Major product tanker player Hafnia has followed through on long-announced plans for a dual listing in the US.

The BW Group-controlled company filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission late on Wednesday to trade shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hafnia, which owns and operates more than 200 vessels, said its shares will continue trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange and that it does not plan to issue any new shares in connection with its planned US listing.

According to the filing, Hafnia intends to apply to have its common shares listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol HAFN.

“Further information about the listing on the NYSE will be provided in due course,” the company said.

Hafnia has hired three law firms as legal advisers: Advokatfirmaet Thommessen in Norway, Conyers Dill & Pearman Limited in Bermuda and Vedder Price PC in the US.

Earlier this month, the BW Group was considering selling up to 26m shares in Hafnia, or 5.1% of the company, partly to boost the stock’s trading liquidity ahead of the mooted US dual listing.

Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group at the 2023 Pareto conference in Oslo. Photo: Andy Pierce

After the sale and according to Hafnia’s SEC filing filed late on 27 March, the BW Group controls 43% of the company.

Hafnia becomes the second Oslo-listed shipping company to seek a dual US listing in recent months. Greek-controlled tanker player Okeanis Eco Tankers completed the move in December.

BW chairman Andreas Sohmen-Pao has been described as a giant of the Oslo Stock Exchange, with seven public companies listed in the Norwegian capital.

Besides the Norwegian state, BW Group is one of the largest collectors of dividends from firms listed in Oslo, according to Pareto.

However, Sohmen-Pao has been critical of the exchange and has been frustrated by some issues of late.

Addressing the challenges, Sohman-Pao told a Pareto conference last September: “One of the reasons Oslo has been so good is because it’s been very agile.

“We see some of that getting lost — maybe because of the Euronext takeover and being part of a bigger system,” he speculated.

Euronext owns stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, Dublin, and Milan. It took over the Oslo exchange in 2019.

Sohmen-Pao also cited the struggles of the Norwegian kroner as a second challenge facing the Oslo capital markets system. He said the currency has lacked stability despite Norway’s relatively strong economy.

“We are starting to see investors in other parts of the world saying ‘we don’t want to take so much kroner risk’,” he said.

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