zoom Monaco-based tanker owner Scorpio Tankers has seen its net income for the first quarter of 2016 drop to USD 28 million, in line with forecasts, compared to a net income of USD 40.7 million reported in the corresponding period in 2015.The company added that its vessel revenue for the period reached USD 165.1 million, while it was at USD 160.7 million in the first quarter of 2015.Scorpio Tankers said that diluted earnings per share were at USD 0.18, while its dividend was at USD 0.125 per share.In March, Scorpio Tankers amended and restated its previously announced USD 87 million credit facility with ING Bank N.V. to increase the borrowing capacity to USD 132.5 million.The facility bears interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 1.95 percent per annum, and the proceeds from the upsizing were used in April to partially finance the purchase of an LR2 product tanker STI Lombard and refinance the existing indebtedness on STI Osceola.The company further said that during the first quarter of 2016 it made USD 72.3 million of installment payments on its newbuilding vessels.Scorpio Tankers currently has 11 newbuilding vessel orders, eight of which are MRs and three are LR2s. The vessels will be built by DHSC, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co., Ltd. and Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd.
UN peacekeeper presence increased following attack on Côte d’Ivoire military checkpointAddressing a news briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, the spokesperson said that unidentified gunmen opened fire from a vehicle at an Ivorian armed forces checkpoint in the village of Iribo, 90 kilometres from Abidjan, on 25 August. One Ivorian soldier, two attackers and one civilian were killed in the ensuing gun battle. The incident comes in the wake of the Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2062, in July 2012, in which it requested that the peacekeeping operation in the country – the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) – reduce its military presence by the equivalent of one battalion. However, the recent outburst of violence has prompted the UN to examine the mission’s deployment in the country, the spokesperson told reporters. “UNOCI and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations are carefully re-assessing current threats and risks and operational requirements,” the spokesperson said, adding that “based on this assessment, the UN Mission will develop a plan for the responsible reduction of its uniformed personnel to ensure that it can respond to the evolving situation and effectively implement its mandate.” This latest incident follows a series of recent attacks against military bases and installations in the country which have caused numerous casualties. On 5 August, an unidentified armed group attacked the military camp of the Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (known by the French acronym FRCI) in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Akouédo around 3:30 a.m. The attack left seven soldiers from the national army dead and seriously injured another dozen troops. The group reportedly took arms and ammunition from the armoury before leaving the camp. The other attacks targeted a police station and a checkpoint in Yopougon, Abidjan, and an FRCI camp in Abengourou, in the east of the country. There were reportedly no casualties in Abengourou, but five FRCI elements were reportedly killed in the checkpoint attack in Yopougon. UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace process in the country, which was split by civil war in 2002 into a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south. In the aftermath of the post-election violence that followed the 2010 presidential polls, the peacekeeping mission is assisting the West African country with a number of key tasks, including the restoration of law and order, national reconciliation, the holding of legislative elections, and economic recovery.