Hamilton, Bermuda, May 22, 2009
Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE:SFL) (“Ship Finance” or “the Company”) refers investors to its first quarter 2009 earnings release dated May 14, 2009, in which the Company announced a dividend in the amount of $0.30 per share, payable to shareholders of record as of May 27, 2009.  Commencing with the opening of trading today, the Company’s common shares have begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange ex-dividend.
Pursuant to a prospectus supplement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on May 22, 2009, shareholders may elect to receive the dividend in the form of newly issued common shares of the Company.  No action is required to be taken by shareholders wishing to receive a cash dividend.
Shareholders electing to be paid the dividend in newly issued common shares will receive 0.0265 common shares for each share held by such shareholder as of the record date of May 27, 2009. The calculation is based on the volume-weighted average shareprice of $11.90 on the New York Stock Exchange during the three trading days ending May 21, 2009, less a 5% discount. If all shareholders elect to receive common shares, the Company will issue up to 2.0 million newly issued common shares.
Shareholders owning common shares registered in their own name as of May 27, 2009, will receive information by mail containing instructions on how to elect to receive the dividend in common shares.  Shareholders beneficially owning common shares as of May 27, 2009, that were registered in the name of a broker, dealer or other nominee should contact the registered holder of such common shares and instruct such registered holder if they wish to receive the dividend in additional common shares  All shareholder elections must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 26, 2009. 
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the Company’s securities, nor will there be any sale of the securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.  The offering of the stock dividend is being made only pursuant to a prospectus supplement to the Company’s unallocated shelf registration statement on Form F-3 (Registration No. 333-158162).  The prospectus supplement was filed with the SEC on May 22, 2009.  Shareholders are advised to refer to the prospectus supplement for additional information regarding the dividend.
Any questions relating to election of the dividend in common shares should be directed to your broker, bank, or other nominee, or alternatively to BNY Mellon, our transfer agent:
U.S. Toll Free: 1-800-301-3489
International: +1 201 680 6578
About Ship Finance
Ship Finance is a major ship owning company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SFL). Including newbuildings, the Company has a fleet of 68 vessels, including 33 crude oil tankers (VLCC and Suezmax), two chemical tankers, eight oil/bulk/ore vessels, one dry-bulk carrier, 13 container vessels, six offshore supply vessels, two jack-up drilling rigs and three ultra-deepwater drilling units. 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.shipfinance.org
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward looking statements. These statements are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including Ship Finance management’s examination of historical operating trends. Although Ship Finance believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond its control, Ship Finance cannot give assurance that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or intentions.
Important factors that, in the Company’s view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in this presentation include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions including fluctuations in charter hire rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the tanker market as a result of changes in OPEC’s petroleum production levels and world wide oil consumption and storage, changes in the Company’s operating expenses including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.