10 Mei 2016

[100516.EN.SEA] Seaspan Fears No Hanjin Charter Defaults as Hyundai Wins Rate Cuts

VANCOUVER based, but Hong Kong administered Seaspan, the world's biggest containership leaser, says it has "no material concerns" about its exposure to troubled South Korean ocean carrier Hanjin Shipping.

Seaspan said that the near bankrupt carrier "continues to make charter hire payments regularly" and it "did not anticipate any charter breaks", reports London's Loadstar.

Said Seaspan CEO Gerry Wang: "We have not received any request from Hanjin to renegotiate charter hires."

According to the Paris-based maritime consultancy, Alphaliner, Seaspan has seven 10,100 TEU ships on 10-year charters to Hanjin, expiring in 2024/25 at a fixed daily hire rate of US$43,000.

Alphaliner said three of the ships were owned by Seaspan and four were managed on behalf of Greater China Intermodal Investments (GCI), a Marshall Islands investment vehicle set up by Seaspan and two other investors.

At a recent Q1 16 earnings call, Mr Wang faced a barrage of questions on Seaspan's relationship with Hanjin. It was noted that a breach in the terms of a charter party by Hanjin would be the first in the company's 11-year history.

Mr Wang suggested that given the importance of both Hanjin and its bond-defaulting compatriot Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) to the South Korean nation, the government would be obliged to step in to the rescue.

For the first quarter, Seaspan reported an EBITDA of $164 million from revenue of $215 million and it said was "following a dividend policy aimed at substantially returning capital to shareholders".

Meanwhile, according to an insider source, HMM obtained charter hire reductions from two shipowners last week.

The source told Loadstar: "Danaos Corporation and Zodiac Maritime became positive [reducing hire rates] at the third round of discussions, but with Navios Maritime Partners, Eastern Pacific Shipping, and Capital Product Partners, HMM has still to reach agreement."

HMM has around 33 container vessels on charter, including five 13,100-TEU ships covered by a 12-year fixed-rate charter party with Greek shipowner Danaos. By a rough calculation, the carrier could have reduced the hire rate on 60 per cent of its chartered ships.

Source : HKSG.

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