翻译：国际海事信息网 姜文杰 王雅媛 张运鸿
An analyst at S&P Global Platts is cautioning his readers about the impact rising interest rates may have on the shipping industry.
Jianrong Wong, a maritime analyst at Platts Ocean Intelligence, wrote on the company’s blog The Barrel that vessel loans are typically priced at a premium over the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate or LIBOR, which reached 2.3 percent in April, its highest level since November 2008.
“As LIBOR increases, stresses on shipping industry balance sheets, cash flows and earnings also rise. With rates still at relatively low levels in historic terms, further increases are likely, and for a highly capital-intensive sector like shipping, this will undoubtedly weigh heavily on already debt-laden companies,” he said.
“Shipping companies have accumulated more debt in recent years to fund a strong appetite for newbuild vessels, as well as mergers and acquisitions,” Wong said. “Among the publicly listed companies in the sector, there are a substantial proportion of junk-rated entities. Fifteen of 17 shipping firms have been given a speculative grade by S&P Global Ratings as of February 2018. Notably, these companies all have particularly weak leverage factor scores, which contribute a substantial proportion of the final rating.”
The February 13 S&P Global report cited by Wong said "global shipping is on course for recovery," noting that it believed that in 2018, demand in the three main segments of the global shipping industry (dry bulk, tankers, and containers) will outstrip supply for the first time in several years.