Prospect Of Higher Shipping Freight Rates Aids Belgium’s CMB

cmb yasmine
CMB Yasmine, image: CMB

reuters_logo1BRUSSELS, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Shares of Belgian dry bulk shipping group CMB rose for a sixth consecutive day on Friday, bringing their gains in the past two weeks to almost a quarter, due to improved market sentiment and the prospect of even higher freight prices.

The Baltic Exchange’s Capesize Index, which tracks rates for the larger ships which make up more than half of CMB’s fleet, is at its highest level this year and analysts say rates could still edge higher.

“If we look at the forward market for the fourth quarter and 2014, we see that the market is also very positive, suggesting prices may rise further,” KBC Securities analyst Wouter Vanderhaegen said.

CMB’s Norwegian peer Golden Ocean, whose shares have also gained, said on Friday it expected a sharp rise in freight rates in 2014 and 2015 as demand rises and the supply of new ships slows down.

CMB’s shares were up 1.4 percent at 1220 GMT at 18.30 euros, some 23 percent above their level on Aug 13, the day before the rally began. The Baltic Capesize index hit a high of 2,312 points, some 28 percent higher than two weeks earlier. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)