SHIPOWNER and charterer Noble Group has acquired its second vessel, the 65,785 deadweight tonne (dwt) Valdiva, for US$11.98 million. The Panamax vessel, built in 1981, has been renamed Min Noble and registered in Panama. Of the buying price, $4.8 million has been provided by the company and the remainder will be financed by bank loans. The group acquired its first vessel, the 24,000 dwt bulk carrier Noble Empress, for $9 million. Built in 1982, the Noble Empress is also registered in Panama and is chartered to Mitsui OSK Lines of Japan. Subsidiary Noble Chartering will operate the Min Noble, for which technical management will be provided by Fleet Management, the group's newly formed ship management arm. Fleet Management is headed by Kishore Rajvanshi, who until recently was director and general manager of Univan Ship Management. It will provide full technical ship management services for the group's vessels and third parties. Noble Chartering has emerged as the largest Hong Kong-based ship charterer. In the first nine months of the year the company chartered 165 bulk carriers, mainly Handysize and Panamax vessels on the international market, compared with 169 vessels for the whole of last year.