Ariston Navigation

The managers of the Sea Stallion Pool have set their sights on commercially managing a fleet of approximately 40 modern handysize bulkers. According to Oliver Harms, the Director of Chartering and Operations at German shipping company Aug Bolten, the expansion is expected to come from existing and non-pool members who are attracted by Hamburg-based Sea Stallion Pool’s ability to outperform the market. Aug Bolten, which is the commercial manager of the pool, has been expanding and recently added a fifth ship from its newest member, Athens-based shipowner and operator M/Maritime, to bring the total number of bulk carriers in the pool to 27. Although Greek John Mytilineos-backed M/Maritime entered the Sea Stallion Poo with 2019 built handysize bulk carrier 37K DWT MV Charisma GR at the end of April, the Sea Stallion Pool managers have expressed their ambition to expand Sea Stallion by up to 10 bulk carriers, increasing the fleet to about 40 bulk carriers. Sea Stallion Pool was founded in 2013 by Greek Xylas-family controlled Ariston Navigation. Sea Stallion Pool is teamed up with Lydia Mar, the Piraeus-based affiliate of Aug Bolten, which is controlled by Gerhard Binder. Aug Bolten is Germany’s second-oldest shipping company. Sea Stallion Pool began operating with a fleet of just eight (8) eco-optimized 36K DWT handysize bulk carriers.

Today, Sea Stallion Pool has six (6) members, but Oliver Harms expressed they want to remain a medium-sized, owners-minded pool. Other members include Castleton Commodities Shipping. Athens-based shipowner and operator M/Maritime, which joined in October, is the newest member. M/Maritime has five (5) bulk carriers in the handysize pool, as well as two more under construction that will be included. Oliver Harms said that further growth is likely should existing pool members take on new projects, either through time charters or acquisitions. But he believes the key to attracting new members could be the excellent performance of the pool, which has consistently outperformed the market. Bulk carriers in the pool earned 22% over the benchmark Baltic Exchange Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI), which measures time charter rates for 28,000-dwt, non-scrubber fitted geared bulkers. The bulk carriers earn up to 8% over the more recently introduced Baltic Exchange Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI 38), which measures rates for similar ships of 38K DWT. Despite the current market being pretty low, Oliver Harms still believes that in the second part of the year and going forward, the fundamentals for the handysize market are not too bad. The market for handysizes this week remains in the doldrums at about $7,623 per day, according to the Baltic Exchange Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI 38), and $5,711 for the BHSI. The bulk carriers are mainly operated in the spot market but obtain a small premium owing to their fuel-efficient, eco-friendly designs. Oliver Harms is optimistic that the prospects for the handysize bulker market remain positive. Sea Stallion Pool members have invested in the handysize sector for the long term, not for short-term asset play, and this provides some stability to the pool going forward. The Sea Stallion Pool is one of several cooperative measures involving Aug Bolten. In April, Sea Stallion Pool teamed up with MPC Capital’s bulker technical management joint venture Ahrenkiel Vogemann Bulk, which manages 17 ships. 13-May-2019


Ariston Navigation controlled 2015 built handy bulk carrier 36K DWT MV Alkyon will be sold subsequent critical legal fight. MV Alkyon is owned by Stallion Eight Shipping. MV Alkyon has been waiting at an anchorage area near Falmouth, UK. MV Alkyon will be sold on 18 June 2019 through sealed tenders. NatWest Markets (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland) are published as the petitioners by high court order. Greek Stallion Eight Shipping failed in a high court appeal. Stallion Eight Shipping had disputed MV Alkyon should be released unless the bank presented a cross-undertaking in damages for the loss emerging from the arrest. In March 2018, NatWest Markets (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland) informed the shipowner that the market value of the MV Alkyon was around $15 million. Therefore, the bank asked extra security for around $1.7 million. Stallion Eight Shipping opposed that appraisal and provided by the bank with higher estimates. NatWest Markets (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland) seized MV Alkyon in the UK on the basis of the appraisal assigned by shipbrokers. Greek Stallion Eight Shipping has referred to numerous other appraisals by fairly prominent shipbrokers that find MV Alkyon was worth up to $3 million higher at the time. MV Alkyon’s arrest could have been avoided because the loan-to-value shortfall would not have existed at all or would have been extremely lower than the $1.7 million directed by moneylenders. Greek Stallion Eight Shipping defended on the grounds that the bank’s appraisal was much substantially off-market and not in compliance with the mortgage terms. Stallion Eight Shipping claimed that the bank did not utilize its authorities in good faith or in pursuit of lawful commercial aims. Stallion Eight Shipping challenged that a conceivably catastrophic damage occurred as the unique income-producing ship is out of operation. UK appeal court acknowledged that to uphold Stallion Eight Shipping’s appeal would run counter to the principle that a petitioner in rem may arrest as of right. 10-May-2019