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BarCap plans to charter fleet of ships
  FT - THU, JUN 26 2008
Funds & Investment Barclays Capital plans to charter its own fleet of ships within a year as the investment bank enters the volatile shipping market.

The bank wants to hire ships on long-term charter to move oil and refined products around the globe.

BarCap has been planning the project for two years and hired Mark Nankivell from Morgan Stanley two months ago as head of freight to put it into action.

The move comes as investment banks and hedge funds scramble to gain exposure to the shipping market. The price of hiring ships to transport oil and dry goods has swung sharply in recent months in a market dominated by family-run and private companies.

Most investment banks and hedge funds seek exposure to the choppy market by betting on whether prices will rise or fall using derivatives, not by controlling real ships.

Mr Nankivell said the motivation for hiring a fleet on a long-term basis ?? usually for three to five years ?? was to support the bank??s new venture in physical oil trading. With spot market rates so high and unpredictable, it is cheaper to ship the oil to customers oneself.

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