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March 6, 2013
16:19 EDTORIG, DRYSDryShips says still bearish about short-term performance of shipping markets
The company said, "We continue to be bearish about the short-term performance of the shipping markets. Both tanker and drybulk spot charter rates continue to hover around historic lows. Unfortunately this comes at a time when most of our lucrative legacy charters expire. As we have mentioned in previous quarters, low-cost financing for traditional shipping assets is generally less available than before and therefore the optimization of our newbuilding programs is our top priority right now...Our shareholding in Ocean Rig has been our backstop. We recently sold down a portion of our holdings for approximately $120M. This action was not a preferred option (especially at today's pricing levels) but it was necessary. In addition, we have pledged some of our Ocean Rig shares to our banks to remedy covenant breaches. We continue to be bullish about the prospects for Ocean Rig. The backlog currently stands at $5.1B over three years and provides Ocean Rig with substantial cash flow visibility and growth. Given strong industry fundamentals, we expect to further increase our already substantial backlog by entering into long-term contracts for remaining units."
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