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Seanergy eyes lift from Ukraine fallout and Brazil exports

Greece-based owner of 17 capesizes is among listed dry bulk owners that have restored dividend payouts

The fallout from the situation in Ukraine and events relating to exports from Brazil are likely to bode well for Seaenergy. The company says its focus is on rewarding shareholders

SEANERGY Martitime is expecting events stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to contribute to an even stronger market in its sector this year.

Executives at the Greece-based capesize bulker owner voiced optimism after a record fourth-quarter and full-year performance in 2021 that prompted it to reinstate a dividend for shareholders.

Seanergy posted net income of $41.3m for the year, of which $20.6m came in the fourth quarter.

Accounting for non-cash items such as stock-based compensation and loss on debt extinguishment, adjusted net income for the quarter reached $27.9m and for the full year came to $53.3m.

Seanergy declared a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share, consisting of a regular dividend and a special dividend.

Chief executive Stamatis Tsantanis said that the dividend had been looked at “for quite some time” and had been a priority for the company after repurchasing a convertible note.

The dividend represented a 16-17% yield on an annualised basis and was based on the company’s available cash, he said, adding the company would wait until current volatility diminished to give the special dividend component a “more concrete” formula.

Chief financial officer Stavros Gyftakis said the main focus was on rewarding shareholders.

Last year saw the company acquire seven additional capesizes from the secondhand market. “We have plenty of liquidity right now to continue rewarding our shareholders and, possibly, look to buy one or two ships sometime in 2022,” he said. “But there is absolutely nothing right on the horizon. I mean, we focus on rewarding our shareholders right now.”

Mr Tsantanis expressed “deep regret” for the war in Ukraine but said that an initial assessment of the impact of sanctions on Russia was “quite positive” for capesize trades.

It was one of two “super-major events” fuelling the owner’s optimism, the other being expectations of a surge in Brazilian ore exports.

With sanctions on Russian coal exports “up to 50m tonnes a year might be diverted from much, much longer distances,” he said.

Second, guidance from Brazilian miner Vale was that ore exports “need to effectively double up from now until year-end in order to meet the target,” he said. “We expect a massive increase of long-term miles. In our opinion, these two super important events will have a major role on the bigger dry bulk ships.”

“Our ships are in great demand,” Mr Tsantanis said, but Seanergy was unlikely to shift back to the spot market after 11 new time-charter deals has left all 17 vessels in the fleet with index-linked period employment.

One of the benefits of the shift to period employment was that it reduced the owner’s exposure to rising fuel prices, said Mr Tsantanis.

“I think that a lot of ships will be slowing down altogether, which is going to help supply.”

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