Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. (HSSI) has signed a financing agreement for access to up to US$2.5 million in credit facility to fund the marine services provider’s expansion plans and overseas operations.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, HSSI said it signed the agreement September 19 with Chailease International Financial Services Co. Ltd, a British Virgin Islands-based company providing leasing, installment, factoring, corporate direct loan, and off-shore financing services.
“The facility will be used to fund its expansion plans and operations of the Corporation overseas,” HSSI said.
In an email to PortCalls, HSSI said it “intends to use the credit facility to fund the Corporation’s tug acquisition for its Philippine operations and to allocate a portion as working capital for its Malaysia subsidiary, Peak Flag Sdn Bhd.”
HSSI chief executive officer Geronimo Bella, Jr. earlier said that this year, the company will focus mainly on its domestic operations, particularly Subic and Cebu, and marine diving and maintenance business.
A new tugboat arrived this year for its Subic operations under wholly owned subsidiary Harbor Star Subic Corporation, which provides marine-related ancillary services in the area.
Aside from local operations, Bella said they are slowly but continuously normalizing operations at their Malaysian venture, Peak Flag. The subsidiary officially began operating in February last year with two tugboats, M/T Hamal and M/T Mirzam, serving Malaysia’s major ports North Port and Kuantan Port.
In 2014, HSSI’s board approved the amendment of the Second Article of the company’s Articles of Incorporation seeking to change the firm’s primary and secondary purposes to pave the way for the expansion of its business activities.
In September last year, the company created a diving and marine maintenance unit to further develop and strengthen its business line.
It also incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary, Harbor Star Subic Corporation, which will offer marine-related ancillary services such as harbor assistance, towage, lighterage, oil-spill response, and underwater marine services to vessels and terminals operating within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
This year, HSSI signed an agreement with Guam Industrial Services, Inc. to establish a joint venture company that will operate several floating dry-dock facilities in the Philippines, with initial operations to start in the middle of 2017.
The marine services provider also purchased a waterfront property in Batangas to serve as its future marine base where its vessels can go for parking and repair, in a move expected to cut operational costs since the vessels no longer have to queue in other ports to load crane. The marine base will be open to other operators as well.
Just last month, HSSI secured its contractor’s license to engage in the contracting construction business. – Roumina Pablo
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