NEW YORK – Greek shipping magnate John Angelicoussis expects a positive impact on the shipping industry through the election of Donald Trump. Angelicoussis believes Trump will help create new business for the struggling shipping industry through his policies. The spending on infrastructure along with more energy production could create benefits for shipping according to Angelicoussis, as reported in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
He said in a WSJ interview, “There is no question that he is going to be positive for shipping in terms of infrastructure expansion. The US needs a hell of a lot of infrastructure.”
Angelicoussis’ three companies operate a fleet of 133 supertankers, dry bulk vessels, and liquefied-natural-gas carriers. The worth of the fleet is an estimated $6.9 billion. According to VesselsValue, a provider of shipping data, the fleet is the world’s sixth largest in value with most of the vessels chartered to oil and commodity companies, among them Exxon Mobile Corporation, BHP Billiton Ltd., and the Cargill Corporation.
Billionaire Angelicoussis in the last year has bought more dry bulk vessels than anyone else and has spent $1 billion on eight crude oil and LNG tankers just this June. President-elect Trump has promised to put billions of dollars into projects upgrading the US infrastructure. His plans to end global trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership could hurt the shipping industry during a period when global trade is slowing down. The World Trade Organization forecasts global trade to grow by just 1.7% for this year, its slowest growth pace since the financial crisis of 2008.
Angelicoussis is hopeful that Trump won’t set off a trade war with China. “Shipping lives off China,” Angelicoussis noted in the WSJ interview. “There will be no winners in a trade war. We should leave them alone and continue to trade.”
Since Trump’s election, the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of the cost to ship raw materials like cement, copper and iron ore, has risen at a steady pace, closing on November 17 at a 23-month high, as WSJ reported.
Angelicoussis pointed out that Trump’s plans to boost oil drilling and change export regulations will benefit his tanker business with ships importing heavy fuel for the US market and exporting lighter fuel around the world. “There will be far more activity in oil and gas,” Angelicoussis observed.
He also said that he expects the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make an agreement to cut production at their meeting on Nov. 30.
“Brent [a benchmark price for crude oil] is low at around $46 [per barrel] because most expect no agreement,” Angelicoussis noted. “But I think there will be one because OPEC needs it. A price of $50 to $60 is good for the Arabs because they can make money, but not overdo it.”
At that price he expects China and India to continue building up their oil reserves, noting that China is looking to double its 250 million barrels and India to boost its 100 million reserve barrels.
John Angelicoussis is the son of Anthony J. Angelicoussis (1918-1989) and Maria Papalios. Anthony J. Angelicoussis bought his first ship in 1953. In 1968, Anthony Angelicoussis and partner Dimitris Efthymiou founded the Agelef Shipping Company. John Angelicoussis joined his father’s company in 1973. He is ranked fifth in the world on Lloyd’s List of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Shipping Industry.