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Banks Halt Lending to Dry-Bulk Shipping Companies, Genco Says

Banks stopped lending to companies owning ships that carry minerals and other dry-bulk commodities, said Robert Buchanan, president of Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd.

Following are comments by Buchanan and Chairman Peter Georgiopoulos on a conference call today. Genco, a New York-based operator of 53 dry-bulk vessels, yesterday reported a first-quarter net loss of $33.1 million on a 41 percent plunge in sales to $59.8 million.

“Banks are not lending” to dry-bulk shipping, Buchanan said. “You take a pool of banks -- I would bet you maybe 25 percent are actually still lending, and they are focusing on LNG and offshore.”

“We are bouncing around the bottom here,” the chairman said. “I think we’ve definitely hit bottom, and it’s just a matter now how long this bottom lasts.”

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