To many shipping players, buying at the bottom of the market and selling at the top is an aspiration.

For Avin International, it has become a habit.

Several brokers in Athens, London and the US are linking the company to the sale of two aframaxes which, if confirmed, would generate fabulous profit margins for the Greek owner.

Middle Eastern buyers are said to be spending $38m on the 110,800-dwt Kriti Galaxy (built 2006). Avin bought that vessel in January 2021 from Meiji Shipping for around $13m, as TradeWinds reported at the time.

Unidentified buyers are said to be swooping separately on another Avin ship, the coated, 106,100-dwt Kriti Bastion (built 2003) for between $30.5m and $31m.

Avin acquired that vessel about three years ago from Greek peer Arcadia Shipmanagement at a price of merely about $12.5m.

This is not even the first time that Avin, a company controlled by Greece’s Vardinoyiannis clan, is clinching such deals.

TradeWinds reported right after Christmas how the company agreed to sell the 151,800-dwt Kriti Breeze (built 2003) to undisclosed buyers for $30.5m, three years after acquiring the suezmax for just $13m.

Avin managers have yet to respond to a request for comment on any of these transactions.

However, their eventual confirmation would mean that the Greek company raked in a staggering combined gross profit of about $60m from the sale of three tankers that were built between 17 and 20 years ago.

Other sale-and-purchase moves by Avin reported by brokers in recent weeks are not as impressive in asset-play terms, but they are remarkable in their own right — a $23.5m deal to offload the 109,400-dwt LR2 Saint George (built 2002) and a demolition sale of the 45,400-dwt MR Theodoros IV (ex-Kriti Diamond, built 1999), reportedly at $605 per ldt.

Such deals come in handy for a company such as Avin as it replaces outgoing tonnage with a stream of ultra-modern tankers.

Business as usual

Tanker sales at top dollar have been very frequent in recent months, amid avid buying interest from Asia-based players unencumbered by Western sanctions against Russia.

However, only a handful of sellers achieved the impressive asset-play profit margins Avin has.

One of them is Westport Tankers, a Piraeus-based outfit that is believed to have sold at frothy prices all the five oil carriers it had previously bought during the tanker market’s downturn.

The most recent sales by Avin and other Greek players suggest that buying interest for such vessels remains unabated.

In one of them, Piraeus-based Kondinave is said to have agreed to sell to Middle Eastern interests the 112,800-dwt LR2 Leo (built 2010) for $43m.

That ship was previously trading as United Honor and was sold to Kondinave at below $20m less than three years ago, by the liquidators of the bankrupt fleet of Grigoris Callimanopulos.

Though impressive, the $43m that the Leo is believed to be fetching now still falls short of the eye-watering $47m that Thenamaris is said to have achieved last week from the sale of the even older 116,900-dwt Seamagic (built 2007) — an ice-class LR2 that has been trading dirty products lately.