Iranian cargo ship sinking in Caspian sea, rescue under way

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…Chinese freighter seized with smuggled rare rosewood timber***

…As Globus Maritime Pens USD 13.5 Mn Loan***

Iranian News Agency ISNA reported, citing Iranian Navy, sinking of an Iranian freighter NARGOL in Capsian sea near Astara port entrance, southwest Caspian sea, Iran.

The ship left port at around noon Dec 20, bound for Azerbaijan, and somehow, under unknown circumstances, was breached, with ensuing water ingress.

Iranian Maritime Authorities and Navy are trying to rescue crew and salvage ship. As of 200 UTC NARGOL was afloat with AIS still on, two tugs nearby. Probably NARGOL was breached in collision with other vessel or ship, there’s unspecified Iranian vessel JIROFT at NARGOL side. 

In the meantime, General cargo ship FLYING with Chinese and Ghanaian crew was intercepted by Malagasy Military Forces after 2 hours pursuit in Antongil Bay, northeast Madagascar, on Dec 18.

The ship is a longtime suspect in smuggling rare rosewood timber, first time ship was caught in Jan 2015, under different name. FLYING was taken to Toamasina, Madagascar. Madagascar is trying to curb illegal rosewood cutting, and smuggling. Ship last AIS dated early Oct. 

Meanwhile, Greek dry bulk shipping company Globus Maritime Limited has refinanced two ships via a long-term credit facility inked with investment bank Macquarie through its global ship financing business.  

Glogus said that the loan was worth USD 13.5 million and that it carried a 5-year tenor and an interest rate of Libor + 4.25%.

“We are pleased to be working with Macquarie, and are looking forward to a long and fruitful cooperation,” Chief Executive Officer of Globus Maritime, Athanasios Feidakis, said.

“We welcome the emergence of new entrants into the ship finance landscape and are glad that this was a smooth and timely loan execution process.”

The refinancing is being announced a month after the company closed a USD 15 million revolving facility with Firment Shipping Inc.

Feidakis said earlier that the said activities were aimed at restoring the balance sheet and making available significant liquidity to the company as it looks at accretive acquisition opportunities.

After four years of losses, Globus managed to return to profit in the third quarter of 2018, which stood at USD 254,000. The return to profitability was assigned to cutting of operation costs and an improved sentiment across all sectors year-on-year. For the nine-month period the company reported a loss of USD 2.2 million.

Globus own and operate 5 vessels with a total carrying capacity of 300,571 dwt and a weighted average age of 10.6 years.

Fleetmon with additional report from World Maritime News