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We are an independent shipbroker with an approach focused on expertise rather than scale.

Affinity Policy Comment 24 September 2018

 

A trip through the Americas.
With a majority of economic news recently focusing on the US, we follow up on how the rest of the continent is faring


While the United States often snags the spotlight in news headlines, the country is not alone in facing regular political-economic turmoil. Many of the country’s neighbours in North and South America are in a way connected in their mutual struggles to stabilise their economic misfortunes, with some caused by global dynamics, and others fully self-inflicted.

Starting from the US’ northern neighbour, Canadian inflation eased to 2.6 per cent last month after having hit 3 per cent, a near 7-year high, in July. However, this development is expected to have limited, if any, impact on market expectations, as the country’s central bank looks to probably proceed with another interest rate hike next month. Fluctuating energy prices have been the main driver behind the recent changes over the last couple of months, considering oil prices went up nearly 20 per cent year-on-year in August, but fell 0.1 per cent month-on-month. Despite the increasing uncertainty over trade with the US, the country’s economy has been propped up by strong gains in the retail industry, with sales up 0.3 per cent in July from the month prior. The Canadian dollar also bounced back by 0.1 per cent after a 0.2 per cent drop the month before.

On the other side of the US, Mexico’s President-elect sets an example for the new austerity drive expected in the country - driving a modest car, living in an ordinary house and flying economy class to official engagements. Mr López Obrador aims to eradicate corruption and distribute wealth more fairly once he takes office on December 1st. All privileges for himself and other senior public servants will be cut drastically to channel savings into development projects. To Mr López Obrador, the country is already considered ‘bankrupt’.

But his team has to reassure investors, worried by his leftist plans, that the country’s books will be balanced while investing in massive projects like oil refineries and other infrastructure. A recently passed austerity bill subsequently ensures public servants will not earn more than Mr López Obrador, whose salary is set at MXN 108 k per month. However, this could also cause a serious case of brain drain and major talent leaving the public sector. Local head-hunters have already confirmed that several officials from ministries and the state oil company Pemex are considering private sector jobs.

In the meantime, some of the President-elect’s plans, such as relocating ministries across the country, may prove costly and unworkable. Mr López Obrador also plans to reduce income tax to 20 per cent from 35 per cent and halve value added tax to 8 per cent along states that border the US to boost growth. Analysts, however, are  worried about the potential fiscal cost.





Moving down to South America, Nicolás Maduro is once again the talk of the town, as his lifestyle goes viral on social media. Venezuela’s President spent some days in Istanbul, with his spending caused international outrage while his country suffers an economic crisis increasingly compared to the situation in Syria. His compatriots’ desperation is more than visible at the country’s border with Colombia. “This migration crisis has no comparison, no precedent, in contemporary Latin American history,” said José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch in the Americas. The UN says 2.3 Mn Venezuelans, around 7 per cent of the population, have fled under Maduro. Peru has been the second-largest recipient of Venezuelan migrants.

In the meantime, Brazil’s central bank has been keeping interest rates on hold to further support its economy after its worst recession to date. The bank held its benchmark Selic rate at a record low of 6.5 per cent, likely driven by sluggish inflation, despite the recent sell-off in the Brazilian real (BRL) against the USD.

Further to the south, the second quarter of this year proved tumultuous for Argentina’s economy. The losses suffered have been the worst in nearly four years, as the country suffered one of its worst droughts alongside a currency crisis, which forced President Macri to seek a USD 50 Bn bailout from the IMF. The country’s GDP saw its first decline in six quarters, the steepest decline since 2014 Q3, and a y-o-y contraction of 4.2 per cent.

The US increasing its interest rates, alongside high inflation, have been adding further pressure on Argentina since May, who are stressing under increasing trade and fiscal deficits. The severe drought hit the country’s agricultural exports,  one of its main sources of hard currency, with million in losses after the damages in soybean and corn harvests. The central bank repeatedly raised its key interest rates over the past four months, with policymakers upping the rate in August by another 15 percentage points to 60 per cent. After some recent but marginal recovery, the peso remains down 53 per cent since a year ago..  

Affinity Research LLP

what we do

  • Dry Cargo

    Dry Cargo

    Our dry bulk chartering teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Santiago, Lima, Singapore and London are cargo-focussed and they fix voyage, COA and time charter business on behalf of their clients with a wide range of ship owners.

    Contact: David Oakley
    [email protected]
    +61 2 9937 8806

    Finance

    Finance

    Affinity Financial Products Ltd is authorised by the FCA to provide advice and execution of regulated activities. We focus our efforts on asset-related transactions often structured as corporate share sales or mergers and acquisitions.
    We work in partnership with investment banks providing specific, shipping-related advice.

    Contact: Andrew Finn
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0114

    LNG

    LNG

    Our young and dynamic LNG team possess wide-ranging experience of spot and term charters working with all major LNG shipowners and charterers. The LNG team has close interaction with the Newbuilding and Sale & Purchase divisions with an unrivalled track record of contracting LNG newbuildings and in the sale and purchase of LNG assets.
    We maintain up-to-date knowledge and an understanding of new technologies within the LNG sector to ensure that our clients can make the most suitable and cost-effective decisions on shipping solutions.

    Contact: Joni Mackay
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0133

    Newbuilding

    Newbuilding

    Our Newbuilding team has concluded over 500 newbuildings of all types, including LNGCs, FSRUs, drillships, crude tankers, product tankers and dry cargo vessels. We have contracted in all major newbuilding centres globally, with particular focus on the Korean Shipyards.

    Contact: Nick Wood
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0111

    Offshore

    Offshore

    Affinity Offshore is based out of our Oslo and Houston offices. The Team focuses on world-wide sale & purchase of offshore support vessels, as well as chartering – particularly in the Americas and Mediterranean/MENA regions.

    Contact: Tor-Øyvind Bjørkli
    [email protected]
    +47 2109 8211

    Research

    Research

    Our research department combines real time market information with econometric modelling and the latest technology. 

    Contact: Fotios Katsoulas
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0186

    S & P

    S & P

    Our Sale & Purchase team has extensive experience of working with private clients, national shipping companies, major corporates, oil companies, grain houses and institutional investors. We provide a cradle to grave services across all shipping sectors. We operate from London, Singapore and Seoul to give 24-hour coverage of the markets, working for both newbuilding and second-hand buyers.

    Contact: Toby English
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0123

    Tankers

    Tankers

    Our established tanker chartering teams serve the industry from London, Houston and Santiago delivering a highly proficient spot chartering service with a prime position in the fuel oil market. The team has close relationships with oil majors, national oil companies, oil traders and major ship owners and operators. 
    Our ethos for operations and post-fixture is simple: these roles are as important to us as the chartering/commercial function, and we continue to apply those same principles of professional ship broking throughout the life of each fixture.

    Contact: Tim Gurdon
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0142

    Valuations

    Valuations

    We provide transparent, objective ship valuation service to major owners, banks and other financial institutions at short notice and a daily basis. We provide a retainer service for regular fleet valuations.

    Contact: Ben Pusey
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0125

    Dry Cargo

    Our dry bulk chartering teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Santiago, Lima, Singapore and London are cargo-focussed and they fix voyage, COA and time charter business on behalf of their clients with a wide range of ship owners.

    Contact: David Oakley
    [email protected]
    +61 2 9937 8806

    Finance

    Affinity Financial Products Ltd is authorised by the FCA to provide advice and execution of regulated activities. We focus our efforts on asset-related transactions often structured as corporate share sales or mergers and acquisitions.
    We work in partnership with investment banks providing specific, shipping-related advice.

    Contact: Andrew Finn
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0114

    LNG

    Our young and dynamic LNG team possess wide-ranging experience of spot and term charters working with all major LNG shipowners and charterers. The LNG team has close interaction with the Newbuilding and Sale & Purchase divisions with an unrivalled track record of contracting LNG newbuildings and in the sale and purchase of LNG assets.
    We maintain up-to-date knowledge and an understanding of new technologies within the LNG sector to ensure that our clients can make the most suitable and cost-effective decisions on shipping solutions.

    Contact: Joni Mackay
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0133

    Newbuilding

    Our Newbuilding team has concluded over 500 newbuildings of all types, including LNGCs, FSRUs, drillships, crude tankers, product tankers and dry cargo vessels. We have contracted in all major newbuilding centres globally, with particular focus on the Korean Shipyards.

    Contact: Nick Wood
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0111

    Offshore

    Affinity Offshore is based out of our Oslo and Houston offices. The Team focuses on world-wide sale & purchase of offshore support vessels, as well as chartering – particularly in the Americas and Mediterranean/MENA regions.

    Contact: Tor-Øyvind Bjørkli
    [email protected]
    +47 2109 8211

    Research

    Our research department combines real time market information with econometric modelling and the latest technology. 

    Contact: Fotios Katsoulas
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0186

    S & P

    Our Sale & Purchase team has extensive experience of working with private clients, national shipping companies, major corporates, oil companies, grain houses and institutional investors. We provide a cradle to grave services across all shipping sectors. We operate from London, Singapore and Seoul to give 24-hour coverage of the markets, working for both newbuilding and second-hand buyers.

    Contact: Toby English
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0123

    Tankers

    Our established tanker chartering teams serve the industry from London, Houston and Santiago delivering a highly proficient spot chartering service with a prime position in the fuel oil market. The team has close relationships with oil majors, national oil companies, oil traders and major ship owners and operators. 
    Our ethos for operations and post-fixture is simple: these roles are as important to us as the chartering/commercial function, and we continue to apply those same principles of professional ship broking throughout the life of each fixture.

    Contact: Tim Gurdon
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0142

    Valuations

    We provide transparent, objective ship valuation service to major owners, banks and other financial institutions at short notice and a daily basis. We provide a retainer service for regular fleet valuations.

    Contact: Ben Pusey
    [email protected]
    +44(0)20 3142 0125

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  • Floor 44
    The Leadenhall Building
    122 Leadenhall Street
    London EC3A 8EE

    T +44 (0)203 142 0100

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    LONDON

    Dry Cargo LNG Research S & P Tankers Newbuilding Finance Valuations


    Floor 44
    The Leadenhall Building
    122 Leadenhall Street
    London EC3A 8EE

    T +44 (0)203 142 0100

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  • 72 Anson Road
    #13–03 Anson House
    Singapore
    079911

    T +65 6805 8760

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    SINGAPORE

    Dry Cargo S & P


    72 Anson Road
    #13–03 Anson House
    Singapore
    079911

    T +65 6805 8760

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  • Level 8
    420 St Kilda Road
    Melbourne
    VIC 3004
    Australia

    T +61 398 671 466

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    MELBOURNE

    Dry Cargo


    Level 8
    420 St Kilda Road
    Melbourne
    VIC 3004
    Australia

    T +61 398 671 466

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  • 8/38 Colin Street
    West Perth
    WA 6005
    Australia

    T +61 892 260 618

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    PERTH

    Dry Cargo


    8/38 Colin Street
    West Perth
    WA 6005
    Australia

    T +61 892 260 618

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  • 1st Floor
    64 Alexander Street
    Crows Nest, NSW 2065
    Australia

    T +61 299 378 800

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    SYDNEY

    Dry Cargo


    1st Floor
    64 Alexander Street
    Crows Nest, NSW 2065
    Australia

    T +61 299 378 800

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  • #703, Shin-A Building
    50 Seosomun-ro 11gil
    Jung-gu, Seoul
    South Korea
    100-752

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    SEOUL

    Newbuilding LNG S & P


    #703, Shin-A Building
    50 Seosomun-ro 11gil
    Jung-gu, Seoul
    South Korea
    100-752

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  • 601 Pacific House
    20 Queen's Road Central
    Central, Hong Kong

    T +852 2154 2237

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    HONG KONG


    601 Pacific House
    20 Queen's Road Central
    Central, Hong Kong

    T +852 2154 2237

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  • 1301 McKinney Street
    Suite 2975
    Houston, Texas
    77010, USA

    T +1 832 925 7500

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    HOUSTON

    Tankers


    1301 McKinney Street
    Suite 2975
    Houston, Texas
    77010, USA

    T +1 832 925 7500

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  • Marco Polo Parkside Building 1005,
    Anli Road No. 80,
    Chaoyang District,
    Beijing, China, 100101

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    BEIJING

    LNG Tankers


    Marco Polo Parkside Building 1005,
    Anli Road No. 80,
    Chaoyang District,
    Beijing, China, 100101

    View full office info


  • Basadre 607,
    Office 208, Lima, Peru

    T +511 712 3772

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    LIMA

    Dry Cargo


    Basadre 607,
    Office 208, Lima, Peru

    T +511 712 3772

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  • Augusto Leguia Norte 100
    Office 710
    Las Condes
    7550155 Santiago
    Chile

    T +56 22 352 7100

    View full office info

    SANTIAGO

    Dry Cargo Tankers


    Augusto Leguia Norte 100
    Office 710
    Las Condes
    7550155 Santiago
    Chile

    T +56 22 352 7100

    View full office info


  • Inkognitogata 35,
    0256 Oslo
    Norway

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    OSLO

    Offshore


    Inkognitogata 35,
    0256 Oslo
    Norway

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