JPMorgan eyes $700m shipping fund(4)

The fund will reportedly invest in distressed shipping assets and provide expansion capital to shipping companies. It is at least the third shipping-focused fund to be disclosed in recent months, following similar plans by Kuwait Finance House and M2M Management.

JPMorgan Asset Management plans to raise between $500 million and $700 million for a private equity fund, which will invest in distressed shippers and debt-ridden fleet operators.

A spokeswoman confirmed the plans, but declined to give more details.

Ships: valuable assets

The fund will primarily invest in three types of vessels: dry bulk carriers, oil tankers and offshore vessels and will also support the expansion of shipping companies, according Indian daily newspaper The Economic Times.

The capital will be raised mainly from institutional investors in India and other Asian countries, the newspaper said. JPMorgan is not the first asset manager to consider launching a shipping-focused fund.

This month, Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) formed a joint venture with Cyprus’ SGS Group to launch a $150 million sharia-compliant private equity fund focused on shipping. It will make investments in shipping assets and primarily in vessels to be chartered on a long-term basis. 

And in February, London-based shipping-focused hedge fund M2M Management said it was launching a $400 million distressed vessel acquisition fund, Global Maritime Assets (GMA).