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Affinity Policy Comment 19 august 2019

 

US warrant trumped by Gibraltar

Gibraltar defies the US to finally release the detained Iranian tanker, while we look to the week ahead.

Tensions between Iran and the West may be winding down. Gibraltar has released the Iranian tanker, which had been detained for well over a month, having allegedly breached EU sanctions on Syria. The tanker, which was loaded with Iranian oil, was allegedly destined for a Syrian refinery, which is illegal under EU sanctions.

Tehran gave written assurances to Gibraltar’s government that the tanker would not be destined for countries ‘subject to European Union sanctions’ and is seemingly now headed for Greece.

The release had been on the cards for a while, but on Friday, a US court issued a warrant for the tanker’s seizure, citing violations of US-imposed sanctions, terrorism and money laundering statutes, and that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is designated as a terrorist organisation. But this was rejected by the Gibraltar government.

In a statement, it said, “The Central Authority’s inability to seek the Orders requested is a result of the operation of European Union law and the differences in the sanctions regimes applicable to Iran in the EU and the US.”

While Iran has yet to reciprocate and release the seized British tanker, its Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, has told reports that, should the US attempt any further seizures, it would have “grave consequences” and “endanger shipping safety”.

Such threats are hardly going to deter the US, but this may lead to Tehran relaxing its antagonistic behaviour in the Gulf of Oman, where shipowners had been deterred from sending their vessels, unless granted a war risk premium.

Bunkering demand at Fujairah, the hub in the Middle East, has fallen ever since the attacks in June, and it is yet to recover. Bunker prices have been falling due to a combination of falling crude oil prices and the low demand.

Looking ahead to this week, this weekend will see the G7 summit meet in Biarritz, where BoJo will take to the global stage as Prime Minister for the first time. On the agenda will be the Iran nuclear deal and how to tax the big multinational companies, such as Google and Facebook.

Needless to say, Brexit will be in the mix, too. Mr Johnson has yet to visit any European country since taking over as PM, leading to European leaders believing that he will take this opportunity to push for a no-deal Brexit. Mr Johnson has stressed that, unless the EU backs down on the backstop, the UK will leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal. Both the political and economic consequences of a no-deal Brexit is something for another time.

On Wednesday, the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting, during which it agreed to cut interest rates for the first time in over a decade, will be released. Trump has continued his tirade against the Fed and its chair, Jay Powell, saying that they acted too slowly and too weakly.

In terms of data, home sale numbers in the US will be released, as well inflation data from Japan. Analysts expect it to remain at 0.6 per cent, its two-year low and well short of the 2 per cent target. PMI from both France and Germany will also be released; the latter will be of particular interest after the German economy shrank by 0.1 per cent in Q2.

Affinity Research LLP

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    Our dry bulk chartering teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Santiago, Lima, Montevideo, 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

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    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: Sevita Kondyliou
    [email protected]
    +44(0) 3142 0182

    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, Montevideo, 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: Sevita Kondyliou
    [email protected]
    +44(0) 3142 0182

    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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