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Throughout this report, the "Company", "Ship Finance", "we", "us" and "our" all refer to Ship Finance International Limited and its subsidiaries. We use the term deadweight ton, or dwt, in describing the size of the vessels. Dwt, expressed in metric tons, each of which is equivalent to 1, kilograms, refers to the maximum weight of cargo and supplies that a vessel can carry. We use the term twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEU, in describing container vessels to refer to the number of standard twenty foot containers that the vessel can carry, and we use the term car equivalent units, or CEU, in describing car carriers to refer to the number of standard cars that the vessel can carry.

Our selected income statement and cash flow statement data with respect to the fiscal years ended December 31, , and and our selected balance sheet data with respect to the fiscal years ended December 31, and have been derived from our consolidated financial statements included in Item 18 of this annual report, prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, which we refer to as US GAAP. The selected income statement and cash flow statement data for the fiscal years ended December 31, and and the selected balance sheet data for the fiscal years ended December 31, , and have been derived from our consolidated financial statements not included herein.

The following table should be read in conjunction with Item 5. Year Ended December Income Statement Data:. Total operating revenues. Net operating income. Net income. Earnings per share, basic. Earnings per share, diluted. Dividends declared. Dividends declared per share. Balance Sheet Data at end of period :. Cash and cash equivalents. Vessels and equipment, net including newbuildings. Investment in direct financing and sales-type leases including current portion. Investment in associated companies including loans. Total assets. Share capital. Stockholders' equity. Common shares outstanding.

Weighted average common shares outstanding. Cash Flow Data:. Cash provided by operating activities. Cash provided by used in financing activities. Our assets are primarily engaged in transporting crude oil and oil products, drybulk and containerized cargos, and in offshore drilling and related activities.

The following summarizes the risks that may materially affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Risks Relating to Our Industry. The seaborne transportation industry is cyclical and volatile, and this may lead to reductions in our charter rates, vessel values and results of operations.

The international seaborne transportation industry is both cyclical and volatile in terms of charter rates and profitability. The degree of charter rate volatility for vessels has varied widely. Fluctuations in charter rates result from changes in the supply and demand for vessel capacity and changes in the supply and demand for energy resources, commodities, semi-finished and finished consumer and industrial products internationally carried at sea.

If we enter into a charter when charterhire rates are low, our revenues and earnings will be adversely affected. In addition, a decline in charterhire rates is likely to cause the market value of our vessels to decline. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully charter our vessels in the future or renew our existing charters at rates sufficient to allow us to operate our business profitably, meet our obligations or pay dividends to our shareholders. The factors affecting the supply and demand for vessels are outside of our control, and the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions are unpredictable.

Factors that influence demand for vessel capacity include:. Factors that influence the supply of vessel capacity include:. Demand for our vessels and charter rates are dependent upon, among other things, seasonal and regional changes in demand and changes to the capacity of the world fleet. We believe the capacity of the world fleet is likely to increase, and there can be no assurance that global economic growth will be at a rate sufficient to utilize this new capacity.

Continued adverse economic, political or social conditions or other developments could further negatively impact charter rates, and therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and ability to pay dividends. The current state of the world financial markets and current economic conditions may result in a general reduction in the availability of loan finance, which would have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, and could cause the market price of our common shares to decline.

Global financial markets and economic conditions have been, and continue to be, volatile. Recently, operating businesses in the global economy have faced tightening credit, weakening demand for goods and services, deteriorating international liquidity conditions, and declining markets. There has been a general decline in the willingness by banks and other financial institutions to extend credit, particularly in the shipping industry, due to the historically volatile asset values of vessels.

As the shipping industry is highly dependent on the availability of credit to finance and expand operations, it has been negatively affected by this decline. Also, as a result of concerns about the stability of financial markets generally and the solvency of counterparties specifically, the cost of obtaining money from the credit markets has increased as many lenders have increased interest rates, enacted tighter lending standards, refused to refinance existing debt at all or on terms similar to current debt and reduced, and in some cases ceased, to provide funding to borrowers.

Due to these factors, we cannot be certain that financing will be available if needed and to the extent required, on acceptable terms. If financing is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to meet our obligations as they come due or we may be unable to enhance our existing business, complete additional vessel acquisitions or otherwise take advantage of business opportunities as they arise.

The uncertainty surrounding the future of the credit markets in the United States, Europe and the rest of the world has resulted in reduced access to credit worldwide. The instability of the euro or the inability of countries to refinance their debts could have a material adverse effect on our revenue, profitability and financial position. Despite these measures, concerns persist regarding the debt burden of certain Eurozone countries and their ability to meet future financial obligations and the overall stability of the euro.

An extended period of adverse development in the outlook for European countries could reduce the overall demand for drybulk cargoes and for our services. These potential developments, or market perceptions concerning these and related issues, could affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flow. If economic conditions throughout the world do not improve, it will have an adverse impact on our operations and financial results.

Negative trends in the global economy that emerged in continue to adversely affect global economic conditions. In addition, the world economy continues to face a number of challenges, including the recent turmoil and hostilities in the Middle East, North Africa and other geographic areas and countries and continuing economic weakness in the European Union. There has historically been a strong link between development of the world economy and demand for energy, including oil and gas. An extended period of deterioration in the outlook for the world economy could reduce the overall demand for oil and gas and for our services.

We cannot predict how long the current market conditions will last. However, recent and developing economic and governmental factors, together with the concurrent decline in charter rates and vessel values, have had a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, have caused the price of our common shares to decline and could cause the price of our common shares to decline further. The economies of the United States, the European Union and other parts of the world continue to experience relatively slow growth or remain in recession and exhibit weak economic trends.

The credit markets in the United States and Europe have experienced significant contraction, deleveraging and reduced liquidity, and the U. Global financial markets and economic conditions have been, and continue to be, severely disrupted and volatile. Since , lending activity by financial institutions worldwide remains at low levels compared to the period prior to The continued economic slowdown in the Asia Pacific region, especially in Japan and China, may exacerbate the effect on us of the recent slowdown in the rest of the world.

Before the global economic financial crisis that began in , China had one of the world's fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product, or GDP, which had a significant impact on shipping demand. The growth rate of China's GDP decreased to approximately 7. China has imposed measures to restrain lending, which may further contribute to a slowdown in its economic growth. China and other countries in the Asia Pacific region may continue to experience slowed or even negative economic growth in the future.

Moreover, the current economic slowdown in the economies of the United States, the European Union and other Asian countries may further adversely affect economic growth in China and elsewhere. Our financial condition and results of operations, as well as our future prospects, would likely be impeded by a continuing or worsening economic downturn in any of these countries.

Changes in the economic and political environment in China and policies adopted by the government to regulate its economy may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The Chinese economy differs from the economies of most countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, in such respects as structure, government involvement, level of development, growth rate, capital reinvestment, allocation of resources, rate of inflation and balance of payments position.

Prior to , the Chinese economy was a planned economy. Since , increasing emphasis has been placed on the utilization of market forces in the development of the Chinese economy. Annual and five-year plans, or State Plans, are adopted by the Chinese government in connection with the development of the economy. Although state-owned enterprises still account for a substantial portion of the Chinese industrial output, in general, the Chinese government is reducing the level of direct control that it exercises over the economy through State Plans and other measures.

There is an increasing level of freedom and autonomy in areas such as allocation of resources, production, pricing and management, and a gradual shift in emphasis to a "market economy" and enterprise reform. Limited price reforms were undertaken, with the result that prices for certain commodities are principally determined by market forces. Many of the reforms are unprecedented or experimental and may be subject to revision, change or abolition based upon the outcome of such experiments.

Recently, China began appointing new members to its Politburo Standing Committee, who are replacing members of the committee who have served for periods of up to ten years, which obscures the future policy plans of the country. If the Chinese government does not continue to pursue a policy of economic reform, the level of imports to and exports from China could be adversely affected by these economic reforms by the Chinese government, as well as by changes in political, economic and social conditions or other relevant policies of the Chinese government, such as changes in laws, regulations or export and import restrictions, all of which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

Safety, environmental and other governmental and other requirements expose us to liability, and compliance with current and future regulations could require significant additional expenditures, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. Our operations are affected by extensive and changing international, national, state and local laws, regulations, treaties, conventions and standards in force in international waters, the jurisdictions in which our tankers and other vessels operate, and the country or countries in which such vessels are registered, including those governing the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the cleanup of oil spills and other contamination, air emissions, and water discharges and ballast water management.

These regulations include the U. Clean Water Act, the U. In complying with current and future environmental requirements, vessel owners and operators may also incur significant additional costs in meeting new maintenance and inspection requirements, in developing contingency arrangements for potential spills and in obtaining insurance coverage. Government regulation of vessels, particularly in the areas of safety and environmental requirements, can be expected to become stricter in the future and require us to incur significant capital expenditures on our vessels to keep them in compliance, or even to scrap or sell certain vessels altogether.

Many of these requirements are designed to reduce the risk of oil spills and other pollution, and our compliance with these requirements can be costly. These requirements can also affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels, require reductions in cargo capacity, ship modifications or operational changes or restrictions, lead to decreased availability of insurance coverage for environmental matters or result in the denial of access to certain jurisdictional waters or ports, or detention in certain ports. Under local, national and foreign laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, we could incur material liabilities, including cleanup obligations, natural resource damages and third-party claims for personal injury or property damages, in the event that there is a release of petroleum or other hazardous substances from our vessels or otherwise in connection with our current or historic operations.

We could also incur substantial penalties, fines and other civil or criminal sanctions, including in certain instances seizure or detention of our vessels, as a result of violations of or liabilities under environmental laws, regulations and other requirements. Environmental laws often impose strict liability for remediation of spills and releases of oil and hazardous substances, which could subject us to liability without regard to whether we were negligent or at fault.

Under OPA, owners, operators and bareboat charterers are jointly and severally strictly liable for the discharge of oil in U. Similarly the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of , or the CLC, which has been adopted by most countries outside of the United States, imposes liability for oil pollution in international waters.

OPA expressly permits individual states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to hazardous materials and oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries, provided they accept, at a minimum, the levels of liability established under OPA. Coastal states in the United States have enacted pollution prevention liability and response laws, many providing for unlimited liability. Furthermore, the explosion of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon , which is unrelated to Ship Finance, and the subsequent release of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, or other events, may result in further regulation of the shipping and offshore industries and modifications to statutory liability schemes, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

An oil spill could also result in significant liability, including fines, penalties, criminal liability and remediation costs for natural resource damages under other international and U. We are required to satisfy insurance and financial responsibility requirements for potential oil including marine fuel spills and other pollution incidents.

Although we have arranged insurance to cover certain environmental risks, there can be no assurance that such insurance will be sufficient to cover all such risks or that any claims will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and available cash. Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels could adversely affect our business. Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in regions of the world such as the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.

Although the frequency of sea piracy worldwide decreased during to its lowest level since , sea piracy incidents continue to occur, particularly in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and increasingly in the Gulf of Guinea, with drybulk vessels and tankers particularly vulnerable to such attacks. If these piracy attacks result in regions in which our vessels are deployed being characterized by insurers as "war risk" zones or Joint War Committee "war and strikes" listed areas, premiums payable for such coverage could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain.

In addition, crew costs, including costs which may be incurred to the extent we employ onboard security guards, could increase in such circumstances. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, detention hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or an increase in cost, or unavailability of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends and may result in loss of revenues, increased costs and decreased cashflows to our customers, which could impair their ability to make payments to us under our charters.

Our vessels may call on ports located in countries that are subject to restrictions imposed by the U. From time to time on charterers' instructions, our vessels may call on ports located in countries subject to sanctions and embargoes imposed by the United States government and countries identified by the U. The U. With effect from July 1, , the U. Among other things, CISADA expands the application of the prohibitions to companies such as ours, and introduces limits on the ability of companies and persons to do business or trade with Iran when such activities relate to the investment, supply or export of refined petroleum or petroleum products.

In addition, on May 1, , President Obama signed Executive Order which prohibits foreign persons from violating or attempting to violate, or causing a violation of any sanctions in effect against Iran or facilitating any deceptive transactions for or on behalf of any person subject to U. Any persons found to be in violation of Executive Order will be deemed a foreign sanctions evader and will be banned from all contacts with the United States, including conducting business in U.

Among other things, the Iran Threat Reduction Act intensifies existing sanctions regarding the provision of goods, services, infrastructure or technology to Iran's petroleum or petrochemical sector. The Iran Threat Reduction Act also includes a provision requiring the President of the United States to impose five or more sanctions from Section 6 a of the Iran Sanctions Act, as amended, on a person the President determines is a controlling beneficial owner of, or otherwise owns, operates, or controls or insures a vessel that was used to transport crude oil from Iran to another country and 1 if the person is a controlling beneficial owner of the vessel, the person had actual knowledge the vessel was so used or 2 if the person otherwise owns, operates, or controls, or insures the vessel, the person knew or should have known the vessel was so used.

Such a person could be subject to a variety of sanctions, including exclusion from U. Although we believe that we have been in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, and intend to maintain such compliance, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may be unclear and may be subject to changing interpretations. Any such violation could result in fines, penalties or other sanctions that could severely impact our ability to access U.

In addition, certain institutional investors may have investment policies or restrictions that prevent them from holding securities of companies that have contracts with countries identified by the U. The determination by these investors not to invest in, or to divest from, our common stock may adversely affect the price at which our common stock trades.

Moreover, our charterers may violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations as a result of actions that do not involve us or our vessels, and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation. In addition, our reputation and the market for our securities may be adversely affected if we engage in certain other activities, such as entering into charters with individuals or entities in countries subject to U. Investor perception of the value of our common stock may be adversely affected by the consequences of war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.

In the highly competitive international seaborne transportation industry, we may not be able to compete for charters with new entrants or established companies with greater resources, and as a result we may be unable to employ our vessels profitably. We employ our vessels in a highly competitive market that is capital intensive and highly fragmented, and competition arises primarily from other vessel owners.

Competition for seaborne transportation of goods and products is intense and depends on charter rates and the location, size, age, condition and acceptability of the vessel and its operators to charterers. Due in part to the highly fragmented market, competitors with greater resources could operate larger fleets than we may operate and thus be able to offer lower charter rates and higher quality vessels than we are able to offer.

If this were to occur, we may be unable to retain or attract new charterers on attractive terms or at all, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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An over-supply of vessel capacity may lead to further reductions in charter hire rates and profitability. The supply of vessels generally increases with deliveries of new vessels and decreases with the scrapping of older vessels, conversion of vessels to other uses, such as floating production and storage facilities, and loss of tonnage as a result of casualties. Currently, there is significant newbuilding activity with respect to virtually all sizes and classes of vessels.

An over-supply of vessel capacity, combined with a decline in the demand for such vessels, may result in a further reduction of charter hire rates. If such a reduction continues in the future, upon the expiration or termination of our vessels' current charters, we may only be able to re-charter our vessels at reduced or unprofitable rates or we may not be able to charter our vessels at all, which would have a material adverse effect on our revenues and profitability.

Increased inspection procedures, tighter import and export controls and new security regulations could increase costs and disrupt our business. International shipping is subject to various security and customs inspection and related procedures in countries of origin, destination and trans-shipment points. Inspection procedures can result in the seizure of the contents of our vessels, delays in loading, offloading or delivery, and the levying of customs duties, fines or other penalties against us. It is possible that changes to inspection procedures could impose additional financial and legal obligations on us.

Changes to inspection procedures could also impose additional costs and obligations on our customers and may, in certain cases, render the shipment of certain types of cargo uneconomical or impractical. Any such changes or developments may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The offshore drilling sector depends on the level of activity in the offshore oil and gas industry, which is significantly affected by, among other things, volatile oil and gas prices, and may be materially and adversely affected by a decline in the offshore oil and gas industry.

The offshore contract drilling industry is cyclical and volatile, and depends on the level of activity in oil and gas exploration and development and production in offshore areas worldwide. The availability of quality drilling prospects, exploration success, relative production costs, the stage of reservoir development and political and regulatory environments affect our customers' drilling campaigns.

Oil and gas prices, and market expectations of potential changes in these prices, also significantly affect the level of activity and demand for drilling units. Any decrease in exploration, development or production expenditures by oil and gas companies could materially and adversely affect the business of the charterers of our drilling units, and their ability to perform under their existing charters with us.

Also, increased competition for our customers' drilling budgets could come from, among other areas, land-based energy markets in Africa, Russia, other former Soviet Union states, the Middle East and Alaska. Worldwide military, political and economic events have contributed to oil and gas price volatility and are likely to do so in the future.

Oil and gas prices are extremely volatile and are affected by numerous factors, including the following:. Declines in oil and gas prices for an extended period, or market expectations of potential decreases in these prices, could negatively affect the offshore drilling sector. Sustained periods of low oil prices typically result in reduced exploration and drilling, because oil and gas companies' capital expenditure budgets are subject to their cash flows and are therefore sensitive to changes in energy prices. These changes in commodity prices can have a dramatic effect on the demand for drilling units, and periods of low demand can cause an excess supply of drilling units and intensify competition in the industry, which often results in drilling units, particularly older and lower specification drilling units, being idle for long periods of time.

We cannot predict the future level of demand for drilling units or future conditions of the oil and gas industry. In addition to oil and gas prices, the offshore drilling industry is influenced by additional factors, including:. An over-supply of drilling units may lead to a reduction in day-rates and therefore may adversely affect the ability of certain of our rig charterers to make charterhire payments to us.

We have chartered three of our drilling units to three subsidiaries of Seadrill Limited, or Seadrill, namely Seadrill Deepwater Charterer Ltd. In addition, we have chartered one drilling unit to Apexindo Offshore Pte. According to industry sources, the worldwide fleet of drilling rigs increased from units at the end of to units at the end of , and significant further deliveries of new units are projected. Although demand for drilling units is currently high, any reduction in demand may lead to an excess of drilling capacity and a reduction in day-rates.

In addition, the new construction of high-specification rigs, as well as changes in the Rig Charterers' competitors' drilling rig fleets, could cause our drilling units to become less competitive. Lower utilization and dayrates could adversely affect the Rig Charterers' ability to secure drilling contracts and, therefore, their ability to make charterhire payments to us, and may cause them to terminate or renegotiate their charter agreements to our detriment. Consolidation of suppliers may limit the ability of the Rig Charterers to obtain supplies and services for their offshore drilling operations at an acceptable cost, on schedule or at all, which may have a material adverse effect on their ability to make charterhire payments to us.

The Rig Charterers may rely on certain third parties to provide supplies and services necessary for their offshore drilling operations, including but not limited to drilling equipment suppliers, catering and machinery suppliers. Recent mergers have reduced the number of available suppliers, resulting in fewer alternatives for sourcing key supplies. The Rig Charterers may not be able to obtain supplies and services at an acceptable cost, at the times they need them or at all.

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Such consolidation, combined with a high volume of drilling units under construction, may result in a shortage of supplies and services thereby potentially inhibiting the ability of suppliers to deliver on time. These cost increases or delays could have a material adverse affect on the Rig Charterers' results of operations and financial condition, and may adversely affect their ability to make charterhire payments to us.

Governmental laws and regulations, including environmental laws and regulations, may add to the costs of the Rig Charterers or limit their drilling activity, and may adversely affect their ability to make charterhire payments to us. The Rig Charterers' business in the offshore drilling industry is affected by public policy and laws and regulations relating to the energy industry and the environment in the geographic areas where they operate.

The offshore drilling industry is dependent on demand for services from the oil and gas exploration and production industry, and accordingly the Rig Charterers are directly affected by the adoption of laws and regulations that for economic, environmental or other policy reasons curtail exploration and development drilling for oil and gas.

The Rig Charterers may be required to make significant capital expenditures to comply with governmental laws and regulations. It is also possible that these laws and regulations may in the future add significantly to the Rig Charterers' operating costs or significantly limit drilling activity. Governments in some countries are increasingly active in regulating and controlling the ownership of concessions, the exploration for oil and gas, and other aspects of the oil and gas industries.

In recent years, increased concern has been raised over protection of the environment. Offshore drilling in certain areas has been opposed by environmental groups, and has in certain cases been restricted. In certain jurisdictions there are or may be imposed restrictions or limitations on the operation of foreign flag vessels and rigs, and these restrictions may prevent us or our charterers from operating our assets as intended. We cannot guarantee that we or our charterers will be able to accommodate such restrictions or limitations, nor that we or our charterers can relocate the assets to other jurisdictions where such restrictions or limitations do not apply.

This may have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. To the extent that new laws are enacted or other governmental actions are taken that prohibit or restrict offshore drilling or impose additional environmental protection requirements that result in increased costs to the oil and gas industry in general or the offshore drilling industry in particular, the Rig Charterers' business or prospects could be materially adversely affected.

The operation of our drilling units will require certain governmental approvals, the number and prerequisites of which cannot be determined until the Rig Charterers identify the jurisdictions in which they will operate upon securing contracts for the drilling units. Depending on the jurisdiction, these governmental approvals may involve public hearings and costly undertakings on the part of the Rig Charterers. The Rig Charterers may not obtain such approvals, or such approvals may not be obtained in a timely manner.

If the Rig Charterers fail to secure the necessary approvals or permits in a timely manner, their customers may have the right to terminate or seek to renegotiate their drilling services contracts to the Rig Charterers' detriment. The amendment or modification of existing laws and regulations, or the adoption of new laws and regulations curtailing or further regulating exploratory or development drilling and production of oil and gas, could have a material adverse effect on the Rig Charterers' business, operating results or financial condition.

Future earnings of the Rig Charterers may be negatively affected by compliance with any such new legislation or regulations. In addition, the Rig Charterers may become subject to additional laws and regulations as a result of future rig operations or repositioning. These factors may adversely affect the ability of the Rig Charterers to make charterhire payments to us. World events could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Continuing conflicts and recent developments in the Middle East, including Syria, and North Africa, including Libya and Egypt, and the presence of United States and other armed forces in Afghanistan, may lead to additional acts of terrorism and armed conflict around the world, which may contribute to further economic instability in the global financial markets. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. In the past, political conflicts have also resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways and other efforts to disrupt international shipping, particularly in the Arabian Gulf region.

Acts of terrorism and piracy have also affected vessels trading in regions such as the South China Sea and the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Any of these occurrences, or the perception that our vessels are potential terrorist targets, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends. Our business has inherent operational risks, which may not be adequately covered by insurance. Our vessels and their cargoes are at risk of being damaged or lost, due to events such as marine disasters, bad weather, mechanical failures, human error, environmental accidents, war, terrorism, piracy, political circumstances and hostilities in foreign countries, labor strikes and boycotts, changes in tax rates or policies, and governmental expropriation of our vessels.

Any of these events may result in loss of revenues, increased costs and decreased cash flows to our customers, which could impair their ability to make payments to us under our charters. In the event of a casualty to a vessel or other catastrophic event, we will rely on our insurance to pay the insured value of the vessel or the damages incurred.

Through the agreements with our vessel managers, we procure insurance for most of the vessels in our fleet employed under time charters against those risks that we believe the shipping industry commonly insures against. These insurances include marine hull and machinery insurance, protection and indemnity insurance, which include pollution risks and crew insurances, and war risk insurance.

We cannot assure you that we will be adequately insured against all risks. Our vessel managers may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates for our vessels in the future. For example, in the past more stringent environmental regulations have led to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution.

Additionally, our insurers may refuse to pay particular claims. For example, the circumstances of a spill, including non-compliance with environmental laws, could result in denial of coverage, protracted litigation, and delayed or diminished insurance recoveries or settlements. Any significant loss or liability for which we are not insured could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.

Under the terms of our bareboat charters, the charterer is responsible for procuring all insurances for the vessel. Maritime claimants could arrest one or more of our vessels, which could interrupt our customers' or our cash flows. Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against one or more of our vessels for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lien holder may enforce its lien by arresting a vessel through foreclosure proceedings.

In addition, in some jurisdictions, such as South Africa, under the "sister ship" theory of liability, a claimant may arrest both the vessel which is subject to the claimant's maritime lien and any "associated" vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner.

Claimants could try to assert "sister ship" liability against vessels in our fleet managed by our vessel managers for claims relating to another vessel managed by that manager. Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency without adequate compensation, resulting in a loss of earnings.

A government could requisition one or more of our vessels for title or for hire. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes her owner, while requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and effectively becomes her charterer at dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during periods of war or emergency, although governments may elect to requisition vessels in other circumstances. Although we would be entitled to compensation in the event of a requisition of one or more of our vessels, the amount and timing of payment could be materially less than the charterhire that would have been payable otherwise.

In addition, we would bear all risk of loss or damage to a vessel under requisition for hire. Government requisition of one or more of our vessels may negatively impact our revenues and reduce the amount of dividends paid, if any, to our shareholders. As our fleet ages, the risks associated with older vessels could adversely affect our operations.

In general, the costs to maintain a vessel in good operating condition increase as the vessel ages. Due to improvements in engine technology, older vessels are typically less fuel-efficient than more recently constructed vessels. Cargo insurance rates increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to charterers. Governmental regulations, safety, environmental or other equipment standards related to the age of tankers and other types of vessels may require expenditures for alterations or the addition of new equipment to our vessels to comply with safety or environmental laws or regulations that may be enacted in the future.

These laws or regulations may also restrict the type of activities in which our vessels may engage or prohibit their operation in certain geographic regions. We cannot predict what alterations or modifications our vessels may be required to undergo as a result of requirements that may be promulgated in the future, or that as our vessels age market conditions will justify any required expenditures or enable us to operate our vessels profitably during the remainder of their useful lives. There are risks associated with the purchase and operation of second-hand vessels.

Our current business strategy includes additional growth through the acquisition of both newbuildings and second-hand vessels. Although we generally inspect second-hand vessels prior to purchase, this does not normally provide us with the same knowledge about the vessels' condition that we would have had if such vessels had been built for and operated exclusively by us. Therefore, our future operating results could be negatively affected if the vessels do not perform as we expect.

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Also, we do not receive the benefit of warranties from the builders if the vessels we buy are older than one year. Risks relating to our Company. Changes in our dividend policy could adversely affect holders of our common shares. Any dividend that we declare is at the discretion of our Board of Directors. We cannot assure you that our dividend will not be reduced or eliminated in the future.

Our profitability and corresponding ability to pay dividends is substantially affected by amounts we receive through charter-hire and profit sharing payments from our charterers. Our entitlement to profit sharing payments, if any, is based on the financial performance of our vessels which is outside of our control. If our charter hire and profit sharing payments decrease substantially, we may not be able to continue to pay dividends at present levels, or at all.

We are also subject to contractual limitations on our ability to pay dividends pursuant to certain debt agreements, and we may agree to additional limitations in the future. Additional factors that could affect our ability to pay dividends include statutory and contractual limitations on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends to us, including under current or future debt arrangements. We depend on our charterers, including the Frontline Charterers and the Seadrill Charterers, which are companies affiliated with us, for our operating cash flows and for our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders and repay our outstanding borrowings.

Most of the tanker vessels in our fleet are chartered to subsidiaries of Frontline Ltd. In addition, we have chartered three of our drilling units to the Seadrill Charterers. Our other vessels that have charters attached to them are chartered to other customers under short, medium or long term time and bareboat charters. The charter-hire payments that we receive from our customers constitute substantially all of our operating cash flows. The Frontline Charterers have no business or sources of funds other than those related to the chartering of our tanker fleet to third parties.

Frontline continues to guarantee the payment of charterhire with respect to the Frontline Charterers. Such a situation might force a restructuring of Frontline, including further modifications of charter lease agreements. Although there are restrictions on the Frontline Charterers' rights to use their cash to pay dividends or make other distributions, at any given time their available cash may be diminished or exhausted, and they may be unable to make charterhire payments to us without support from Frontline.

The performance under the charters with the Seadrill Charterers is guaranteed by Seadrill. If the Frontline Charterers, the Seadrill Charterers or any of our other charterers are unable to make charterhire payments to us, our results of operations and financial condition will be materially adversely affected and we may not have cash available to pay dividends to our shareholders and to repay our outstanding borrowings.

The amount of the profit sharing payment we receive under our charters with the Frontline Charterers, if any, may depend on prevailing spot market rates, which are volatile. Most of our tanker vessels operate under time charters to the Frontline Charterers. These charter contracts provide for base charterhire and additional profit sharing payments when the Frontline Charterers' earnings from deploying our vessels exceed certain levels. The majority of our vessels chartered to the Frontline Charterers are sub-chartered by the Frontline Charterers in the spot market, which is subject to greater volatility than the long-term time charter market, and the amount of future profit sharing payments that we receive, if any, will be primarily dependent on the strength of the spot market.

The amendments also provided for a temporary reduction in charter rates for a four year period. We cannot assure you that we will receive any profit sharing payments, including cash sweep payments, for any periods in the future, which may have an adverse affect on our results and financial condition and our ability to pay dividends in the future. The charter-free market values of our vessels and drilling units may decrease, which could limit the amount of funds that we can borrow or trigger certain financial covenants under our current or future credit facilities and we may incur a loss if we sell vessels or drilling units following a decline in their charter-free market value.

This could affect future dividend payments. During the period a vessel or drilling unit is subject to a charter, we will not be permitted to sell it to take advantage of increases in vessel or drilling unit values without the charterers' agreement. Conversely, if the charterers were to default under the charters due to adverse market conditions, causing a termination of the charters, it is likely that the charter-free market value of our vessels would also be depressed. The charter-free market values of our vessels and drilling units have experienced high volatility. According to shipbrokers, the charter-free market values for secondhand drybulk carriers, for example, have decreased sharply from their recent historically high levels.

The charter-free market value of our vessels and drilling units may increase and decrease depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the prevailing level of charter rates and dayrates, general economic and market conditions affecting the international shipping and offshore drilling industries, types, sizes and ages of vessels and drilling units, supply and demand for vessels and drilling units, availability of or developments in other modes of transportation, competition from other shipping companies, cost of newbuildings, governmental or other regulations and technological advances.

In addition, as vessels and drilling units grow older, they generally decline in value. If the charter-free market values of our vessels and drilling units decline, we may not be in compliance with certain provisions of our credit facilities and we may not be able to refinance our debt, obtain additional financing or make distributions to our shareholders.

Additionally, if we sell one or more of our vessels or drilling units at a time when vessel and drilling unit prices have fallen and before we have recorded an impairment adjustment to our consolidated financial statements, the sale price may be less than the vessel's or drilling unit's carrying value on our consolidated financial statements, resulting in a loss and a reduction in earnings. Furthermore, if vessel and drilling unit values fall significantly, we may have to record an impairment adjustment in our financial statements, which could adversely affect our financial results and condition.

We are subject to certain risks with respect to our counterparties on contracts, and failure of such counterparties to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or otherwise adversely affect our business. From time to time, we enter into, among other things, charter parties with our customers, newbuilding contracts with shipyards, credit facilities with banks, guarantees, interest rate swap agreements, currency swap agreements, total return bond swaps, and total return equity swaps.

Such agreements subject us to counterparty risks. The ability of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under a contract with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the maritime and offshore industries, the overall financial condition of the counterparty, charter rates and dayrates received for specific types of vessels and drilling units, and various expenses.

In addition, in depressed market conditions, our charterers and customers may no longer need a vessel or drilling unit that is currently under charter or contract, or may be able to obtain a comparable vessel or drilling unit at a lower rate. As a result, charterers and customers may seek to renegotiate the terms of their existing charter parties and drilling contracts, or avoid their obligations under those contracts. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under agreements with us, we could sustain significant losses which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Volatility in the international shipping and offshore markets may cause our customers to be unable to pay charterhire to us. Our customers are subject to volatility in the shipping and offshore markets that affects their ability to operate the vessels and rigs they charter from us at a profit. Our customers' successful operation of our vessels and rigs in the charter market will depend on, among other things, their ability to obtain profitable charters. We cannot assure you that future charters will be available to our customers at rates sufficient to enable them to meet their obligations to make charterhire payments to us.

As a result, our revenues and results of operations may be adversely affected. These factors include:.

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Tanker charter rates also tend to be subject to seasonal variations, with demand and therefore charter rates normally higher in winter months in the northern hemisphere. We depend on directors who are associated with affiliated companies which may create conflicts of interest. Our principal shareholders Hemen Holding Ltd. John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family. Fredriksen, the daughter of Mr. John Fredriksen, is also a director of Frontline and Golden Ocean.

These two directors owe fiduciary duties to the shareholders of each company and may have conflicts of interest in matters involving or affecting us and our customers. In addition, due to any ownership they may have in common shares of Frontline, Golden Ocean, Deep Sea or Seadrill, they may have conflicts of interest when faced with decisions that could have different implications for Frontline, Golden Ocean, Deep Sea or Seadrill than they do for us. We cannot assure you that any of these conflicts of interest will be resolved in our favor.

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The agreements between us and affiliates of Hemen may be less favorable to us than agreements that we could obtain from unaffiliated third parties. The charters, management agreements, charter ancillary agreements and the other contractual agreements we have with companies affiliated with Hemen were made in the context of an affiliated relationship. Although every effort was made to ensure that such agreements were made on an arm's-length basis, the negotiation of these agreements may have resulted in prices and other terms that are less favorable to us than terms we might have obtained in arm's-length negotiations with unaffiliated third parties for similar services.

Hemen and its associated companies' business activities may conflict with ours. While Frontline has agreed to cause the Frontline Charterers to use their commercial best efforts to employ our vessels on market terms and not to give preferential treatment in the marketing of any other vessels owned or managed by Frontline or its other affiliates, it is possible that conflicts of interests in this regard will adversely affect us. Under our charter ancillary agreements with the Frontline Charterers and Frontline, we are entitled to receive annual profit sharing payments to the extent that the average daily time-charter equivalent, or TCE, rates realized by the Frontline Charterers exceed specified levels.

Because Frontline also owns or manages other vessels in addition to our fleet, which are not included in the profit sharing calculation, conflicts of interest may arise between us and Frontline in the allocation of chartering opportunities that could limit our fleet's earnings and reduce the profit sharing payments or charterhire due under our charters. Our shareholders must rely on us to enforce our rights against our contract counterparties.

Holders of our common shares and other securities have no direct right to enforce the obligations of the Frontline Charterers, Frontline Management Bermuda Ltd. Accordingly, if any of those counterparties were to breach their obligations to us under any of these agreements, our shareholders would have to rely on us to pursue our remedies against those counterparties.

There is a risk that U. For purposes of these tests, income derived from the performance of services does not constitute "passive income", but income from bareboat charters does constitute "passive income. Under these rules, if our income from our time charters is considered to be passive rental income, rather than income from the performance of services, we will be considered to be a PFIC.

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  • We believe that it is more likely than not that our income from time charters will not be treated as passive rental income for purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC. Correspondingly, we believe that the assets that we own and operate in the connection with the production of such income do not constitute passive assets for purposes of determining whether we are a PFIC. This position is principally based upon the positions that 1 our time charter income will constitute services income, rather than rental income and 2 Frontline Management, which provides services to most of our time-chartered vessels, will be respected as a separate entity from the Frontline Charterers, with which it is affiliated.

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    We do not believe that we will be treated as a PFIC for our taxable year. Nevertheless, for the taxable year and future taxable years, depending upon the relative amounts of income we derive from our various assets as well as their relative fair market values, we may be treated as a PFIC. We note that there is no direct legal authority under the PFIC rules addressing our current and expected method of operation.

    The proceeds from the bond issue will be used to refinance existing debt and for general corporate purposes. Ole B. Including newbuildings, the Company has a fleet of 71 vessels, including 22 crude oil tankers VLCC and Suezmax , two chemical tankers, 12 drybulk carriers, 22 container vessels including six newbuildings , two car carriers, six offshore supply vessels, two jack-up drilling rigs, two ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rigs and one ultra-deepwater drillship.

    The fleet is one of the largest in the world and most of the vessels are employed on long-term charters. More information can be found on the Company's website: www.