A Bangladeshi bulker operator is being linked to the purchase of two handymax bulkers.
Sources say the Dhaka-based Bashundhara Group has bought the Tsuneishi-built, 45,700-dwt Sunny Gloria (built 1998) for about $9.6m from Sojitz Marine of Japan and the Oshima-built 42,000-dwt Rogue (built 1991) for $5.8m from Soprano Shipping of Greece.
They add that the company is ramping up its fleet on the back of plans to expand its slag, limestone and clinker trade with Southeast Asia.
Bashudhara currently handles nearly one million tonnes of cargo each year but is slated to increase this to 1.5 million tonnes in the next year to meet the requirements of its captive cement factories and other customers.
The acquisitions bring to five the number of handymaxes bought by Bashundhara this year. It previously acquired the 42,000-dwt Kriton (renamed Atro-1, built 1990) for $8m from Nikator Navigation, 45,000-dwt Konkar Theo (renamed Atro-2, built 1994) for $10m from Konkar Shipping and 46,600-dwt Furia R (renamed Atro-3, built 1996) for $10.5m from Roussas JG Shipping.
Sources say the fall in secondhand ship values has made it possible for the Bangladeshi owner to grow its fleet.
In addition, it also owns three 1980s-built bulkers — the 46,000-dwt Bashundhara 1 and Bashundhara 2 (both built 1986) and 37,000-dwt Bashundhara 3 (built 1985). They are used to transport in-house cargoes.
Bashundhara was launched in 1987 as a real-estate developer but in the past five years has diversified into cement, paper, steel mills, dredging and food processing. In 2009, it launched a media wing that owns three newspapers.