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Concordia dumps General Maritime shares

A WEAK tanker market has forced Swedish operator Concordia Maritime to divest itself of shares in General Maritime in the US. The Stockholm-listed operator, which is majority owned by the Stena Group, has sold its 1.5m shares in the company for SKr 80m ($1.5m). In a statement to the stock exchange Concordia president Hans Norén said the decision to sell was made in light of the weak prospects of tanker shipping with a structural problem on the supply side due to large scale deliveries of new tonnage and a too large orderbook. “Our assessment is that tanker shipping companies, which are active solely or partly in the so-called open market, have a difficult time ahead of them."We had previously written down the value of the shares so that the loss now realised does not affect the company’s position and we get cash infusion of more than $11m. As regards the trend of the market, we are not at all affected to the same extent since our whole fleet is signed to long-term charters,” he said. The company said the sale will not affect Concordia’s financial position as the shareholding only represented 3.5% of its total assets. New York based General Maritime operates a fleet of mainly Aframax and Suezmax tankers, including a number on long term charter from the Stena Group.

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