Shipbrokers challenge new Baltic Exchange panel rules


Several key dry bulk shipbrokers have formed the Competitive Ship Brokers Limited (CSBL) association to protest that their best interests are not being represented in merger discussions between the Baltic and Singapore Exchanges.

The Baltic Exchange provides freight indices to the dry bulk and tanker shipping markets that operate on a panellist system on which these shipbrokers and others sit.

But as part of the merger process with the Singapore Exchange, the Baltic Exchange has distributed a more restrictive agreement that would stop panellists from providing data to third parties.

This could control the distribution of data to the shipping industry, CSBL chairman Gary Weston said.

Some large owners and charterers keep indices provided by brokers for their own reference. Other sources including news agencies, price reporting agencies and new sources such as the Capesize Chartering app, provide data for participants to build a clear independent picture of the market.

The current panellists’ set up is informal and voluntary with no binding agreements and participants are not under data restrictions.

“We’re not stopping production of the indices and will continue to give rates [while the situation continues],” Weston said.

CSBL also complains that the document was presented without consultation with the panellists.

There may have been consultation, but it did not involve any of the CSBL members, who make up 7/12ths of the Baltic Capesize panel, Weston said.

The Baltic Exchange has recognised the new organisation and is willing to discuss the new panellists’ agreement.

“It is our intention to agree with Singapore Exchange a standard panellist contract that addresses all issues of significance for panellists (including those which have been raised by CSBL), whilst also outlining proposals to enhance the governance and independence of the Baltic,” Baltic Exchange chairman Guy Campbell said.

The CSBL members include Arrow, Banchero Costa, Barry Rogliano Salles, Fearnleys, Hartland, Ifchor, Lorentzen and Stemco, Rigel and Thurlestone.

Source: Argus (http://www.argusmedia.com/news/article/?id=1259110)

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