & Professional is hosting a Free Webinar on the matter of Hanjin’s receivership addressing both legal and commercial issues of the case. The Webinar is held on Wednesday October 5th, 2016 at 15:00 hrs EDT.

Registration is fee and open to the general public. Entities interested in the case and its repercussions, whether they have immediate outstanding claims in the case or looking for general information on the case and the overall shipping markets are encouraged to register to attend.

We are delighted that Basil M Karatzas, CEO of Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., has been invited to participate at the Webinar and address questions of commercial nature on the case and the overall shipping markets.

Mr Daniel Saval, partner with Brown Rudnick LLP, and holding substantial experience with Chapter 15 law, will be addressing legal questions during the session.

The Webinar will expertly be moderated by Ms. Danielle Bennett, Esq., Subject Matter Advisor on Banking, Finance and Restructuring with Lexis Nexis.

LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

To Register for the Free Webinar, please click on the brochure herebelow and follow the instructions! We are looking forward to receiving the benefit of your participation at the event, on Wed October 5th, 2016, at 15:00 hrs EDT!

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© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

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Karatzas Marine Presentation at 1st MareForum Shipping Conference, Panama City

Conference host and Market Research MareForum has hosted their 1st MareForum Shipping Conference in Panama City on June 24th, 2016, just two days before the official inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal. Basil M Karatzas has been honored to participate and present at the MareForum conference on shipping finance and the investment opportunities present in the industry, titled ‘An Anemic State of Shipping, A Plethora of Opportunities’. The presentation can  be accessed by clicking on the image of the Bridge of the Americas herebelow. Images from strolling Panama City and from the celebrations of the Panama Canal opening celebrations.

Panama Puente de las Americas BMK_0479 @

Bridge of the Americas (Puente de las Americas) straddling the Panama Canal by Balboa and the entrance to the Pacific Ocean. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

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His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Panama Mr Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez at the Presentation Oficial del Canal Ampliado (ATLAPA). Image credit: Karatzas Images

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His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Panama Mr Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez with Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co CEO, Mr Basil M Karatzas. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Presentation_1st Panama MAREFORUM_Karatzas F JUN2016

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Posidonia 2016 at BDI 600

The biennal shipping exhibition of Posidonia in Greece just ended with another stellar performance for the venue, with 22,000 attendees and 1,800 exhibitors from ninety (90) countries. In terms of attendance, it was up by 14% from another stellar year, in 2014. It’s nice seeing that even at challenging times, executives in shipping have a traveling budget, and seeing that Greece still manages to be stage the biggest exhibition of the industry.

Besides the big crowds and numbers, however, one could see signs of an industry that may be coming apart at the seams. Taking Yogi Bera’s quote at heart that ‘one can observe a lot by just watching’, the overall mood was mostly defined by the words not said, the parties not held, and the shipowners who didn’t show up at conferences before.

Just to provide some background, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), assuming that’s the whole industry’s benchmark, can be encapsulated by the following table:

  BDI (MONTHLY AVERAGE)
JUNE 2008 10,500
JUNE 2010 3,100
JUNE 2012 950
JUNE 2014 910
JUNE 2016 610
KARATZAS MARINE ADVISORS & Co.

Apparently, the index has been at its worst at present, at Stygian depths, and one would expect that pain is widespread in the industry.

Posidonia and celebrating in Greece are defined by late night parties at fancy seaside clubs and locales, and day cruises on shipowners’ yachts. Overall, the party scene this year has been fairly subdued, and the abundance of previous years did not make it to this year. Some parties were missed due to consolidation (mostly of shipbrokers and advisors), while quality of food and keeping the bar open for the whole night were hard to come about this year.

Again, when the freight market has been so low, every dollar saved at sea and ashore can be crucial. Thus, many parties seem to have been hosted in the spirit of being ‘present and still in business’, vs trying to convey the message that times are great.

IMG_2566The formal conferences and debates during the day had been dominated by discussions about the historic strength of the shipowning market and the industry, and the promise that there will be better days. Private equity funds and shipping banks took some beating for being the main cause of tonnage oversupply in the past, at least in the opinion of a few shipowners and advisors, which seems to be the theme of recent, at other shipping conferences too; that financiers have been the main culprits of the crisis, trusting with too much money the shipowners – at least, that’s how we understood it.

IMG_2591Several major shipowners claimed loudly that the market is a screaming buying opportunity, especially for dry bulk, and vessels are now historically cheap. China’s performance notwithstanding, it has been claimed there have been plenty opportunities for growth worldwide, from India to Africa, plus several potential causes for military actions (wars and volatility are traditionally good to shipowners); this is what it has been said, honestly. But again, for a couple of these shipowners, they have been noticeable in the shipping market by their absence, as they have not bought any ships in the last couple of years. And, there have been swirling rumors that a couple of these very same shipowners live at the mercy of their lenders, so it may make someone wonder whether they were dispensing wise advise or talking their books. For full disclosure, we are of the opinion that certain market segments are strong buying opportunities (for details, please inquire within), thus a bullish opinion is not necessarily un-qualified just because these owners have not acted on their own market assessment.

Bankers and financiers seemed to have been in season this year, as again, they got blamed for not financing vessels now that prices are historically low. Definitely there is some truth to it, as banks and financiers used to be much looser with financing vessels at much higher asset prices (but also freight rates), but now, with the exception of a handful of shipowners and corporate credits, it seems that shipping is an un-bankable industry. We have written about this topic in the past in this post, as this is to be a ‘complaint’ of many smaller and still well-capitalized owners, who happen not to check all the boxes in today’s world for shipping finance.

There is no doubt that shipping assets are cheap, as freight rates are low and there is a tremendous still outstanding orderbook (10-30%, depending on the asset class) of a relatively brand-new existing world fleet. Cheap assets may proffer a great investment opportunity given the motto ‘buy low, sell high’, but the ‘runway’ required for a cheap asset to appreciate may be detrimental to the survival of many shipowners and investors. And, quite frankly, there is a lot of junk that has been floating around that is passing around as legitimate tonnage (mostly bulkers built at ‘greenfield yards’ in the boom years of the cycle), and these vessels most likely will prove to be the graveyard of many an un-sophisticated shipowner and institutional investor.

And, as great and exciting shipping is, we all have to keep in mind that it’s a derivative industry, it derives its business and strength when charterers more cargoes, whether raw material, finished products, and crude oil and energy. As romantic as ships may be, they only make a good return when underlying industries and countries are doing well. And, taking a broader view of the world, one has to be careful: just this week, the OECD lowered its forecast for economic growth to 1.8% and 2.2% for 2016 and 2017, respectively (from 2% and 2.2%, updated just in February, 2016). For what it’s worth, a bellwether institutional investor, George Soros, has been in the news just this week, as he sees clouds on world’s macro-environment, and has started placing bearish investments by going long on gold. Just because Mr. Soros sees trouble ahead it does not mean that shipping investors should be running for the exits, but again, it’s tough to be getting too excited. And, further, it has been reported that central banks now are sitting on US$ 10 trillion of asset that are bearing negative interest rates (NIRP); negative interest rates have not been implemented on such massive scale before, and while it’s hard to predict how this will end up, it’s abundantly clear that central banks are running of options to stimulate growth, once again, a bearish notion to shipping.

Switching view outside economics, one can see that there has been a wave of protectionism and nationalism circling our planet, from the referendum about Brexit in the UK to building ‘yuge’ walls in the US, to imposing tariffs on China for ‘dumping’ steel in the international markets. As said, shipping is a derivative industry that needs cargo to move in order to prosper, and as skeptical we are that protectionism will take roots, one has to be concerned that that the overall frame is for more barriers than fewer barriers to trade.

IMG_2159Traditionally we have found Posidonia to be one of the most optimistic shipping conferences worldwide, with lots of high energy, excitement, vivacity and execution. In our opinion, this year the mood was bordering to pessimistic as people were very concerned with current developments: weak freight rates and low future expectations, complete lack of financing (with a few exceptions – once again, please inquire within), possibly a China that will be experiencing a harder landing than expected, plentiful of new-buildings on default and bleeding shipowners. And, for execution, just one major transaction was announced during the Posidonia out of Greece, worth just a billion of dollars.

And, taking a broader look at the Greek economy and society, the pain has been even deeper than in shipping. The honeymoon is over with the Tsipras / Syriza government and strikes are getting to be a daily fact of life, endless traffic jams reminding of capitals of ‘emerging economies’, and fruitless efforts of the Greek government to tax their way out of the crisis instead of attempting to increase the tax base by cutting down on the red-tape and stimulating entrepreneurship.

As always, there has been little sense of order or effort to change things.

Possibly, the best line of Posidonia 2016 came at the British Ambassador’s Residence hosting a reception for the shipping community; when time came to re-fill glasses with wine, people were queuing neatly to the bar, which made a Brit in attendance to comment: “You know you are on British soil when people queue to the bar!” It was an astute observation we had missed. And, there was another line to the sushi buffet the next night at the Japan Ship Export Association Reception hosted by the Japanese Ambassador to Greece. Quite frankly, these were the only two lines we experienced in Greece during our ten-day Posidonia attendance; everywhere else was less of an order…

But again, as once said by a shipping executive, ‘shipping is not a team sport.’


An edited version of this article has previously been appeared on the Maritime Executive website.


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

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Media Mentions for Basil M. Karatzas (II)

The shipping industry has been making big waves of late. Unfortunately, this is mostly due to the weakest state that the industry has been in the last several decades: too many ships chasing too few cargoes (for dry bulk and containerships) while CapEx for offshore and drilling getting slashed worldwide, and tankers benefiting for now from OPEC’s (weakening) will to go after market share.

Since our last update a few months ago, Basil M Karatzas and Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co. have been quoted extensively in the business press about developments in the shipping industry. A short list of pertinent articles have been displayed herebelow. We thought that our readership and clients could get a summary report of the 10,000-ft issues that are driving our beloved industry:

Private Equity on Collision Course with Shipping Banks                                            IHS Fairplay, March 16, 2016

Chinese Shipping Majors Splash $2.5 Billion for 30 Giant Valemax Vessels              Wall Street Journal, March 10th, 2016

The article was re-published in the respected investment advisory Morningstar website under the title: Beijing Moves to Tighten Grip on Trade Route

Container Ship Capacity Growth Dips to Historic Low                                               EBN: The Premier Online Community for Global Supply Chain Professionals, March 8th, 2016

Algoma Pares Bulk-Commodity Freighter Fleet amid Shipping Slump                       The Globe and Mail, March 4th 2016

Commodity Slump Puts Dry-Bulk Shipping on Hold                                                    Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2016

Shipowners in Financial Distress as Dry Bulk Crisis Deepens                                    The Financial Times, February 7th, 2016

Indebted Chinese Companies Increase Pressures on Government                         The New York Times, January 17th, 2016

Cash Burning up for Shipowners as Finance Runs Dry                                               The Financial Times, January 3rd, 2016

Bloodbath_WSJ_Karatzas_IMG_6877

Quote from The Wall Street Journal; February 2016.


Copyrighted material. Copyright of articles belongs to the perspective publishers / publishing houses.


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

2nd Naftemporiki Conference

                                                      Basil M Karatzas

                                                        presenting at

                                     2nd Naftemporiki Shipping Conference

                                        Athens, Greece, January 26th, 2016

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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste, it once has been smartly said.

Ever since the collapse of the freight market in 2008, the shipping industry has been struggling to establish a new baseline. It was not only the precipitous decline in the freight market, but also geo-political and macro-economic developments, fiscal and monetary actions and reactions, financial and banking industries’ new enhanced regulations that have been causing stormy waves for the maritime industry.

The recent establishment of all time lows by the Baltic Dry Index has been a chilly reminder that the industry keeps facing an inflection point. The present crisis may be an opportune time for the industry to strategically face and position itself for the new parameters that will set the work-frame for the industry for the next decade, especially for shipping finance, a crucial variable for this capital intense industry.

Naytiliako_728At the 2nd Naftemporiki Conference, the shipping finance panel will address the latest developments of the industry, and especially:

  • Shipping banks are ever more selective with the shipping industry. Is this the end of the ‘ship mortgage’ era? Would corporate finance be a better replacement?
  • Who and how the funding gap left by the shipping banks will be covered? Are alternative and credit funds a temporary solution?
  • Private equity investors have not fared well so far, on average, with their shipping investment. How they could react to their underwater positions? Will they double-down or exit massively at a loss?
  • What happened to the capital markets and the promising wave of Greek shipping IPOs of the last decade? Has the well gone dry?
  • Are the capital markets the way of the future?
  • Are presently the shipowners properly prepared to navigate today’s financial markets and requirements? How can they position themselves best?
  • Would a changing financial and banking market will force some shipowners to leave the industry?
  • How a small / medium-size independent shipowners office will be defined in five years and how such an office will be structured?

These and many more relevant question will be addressed and discussed in-depth at the shipping finance panel of the 2nd Naftemporiki Conference.

We are hopeful that the challenging times of the industry will be resourcefully navigated by the descendants of Odysseus, and the present crisis of the industry will be the springboard for ever greater success for our national industry.

We hope to see you at the 2nd Naftemporiki Conference.

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© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Current Media Mentions for Basil M. Karatzas

Blue & Red ship reflection with pale yellow cranes_LR 2We are taking pride to always be up-to-date with our business , and, if possible, a little ahead, as once a highly successful executive of a top notch company presciently said. At the shipping finance advisory and ship broking firm Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., we measure our success not only by the number and size of the transactions we work on and successfully conclude, and the caliber of the shipowners and clients we work with, but also by the times we were honored to provide current market information, insight, opinion and counsel to maritime, finance and trade topics to highly respected publications.

A few articles of recent where Basil M. Karatzas and Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co. were in the press:

Weathering the ‘sentiment storm’ in IHS Maritime Fairplay, March 2015.                         While in 2013 capital markets and institutional investors had shown strong for shipping, since late 2014, the ‘sentiment’ has turn diametrically, as Greg Miller of Fairplay explains.

Shipowners anchor themselves in debt markets, in The Financial Times, April 1st, 2015. With traditional shipping banks sailing away from the shipping industry, this capital intensive industry is looking for new sources of capital, including the public debt markets.

Ελκυστικα για τραπεζικα κεφαλαια τα πλοια μεταφορας υγραεριου, in ΝΑΥΤΕΜΠΟΡΙΚΙ (in Greek), March 31st.                                                                                                        The well-respected daily Greek business newspaper Ναυτεμπορικἠ, reports that shipping banks and capital markets show preference for gas tankers (LNG, LPG, ethane, etc) in a changing seascape for the industry. Information and data were partially based on reporting by Lloyds List and the Ethane & LPG Trading and Shipping Conference held in early March in London where Basil Karatzas was a presenter.

U.S. Crude Exports and the Tanker Market, in Tanker Operator, March 2015.                  The article, co-authored with Winston & Strawn partner Mr. Charlie Papavizas, briefly examines the requirements, viability and impact on the tanker market from potentially lifting the crude oil export ban in the US.

We are thankful for the trust placed in our firm’s expertise, knowledge and judgement in so many aspects of the shipping industry and by such well-respected publications and journalists. We are grateful indeed.

Rudder, Propeller, Red Hull_reflection LR


 

© 2013-2015 Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

2015 03MAR TO US Crude exports and the tanker market

2015 03MAR12 FAIRPLAY Weathering the ‘sentiment storm’_HL

2015 03MAR31 ΝΑΥΤΕΜΠΟΡΙΚΙ Ελκυστικα για τραπεζικα κεφαλαια τα πλοια μεταφορας υγραεριου

2015 04APR01 FT Shipowners anchor themselves in debt markets_HL