Gulf Navigation plans to acquire new vessels

Per Wistoft (SUPPLIED)

Gulf Navigation Holding, DFM-listed ship owning and maritime services company, aims to expand its fleet and acquire new ships in the near future, the company's CEO said yesterday.

"We are in the process of studying a potential new deal of purchasing more ships, but that will be announced when the deal is closed," said Per Wistoft, CEO, Gulf Navigation.

"Gulf Navigation is a cash-rich company, the thing that enables it to have a very strong position in the market and also allows it to keep its eyes opened in order to capture valuable opportunities, he said.

The company, the only maritime and shipping firm listed on the DFM, owns 15 tankers including new buildings and charters.

"One of our key responsibilities is to provide our customers with modern state-of-the-art products and services by using the best types of carriers that are suitable for the different types of oil and petrochemicals we lift," he said.

He said despite the tough times that the whole world has faced in the previous year Gulf Navigation was less affected as the company is partly focusing on long-term deals with international companies.

He also said that the petrochemical industry in general was not influenced as much in the recent recession, but in fact the whole industry will continue to grow in the future. This week, Gulf Navigation announced that the total lifting volumes recorded last year was 4.5 million tonnes of cargo, out of which 1.9 million tonnes was of crude oil (equivalent to around 14 million barrels), in addition to 1 million tonnes of petrochemicals and 1.6 million tonnes of dry cargo.

Gulf Navigation's stock is currently trading at a substantial discount on the DFM from what it was originally listed at. The firm went for an IPO in 2006 and was listed on DFM in 2007 at Dh1.1.

Yesterday, the stock price was Dh0.57 when trading on the market closed.

However, Wistoft denied the firm is looking for secondary listing. "We are not looking at secondary listing at the moment. Even though valuation of our stock has gone down, it has nothing to do with our cash positions, which continues to be strong," he said.

 

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