APICORP launches US$150 million shipping fund

shipArab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) has announced the establishment of a US$150mn shipping fund aimed at leveraging growth opportunities in the petroleum product tanker charter market

It has become the first investment fund to be established by APICORP, the multilateral development bank owned by the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The fund will be co-managed by Tufton Oceanic, a fund manager in the maritime and energy-related industries and also the first fund in the region aimed at a specific vessel category.

To date, it has acquired five medium-range petroleum product tankers, which will be employed in the regional and international tanker market for five years to help meet the projected upsurge in demand for petroleum product carriers.

Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Nuaimi, CEO of APICORP, said, “The fund helps companies meet their requirements for petroleum products transportation without burdening their balance sheets. At the same time, the fund provides a mechanism for regional investors to participate in a highly specialised investment class in international marine assets, that is not normally open to them.”

Marcus Machin, director, Tufton Oceanic, said, “The growth of rapidly industrialising mega-economies like China and India is expected to drive volumes of seaborne petroleum products in the next few years. Combined with changes in trade patterns, this is expected to lift product carrier demand growth above general global economic activity in the coming years.”

APICORP and Tufton Oceanic also served as joint co-ordinators for arranging debt funding for it from Standard Chartered, SMBC, Riyad Bank and Natixis. Standard Chartered and Natixis acted as the agent bank and the documentation agent respectively for the debt.

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