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January 5, 2004

Newbuildings boost London Club

The London P&I Club says the increasing amount of new tonnage being ordered by its members, and entered with the Club for P&I and FD&D risks, is confirmation of the current healthy state of the shipping industry, as well as being good news for the Club itself.

Twenty-five percent of the vessels entered with the London Club during the last twelve months have been newbuildings. Many of these have been entered by shipowners who have not previously bought new tonnage. The newbuildings have been split equally between tankers, bulk carriers and containerships.

Michael Hill, Underwriting Director of A Bilbrough & Co, managers of the London Club, says, "Shipping markets generally are going through a boom period at the moment. One consequence of that has been a huge demand on shipyards throughout the world for all types of vessels, with the result that many buyers now face a two-to-three-year wait for the delivery of newbuildings.

"Quality newbuildings are good for shipping, and they are good for the London Club. While properly maintained and carefully operated older vessels will always form a large and important section of the market, an influx of new tonnage can contribute to the continuing health and vibrancy of the industry. It is also a key component in the growth and development of the Club."

The influx of new tonnage has also helped lower the age profile of the London Club's entered fleet. The average age of Club vessels now stands at thirteen years, against a world average of eighteen years. More than forty percent of the Club's tonnage is less than ten years of age, and twenty percent is less than five years old.

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