Shipowners buying more vessels

Cash-rich maritime families from Greece, Hong Kong and Norway are buying more vessels after an industry slump reduced prices to historic lows, said Braemar Shipping Services Plc?s new chief executive officer.

Traditional, privately owned companies preserved money during the downturn, James Kidwell said on Wednesday by phone from London.

Returns plunged after record orders for new ships in 2007 and 2008, when hire costs were surging, resulted in a glut of vessels. [Bloomberg]