Major shipping and finance players will consider the case for caution or investment in the light of current markets and the predicted impact of the credit crunch. Mr Arkas insists: “This is certainly not the right time to invest in new tonnage. Consolidation is the order of the day, with the focus on cost savings and cash flow. Dialogue, common sense and consensus should replace market share as the priority target. This would reduce the pain of tonnage overcapacity, ever-increasing costs and the shortage of shore facilities and human resources.”
On the other hand, Mr Arkas will highlight the need for investment from other quarters when he assesses container prospects in a shipping markets session on box, dry bulk and tanker trades in Turkey and the Black Sea. “The Black Sea has tremendous potential as confirmed by the current growth, but its major handicaps are inadequate shore facilities, antiquated customs regulations and an inland network ill-equipped to deliver efficiently the huge volume of traffic to consumer areas,” he warns.
Among other sessions, an overview of the economic background includes a keynote address by Metin Kalkavan, chairman of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, who will assess the impact on investments in service expansion, new-builds and sectors such as shipbuilding. In addition, Denizbank chief economist Saruhan Ozel will explain how to guard against risks.
Options for investment in Turkish shipping and shipbuilding will be explored in another keynote session, while a panel of ship-owners, bankers and lawyers will debate how Turkish shipping can diversify its future financing through options such as public listing in the US, UK or Asia, KG financing and private equity funding.
Organiser Lloyd’s List Events has also arranged a pre-conference masterclass on shipbuilding contracts on November 18. Full programme and registration details are available at www.shipfinanceevents.com/lm1062