(Reuters) – Russia’s leading shipping company Sovcomflot plans to sell part of its fleet, it said on Friday, as it grapples with Western sanctions and seeks to repay outstanding loans.
Sovcomflot has faced growing challenges in concluding charters as ports, end purchasers, marine insurers and other freight companies pull back from Russian business amid sanctions imposed in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Lloyds List shipping newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources, that up to a third of Sovcomflot’s owned fleet was up for sale as it sought to repay Western loans.
Sovcomflot said the “rumours” about the sell-off of a third of its fleet were “exaggerated”.
“Ageing shipping facilities as well as vessels, usage of which seemed to be impossible due to restrictions imposed against Russian commercial fleet, have been put up for sale,” Sovcomflot said.
The company owns and operates 122 vessels, including 50 crude oil tankers, 34 tankers for transportation of oil products. 14 shuttle tankers, 10 gas carriers and 10 icebreakers.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)