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WHO WE ARE

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

Affinity Policy Comment 08 October 2018

 

“Africa … needs strong institutions” – Obama.
The continent’s countries have been borrowing much more over the last decade, with rising concern around their future


We focus on Africa this week, a continent with excellent economic growth prospects in the long term, but still under strong distress. Most of these countries still pay probably some of the highest borrowing costs, even after some recent debt relief, due to fresh capital-raising during the last couple of years. Average payments on external debt hit 12 per cent of revenues among African governments last year, the highest since 2001.

In parallel to falling commodity prices from mid-2014 and the much stronger USD, borrowing increased rapidly once again. Across developed economies, external debt cost averaged at 9.6 per cent of their government revenues last year. The IMF has primarily been responding to debt crises by supplying loans, but without any effort to restructure these economies to reduce debt altogether. Since the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative was launched in 1996 by the World Bank and the IMF, 36 countries (the majority of them in Africa) were relieved of USD 99 Bn in debt. According to S&P, this initiative, which aimed to ensure that no developing country would be left with unmanageable debt, “failed to permanently reduce debt service burdens”.

African countries have been borrowings more via both bonds and loans in recent years. The world’s poorest countries’ avid borrowing is increasing the risk of debt crises, according to the IMF, after pointing to  the growing trend earlier this year. Over the last five years, the ratio of public debt to GDP across the poorest countries increased 13 percentage points to 47 per cent in 2017, according to the IMF.

These increasing costs are mainly attributable to private lenders, with private creditors receiving more than half of interest payments, even if their share of African governments’ debt stands close to 33 per cent. China alone is owed about 20 per cent of African nations’ external government debt, receiving 17 per cent of interest payments. Apart from donor financing and China, African economies have been recently increasing their reliance on international and domestic bond markets.





Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo hit the nail on the head during the state visit of French president Macron back in December. When asked what Paris proposed to do for Africa, the 74-year-old leader replied that the country should focus on life “beyond aid”. “It is not right for a country like Ghana, 60 years after independence, to still have its health and education budgets being financed on the basis of the generosity and charity of the European taxpayer. By now we should be able to finance our basic needs ourselves.”

The country has to draw its own development path without allowing any donors to set its priorities. Ghana has been receiving much less aid than other poorer countries, but is still supported by bilateral donations from the EU, primarily France and Denmark. Aid from the US comes through the Millennium Challenge Corporation aid agency, which has been pumping USD 498 Mn into Ghana’s electricity sector, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports agriculture and health programmes.

Ghana has been democratic since 1993 and since fostered a diversified economy, seeing industries such as gold, cocoa, tourism and some recently discovered oil. Together with neighbouring Ivory Coast, the two countries control about 60 per cent of the global raw cocoa market, but see only a smidge of the profits, competing for just USD 6 Bn of a USD 140 Bn market dominated by multinationals.

After a sharp fall in commodity prices, Ghana went to the IMF in 2015 for a three-year loan of nearly USD 1 Bn. The new government is now preparing the country’s economy for after this period, as this IMF funding project nears its end next year.  

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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Our locations


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

    T +44 (0)203 142 0100

    View full office info

    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

    View full office info


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

    T +65 6805 8760

    View full office info

    SINGAPORE

    Dry Cargo S & P Tankers


    72 Anson Road
    #13–03 Anson House
    Singapore
    079911

    T +65 6805 8760

    View full office info


  • Level 8
    420 St Kilda Road
    Melbourne
    VIC 3004
    Australia

    T +61 398 671 466

    View full office info

    MELBOURNE

    Dry Cargo


    Level 8
    420 St Kilda Road
    Melbourne
    VIC 3004
    Australia

    T +61 398 671 466

    View full office info


  • 8/38 Colin Street
    West Perth
    WA 6005
    Australia

    T +61 892 260 618

    View full office info

    PERTH

    Dry Cargo


    8/38 Colin Street
    West Perth
    WA 6005
    Australia

    T +61 892 260 618

    View full office info


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

    T +61 299 378 800

    View full office info

    SYDNEY

    Dry Cargo


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

    T +61 299 378 800

    View full office info


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

    View full office info

    SEOUL

    Newbuilding LNG S & P


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

    View full office info


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

    T +852 2154 2237

    View full office info

    HONG KONG

    Tankers


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

    T +852 2154 2237

    View full office info


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

    T +1 832 925 7500

    View full office info

    HOUSTON

    Tankers


    1301 McKinney Street
    Suite 2975
    Houston, Texas
    77010, USA

    T +1 832 925 7500

    View full office info


  • Marco Polo Parkside Building 1204,
    Anli Road No. 80,
    Chaoyang District,
    Beijing, China, 100101

    View full office info

    BEIJING

    LNG Tankers


    Marco Polo Parkside Building 1204,
    Anli Road No. 80,
    Chaoyang District,
    Beijing, China, 100101

    View full office info


  • Av. Jorge Basadre 356,
    San Idro, Lima
    Peru

    T +51 1777 8944

    View full office info

    LIMA

    Dry Cargo


    Av. Jorge Basadre 356,
    San Idro, Lima
    Peru

    T +51 1777 8944

    View full office info


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

    T +56 22 352 7100

    View full office info

    SANTIAGO

    Dry Cargo


    Augusto Leguia Norte 100
    Office 710
    Las Condes
    7550155 Santiago
    Chile

    T +56 22 352 7100

    View full office info


  • Misiones St. 1372,
    1st Floor "De Los Patricios" Building,
    11000 Montevideo, Uruguay

    View full office info

    MONTEVIDEO

    Dry Cargo


    Misiones St. 1372,
    1st Floor "De Los Patricios" Building,
    11000 Montevideo, Uruguay

    View full office info


  • Inkognitogata 35,
    0256 Oslo
    Norway

    View full office info

    OSLO

    Offshore


    Inkognitogata 35,
    0256 Oslo
    Norway

    View full office info