John Fredriksen Sees Crude-Tanker Market Recovery Two Years Away

John Fredriksen, the world’s wealthiest shipping investor, anticipates no recovery in crude-tanker markets for at least two more years, a senior executive at one of his companies said.

Markets for transporting refined fuels and dry-bulk commodities have better prospects than crude carriers, Fredriksen said in an interview with Reuters yesterday. Jens Martin Jensen, chief executive officer of Frontline Management AS, a company that operates the billionaire’s tankers, confirmed the remarks by e-mail today.

Owners of the vessels are contending with an oversupply that’s driven rates this year for the largest ships to the lowest since at least 1997, according to data from Clarkson Plc (CKN), the world’s largest shipbroker. Frontline Ltd. (FRO), one of Fredriksen’s tanker companies, said it may need to raise cash to repay a convertible bond due in April 2015 if crude oil shipping markets don’t recover in the short term.

Prospects for oil-rig rates for the next three to five years are also better, Fredriksen said. Seadrill Ltd. (SDRL), in which he’s the largest shareholder, is the biggest offshore drilling company by market value.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at

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