Lloyd’s Shipping Economist To Host Shipping Finance Awards

At this time of turbulence in the world economy and global finance and worrying indicators for shipping markets, leading shipping industry and finance figures will be sharing their views at Lloyd’s Shipping Economist’s 21st Ship Finance and Investment Conference organised by Lloyd’s List events and being held at the Café Royal in London on November 4 and 5.

Among key questions being asked at the event, which will be chaired by Michael Drayton, chairman of the Baltic Exchange, are whether shipping should be preparing for a significant downturn, what are the latest economic and trade prospects, will there be massive overcapacity, what will happen to ship values and how best should shipping companies protect themselves?

Dagfinn Lunde, member of the board of managing directors of DVB Bank SE, Rotterdam branch will give a keynote address outlining the latest position in shipping market and lending cycles and other challenges owners faces such as higher operating costs and unstable exchange rates. He will suggest what can be expected going forward.

The latest view of the world economy will be presented by senior economist at HSH Nordbank. Cyrus de la Rubia, who will also attempt to give an outlook for 2009.

Steel production is a crucial indicator for the dry bulk shipping market and Gavin Montgomery, a consultant at CRU Group will outline current trends in the steel market and its future outlook. John Stansfield, president of Lloyd’s Register Asia will explain the impact of the economic crisis on Asian shipbuilders, while Philip Bailey, managing director of Theisen Securities will look at the effect of shipping asset values.

Prospects for the major shipping sectors will be covered by consultant Fred Doll on the dry bulk market, Jefferson Clarke of Poten & Partners in the US on the tanker market and Paul Dowell of broker Howe Robinson on the container market. George Xiradakis, managing director of XRTC in Greece will explore potential new investment opportunities in shortsea shipping.

An industry panel will offer answers to what strategies owners should adopt in the recession. Panel members include Claus Peter Offen, chairman of German owner CP Offen.

Turning to shipping finance, Ted Petropoulos, managing director of Petrofin Bank in Greece will discuss the effects of the credit crunch on finance for shipping and the future outlook. On more specific aspects, Barry Wingate a director at HSBC Bank will explain the potential contribution of non-traditional finance sources and Gust Biesbroeck, global head of transportation at Fortis focuses on financing options for newbuildings. Peter Shaerf, managing director of New York-based AMA Capital Partners will present the differing challenges of alternative types of equity finance, while Philip Parr a partner at account at Moore Stephens will explain the latest position in the UK tax regime as it affects shipping.

A session on the booming offshore sector will feature presentations by Rune Juliussen of Pareto Securities in Norway, on investment opportunities, with lawyer Arun Velusami of Norton Rose looking at aspects of project finance.

As the crewing shortage bites and crewing costs escalate, Douglas Lang, managing director of ship manager Anglo-Eastern UK will offer a banker’s guide to the crewing crisis.

A specialist panel of owners and bankers will suggest ways that owners can protect and promote value in the current market. Participants include Simon Booth, managing director at Citigroup, UK, Michael Kirk, vice president investment banking at US-based Dahlman Rose and Tobias Konig, managing partner at German KG firm Konig & Cie.

On the evening of November 4, Lloyd’s Shipping Economist will be hosting its annual Shipping Finance Awards at the Café Royal. In addition to this main two-day conference, the Lloyd’s Shipping Economist Ship Finance Week 2008 in London will include a one-day International Financial Reporting Standards in Shipping Forum, led by Moore Stephens, on November 3, and a two-day seminar on Obtaining Finance and Security for Shipping on November 6 and &7 both at the Courthouse Kempinski Hotel.

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