Recent success of London-listed maritime firms is giving the London Stock Exchange (LSE) added confidence that it can bring together more shipping businesses with investors wanting exposure to booming markets.
LSE’s Tom Attenborough said that while the market was proud of its maritime heritage, it was excited about the future, especially the growing momentum about investing in sustainable businesses.
He was speaking at the LSE where shipping minister Robert Courts opened the market at the start of this year's London International Shipping Week.
“At the London Stock Exchange, we are at the heart of the ecosystem of professional services that supports the maritime sector,” said Attenborough, who is head of international business development at LSE.
“We are proud to be part of the City’s maritime heritage, but really excited to be part of the future.”
In May, dry bulk owner Taylor Maritime raised over $250m from an initial public offering in London, and then two months later raised a further $75m.
It followed the growing momentum behind maritime investment fund Tufton Oceanic Assets, which floated in 2017 and has been back to the market to raise more money five times since then.
While London has a small pool of maritime companies some, such as shipbroker Clarksons, are world leaders.
Clarksons' ClarkSea shipping market benchmark index has been on a record run, clocking up monthly increases as container and dry bulk markets have boomed.
Attenborough said the market saw an exciting year ahead with the United Nations’ COP26 conference in Glasgow in November bringing more attention on how industry can decarbonise.
“We are very keen on sustainability and the road to net zero. It is where our world’s come together,” he added.
Courts, who has been shipping minister for just a year and one week, said he was pleased to be at the ceremony, and especially pleased to be there in person.
“This week will be an opportunity to celebrate the maritime sector and where it is heading,” he commented.
Since the last London Shipping Week two years ago, shipping had shown collective strength in mitigating the impact of the crew change crisis, said Nikos Gazelidis, global head marine at crew travel group ATPI, one of the sponsors of the market opening ceremony.
“We faced an unprecedented crew change crisis, but the shipping industry responded,” he said. “We came together and united to ease the bottlenecks.”