MARITIME CEO FORUM
Would President Trump be good for tankers? The first Maritime CEO Forum had very strong, favourable feedback from delegates
s any conference organiser will tell you, getting audience participation is both vital and tricky. When, however, you have Frank Coles, the never dull ceo of Transas on hand, an entertaining, interactive event tends to be on the cards. Coles’ hand popped up to ask the very first question at the inaugural Maritime CEO Forum held in Singapore’s iconic Fullerton Hotel. Would any of the panellists on
the tanker session vote for Donald Trump and what impact would he have on the tanker trades if he won the US presidency, Coles – who is half American – asked. Frans van de Bospoort, managing director of ship finance in the eastern hemisphere for DVB Bank, said Trump being elected would create “uncertainty and unrest”. He cited a regular client of his, Angeliki Frangou, who often says: “What’s bad for the world is good for the tanker market.” Alan Hatton, ceo of First Ship Lease Trust, agreed, saying there would be “positive repercussions” for the tanker markets were Trump elected. Tim Huxley, ceo of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, commented on the US primaries, “When you look at the crop of candidates you’ve got, you’d pick the dog with least fleas.” The tanker session was imbued with a sense of cautious optimism from both panellists and delegates,
and set the tone for what was a lively three other sessions to follow. Van de Bospoort said his bank was bullish on tankers. Kenny Rogers, who heads up IMC’s chemical logistics division which includes 28 tankers, saw a solid year ahead for his sector, which could see the Singapore owner order more vessels. On the crude side, Wah Kwong’s Huxley said: “I’m with Paddy Rogers [the ceo of Euronav] – go buy some Euronav shares but for God’s sake don’t put a fund together to go and order a load of ships.” Hatton from FSL was of a similar opinion for product tankers. The sector had been “reasonably resilient” in the past year, but owners must shy away from ordering more vessels, he said. Hatton also observed of the product sector: “Talk of a two-tier market from all the new ecoships has not come to fruition and looks like it never will do.” The “elephant in the room” on the crude side, according to former broker Huxley was all the maritime ceo
The latest issue of Maritime CEO magazine is a distinctly Greek flavoured edition timed to coincide with next month’s Posidonia exhibition i...