The Dubai-headquartered shipping company Gulf Navigation has been granted more time to negotiate the sale of one of its very large crude carriers (VLCC) after it was seized by banks last month.
The vessel Gulf Sheba was seized by Norwegian bank DNB as it was discharging at the port of Rotterdam in September.
DNB issued a notice for its arrest, citing default in repayment of debts due at the end of July as the reason for the seizure. Both DNB and French bank BNP Paribas financed the purchase of Gulf Sheba.
A Rotterdam court has now ruled that lenders cannot immediately insist on the forced auction of the vessel. The vessel will remain arrested until a decision surrounding the sale of the ship has been reached.
Following the seizure of Gulf Sheba, the shipping company had another ship, Gulf Eyadah, seized by DNB and Dutch bank DVB while it was docked at Port Bahama.
Gulf Navigation is currently appointing lawyers to challenge the arrest of the ship.
The shipping company has been struggling over the past year and has consistently posted losses for the last three years
For the first half of 2013, it posted a net loss of AED29.7m. ($8.1m) In 2012, the company posted a net loss of AED147.8m. Gulf Navigation then blamed the losses on tough conditions in the VLCC shipping sector, as well as the increasing cost of financing.