By 15 May, 2009

 JP Morgan Asset Management is planning to raise $750 million (around Rs 3,700 crore) under a sector-focused fund targeting investments in shipping industry, reports Economic Times. The fund will be raised primarily from institutional investors in India and other Asian countries.

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The report adds that the fund may target both distressed assets in the recession-wrecked shipping industry as well as support shipping companies in their expansion plans.

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The investments will be focused on dry bulk carriers, oil tankers and container ships and offshore vessels. The strategy is to buy lower-priced shipping assets (ships, tankers and dry bulk carriers) and lease it to companies that need marine transport infrastructure. 

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Indian shipping companies are looking to raise around Rs 94,000 crore over the next four years to meet various operational needs, including replacing ageing fleet and expanding operational network. Although the global recessionary conditions have impacted the overall shipping industry, it has not led to any severe dent for Indian cargo shipping business.

Shipping Deals

Morgan Stanley is one of the largest fund house in the shipping sector and Japan is one of the top shipping fund markets. Besides funding and at times chartering vessels to lease out, these investment companies also deal in shipping derivatives (that have shipping goods, as the underlying security).

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König & Cie. Asia Advisors Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of German investment firm König & Cie, recently opened an office in Mumbai. The investment firm said that it would focud on making shipping investments in India. 

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