First International

First of many


For shipping finance veteran Paul Slater, Eastwind Maritime's bankruptcy is just the beginning of a raft of insolvencies.

Paul SlaterHe told TradeWinds Wednesday that the Chapter 7 filing is the "first of many to come" in a shipping industry that at the moment is just "moving the deck chairs on the Titanic."
"I think that nearly half the public shipping companies will be insolvent in the next 12 months," he said on the sidelines of the Marine Money Week conference in New York.

As TradeWinds reported earlier Wednesday, New York owner Eastwind filed for liquidation in a federal court in New York.

The filing came a day after Nordea bank said it took over 13 vessels and sold them to Sammy Ofer's Samama. It also follows a number of setbacks for Eastwind, including vessel arrests, lawsuits and the loss of a major management contract.

Slater, the chief executive of financial consultancy First International, said he is unaware of the details of Eastwind's case.

But he said the shipping industry is living in the false hope of a coming market recovery.

By Eric Martin in New York
Published: 15:52 GMT, 24 Jun 2009 | last updated: 16:01 GMT, 24 Jun 2009

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