Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 51 - 2009

 

Greek shipowners go bargain hunting

Grigoriadis is certain that many Greek owners will proceed to grab a bargain in the first six months of 2010, but he said private equity funds will play as important a role in financing them as put-aside liquidity.
$3.1Bn The amount spent by Greek owners on secondhand ships from 1 January up until the Lomar purchase
$2.6Bn - The amount spent by Chinese owners on 198 secondhand ships from 1 January until 1 December 2009
> 698 dry bulk carriers
> 237 tankers
> 88 box ships
> 19 refrigerator ships
Source: Fairplay Magazine, 17 December 2009, Volume 367, Issue 6562


Status of Greek orders at yards remains vague
---Greek shipowners were among the busiest in the world ordering vessels during the boom markets but even today the most experienced newbuilding brokers and analysts are unable to paint a clear picture of their current status.
Greek shipowners were among the busiest in the world ordering vessels during the boom markets but even today the most experienced newbuilding brokers and analysts are unable to paint a clear picture of their current status.
Veteran Greek newbuilding broker George Banos, who now acts as a consultant to Piraeus-based George Moundreas & Co, confirms there have been cancellations, delivery delays and price adjustments, either up or down, but added: "No figures are available. Nobody really knows." Banos estimates that order cancellations may now be running at about 10% to 12% and postponements from between six to 18 months. However, he predicts there could be a new wave of cancellations coming in the next few months as owners who booked ships in 2008 but did not have finance in place from the outset, find themselves unable to do so now.
Theodore Ntalakos, newbuilding director at Intermodal Shipbrokers, believes effective cancellations are fewer than the numbers being put about. He points out that while owners may cancel orders, many ships will be built and sold to other buyers.
Moundreas calculates that at the end of 2008 there was a total of 836 existing orders for Greek owners amounting to 72.5 million dwt, excluding ships not measured in dwt.
In February, data provided by Lloyd's Register/Fairplay to the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC) set the number on order at 1,072 or 93 million dwt - representing a little over 10% of the world orderbook.
The discrepancy between the two should come as no surprise. Banos says nobody announces what is happening except in the case of some listed companies, which are obliged to.
Information is so scarce that Banos, author of a monthly newbuilding round-up for Moundreas, says he has not issued a bulletin since July because there is nothing to say with certainty.
A number of well-known Greek companies are rumoured to have converted contracts, including Dynacom and Centrofin, controlled respectively by brothers George and Dimitris Procopiou.
Back in August, George Procopiou confirmed he was considering switching five capesize bulkers booked at New Century Shipubilding in China into suezmax tankers but never verified the change.
Centrofin also has four capesizes listed on order at New Century and market sources suggest that these too may have been switched but the information has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, a relatively new Greek company, PrimeBulk Shipmanagement, has acquired two aframax products tankers for delivery in 2010 and 2011 that are believed to have been originally booked as bulkers.
Some big owners such as Metrostar have already unloaded tanker newbuildings at a significant discount to their reported order price, while unconfirmed market talk suggests that some Greeks are shaving off as much as 20% off order prices in an attempt to sell vessels on.
In this uncertain and fluid environment, only one thing can be stated for sure - as the individualistic Greeks always do: some will find opportunities, some will swallow the damages and some may find themselves up against the wall.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 00:00 GMT, 18 Dec 2009 | last updated: 14:07 GMT, 17 Dec 2009
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Tsakos warns Greece it risks losing more shipping cash
---Shipowner cites lack of care for the maritime sector and asks for more respect domestically
Nigel Lowry - Thursday 17 December 2009
GREECE has been told by one of its most senior shipowners to embrace the shipping industry or risk losing even more funds from the industry than is already the case.
Tsakos Group founder Panagiotis Tsakos complained of a lack of care for the maritime industries that has already resulted in a huge loss of shipping dollars for the country, which is currently caught in a severe debt crisis.
In an impassioned speech in front of an audience including Minister of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Louka Katseli, Capt Tsakos highlighted the fact that shipowners were often unable to pay for Greek products and services because they were uncompetitive, with the result that shipping dollars were leaving the country.
One example was the plight of Greek shipyards, the largest of which was recently being negotiated for $1, he said.
But domestically the shipping industry was not getting the respect it deserved for its achievements, which were not sufficiently known, said Capt Tsakos.
With more integration, shipping could have led the economy to a much higher overall level.
Capt Tsakos was speaking as he accepted an annual prize given by the Hellenic Institute of Marine Technology.
Shipping has been the largest contributor to the Greek economy for the last two years, ahead of the tourism sector.
Source: www.lloydslist.com


Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. Increases Total Credit Facilities to $420 Million
---PIRAEUS, Greece, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE: ANW) today announced it has signed a new $100 million secured credit facility and letter of credit with BNP Paribas. The facility is a one year uncommitted trade finance facility that the Company considers to have competitive pricing.
E. Nikolas Tavlarios, President, commented, "Our new $100 million credit facility significantly increases Aegean's access to capital during a challenging credit environment and further expands our relationships with global lending institutions. With this agreement, our Company now has a total of $420 million in working capital credit facilities under favorable terms. We intend to utilize our considerable financial liquidity, a key competitive advantage for Aegean, to increase market share in our 14 existing locations and capitalize on additional consolidation opportunities that meet management's strict return criteria. In accomplishing these strategic objectives, we expect to grow future sales volumes and strengthen Aegean's leading brand for the global supply of marine fuel."
Source: SOURCE Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. +1-212-763-5665, [email protected], or Investor Relations: Leon Berman, Principal, The IGB Group, +1-212-477-8438


Goldenport Holdings Inc.: New Loan Facility for Vessel Acquisitions
---Athens, 16 December 2009Goldenport Holdings Inc. ("Goldenport" or "the Company"), (LSE: GPRT) the international shipping company that owns and operates a fleet of containers and dry-bulk vessels, announced today that it has arranged a new loan facility with a major Greek bank for a total amount of US$37 million.
Out of the total amount, US$15.1 million will be used to finance up to 80% of the acquisition cost of a dry bulk carrier, US$11.9 million will be used to refinance an existing credit facility and the remaining US$10 million will be used for working capital purposes. Two existing vessels that became debt free were used as collateral for the new facility.
This loan facility combined with an existing credit line for US$20 million, which was arranged during the third quarter of 2009, enables the Company to fund future dry bulk carrier acquisitions with an overall value of US$45.1 million.
Captain Paris Dragnis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Goldenport commented: "We are pleased to have secured a new loan facility with attractive terms with a major Greek bank. This new facility combined with an existing credit line and with our strong cash position gives us the flexibility to continue to seek strategic and accretive acquisitions that will create long-term value for the Company and its shareholders."
Source: www.goldenportholdings.com or www.goldenport.biz


OSG and Aker kiss and make up
---Overseas Shipholding Group has ended its dispute with American Shipping Company (AMSC), Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and Aker Philadelphia Shipyard (APSI).
This agreement was signed to settle all outstanding commercial disputes between OSG and Aker and provided for the dismissal with prejudice of all the claims in the arbitration among the parties.
The settlement agreement had also received all necessary third party approvals, as well as approval from the US Coast Guard, OSG said.
In another move, subsidiary OSG Bulk Ships has purchased all the remaining shares in OSG America.
As a result, OSG's subsidiaries now own all of the economic interests of the partnership and will be entitled to all of the benefits resulting from those interests.
In addition, the units will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and are no longer publicly traded, OSG said.
Source: http://www.tankeroperator.com. (Dec 18 2009)


Safe Bulkers buys two ships
The two 95,000dwt vessels, to be delivered in 2H10 and 1H12, are sister ships to the existing Safe newbuilding contract at the yard, which now has a delivery date of 2H11. Safe said the aggregate cost of the three newbuildings is $153M.
The 2008 contract lists the price for the original newbuilding at $68.36M. Under the new agreement, the average price for the three vessels is $53M.
Source: Daily Fairplay News 17 Dec 2009


Akti Miaouli People
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# For 30 years Savvas N Athanassiou has been reporting on Greek shipping and for nearly 20 of these years he has taken a particular interest in the Hellenic Harbour Corps and tracing its role as principal custodian of the Greek fleet since its founding 90 years ago. Now, at what is a defining time for the Harbour Corps, Athanassiou has published a history of the Corps to coincide with its 90th anniversary, and perhaps the demise of the service as world shipping has come to know it. Indeed, at the launch of the book: Ministry of Mercantile Marine and the Hellenic Harbour Corps (1919-2009), senior shipowners expressed their concern over the government's decision to split the HC and re-shape it into a service more akin to a Coast Guard. Speaking at the event, December 14 in the Piraeus Port Authority conference, Captain Panayiotis Tsakos spoke of the danger that the wealth of experience accumulated by the HC in dealing with technical and administrative issues involving shipping on a 24-hour, seven days a week basis, will be lost. Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, commended the role of the Harbour Corps in securing the growth and strength of Greek shipping, saying it was up to the industry to look positively on the government's decision to scrap the stand-alone Mercantle Marine ministry.
# The time has come for shipbroker RS Platou to officially announce the opening of RS Platou Hellas in Piraeus. As already announced in Newsfront, shipbroker Dimitri Ioannou, 34, is to head-up the office after being poached away from Clarkson Hellas. Establishment of Platou Hellas came shortly after the emergence of Richard Fulford-Smith as the new London-based partner of RS Platou. Fulford-Smith has a long relationship with the Greek community and when with Clarksons was behind the establishment of Clarkson Hellas some eight years ago. Platou's core business will be dry cargo chartering, s&p newbuilding and contracting of ships, taking advantage of RS Platou's international ship broking business network and presence. The Greek operation is located at: 1-3 Filellinon Street, 185 36 Piraeus Tel: +30 210 42 94 070 Fax: +30 210 42 94 071 Website: www.platou.gr. Manned by Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Nikos Zannos and George Grigoriadis the dry cargo chartering department is on E-mail: [email protected] S&P is on E-mail: [email protected] and the department is manned by: Ioannou, Harris Frangos and Dimitris Kapetanakis.
Source: www.newsfront.gr