We regularly comment on geopolitical events with relevance to NAT. Such events include trade negotiations between China and the US, OPEC-actions, Covid-19 pandemic, Middle East tensions and sanctions impacting jurisdictions where the NAT vessels are operating.
The above elements have taken place during the last few months. Changes of this nature are elements we often meet. For NAT it is important to note that the underlying balance between supply and demand for ships is good. The limited supply of new tankers has been the foundation and a driving force that has made it possible for tanker owners to benefit from these events. We at NAT see a positive development for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021.
Our confidence is supported by the dividend for the first quarter of 2020 ($0.14) and for the second quarter of 2020 ($0.20). The dividend for the fourth quarter in 2019 was ($0.07). Our dividend has always been a reflection of our cashflow. At a time when other companies are cutting back their dividend distribution, it is important for us to emphasize that dividend remains a priority for NAT.
Please note that the Venezuela situation has resurfaced. NAT is always complying with sanctions imposed by the US.
Meanwhile, China and other Asian economies seem to be recovering. Combined with international stimulus packages and a low oil price, we see the recovery of the world economy sooner rather than later.
The tanker market turned in a positive direction long time ago.