Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 03 - 2010
---Three Greek owners have teamed up in an effort to cancel seven 34,000-dwt bulkers at South Korea's 21st Century Shipbuilding.
Greece's Hellenic Star Shipping, Primerose Shipping and Laskaridis Shipping are locked in negotiations after the yard met with financial troubles.
According to Hellenic Star boss Evangelos Maltezos, the trio have been acting in unison for some time.
He says the slipway on which the seven bulkers are to be constructed has yet to be built and even if is finished in time, it is highly unlikely the ships will meet their delivery dates.
The yard, the owner continues, has provided letters assuring that it has bank cover to proceed with the projects. But the owners are not convinced, Maltezos says, and talks between the two camps have come to a standstill.
Market observers have been hinting that Greek owners have been taking collective action against yards since last year but no examples have emerged until now.
21st Century filed for a debt restructuring last week and has applied for a workout programme with Korea Development Bank (KDB) that has yet to be officially approved.
Hellenic Star has three ships on order at the yard - hull numbers 1006, 1008 and 1010. The contracts were inked at around $36m each. Primerose has two - hull numbers 1007 and 1009 - ordered in the summer of 2008 for between $38m to $40m. All five are for delivery in 2011.
Laskaridis Shipping controls the other three contracts - hull numbers 1002 1003 and 1004. The first two are for delivery at the end of this year and the third in early 2011. They were booked at $36m each.
Meanwhile, Hellenic Star confirms it has reduced its newbuilding portfolio from seven to four ships.
Hellenic also has one 57,000-dwt bulker on order at Qingshan Shipyrad in China for delivery this year. It was part of a trio costing $35m each. The yard, however, was late on delivery, so Hellenic Star negotiated an extension waiving penalties and cancellation rights but it did ditch a third bulker. The first of the series was delivered in 2009.
Two remaining 50,500-dwt double-hull chemical tankers at SPP Shipbuilding for delivery in 2010 have also been cancelled. These were part of a six-ship order priced at $45.2m each. Hellenic Star took delivery of the first pair in 2008 and another two last year.
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 00:00 GMT, 22 Jan 2010 | last updated: 14:13 GMT, 21 Jan 2010
Delivery drive Neptune gets second carrier
---Clive Woodbridge - Thursday 21 January 2010
PIRAEUS-based Neptune Lines will today take delivery of the second in a series of six car carrier newbuildings ordered from the Hyundai Mipo yard. The 11,361 dwt Neptune Ithaki , which will be deployed on routes in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, is a sister to the Neptune Kefalonia , which was handed over to the Greek operator last October.
Both vessels are 169 m long and can transport up to 3,100 passenger cars. As such they are, by some distance, the largest vessels in the Neptune Lines fleet and they are expected to provide significant economy of scale benefits.
The new vessel type has been designed to give a higher degree of operational flexibility and to accommodate a wide range of cargo types, while reducing environmental impact. Neptune Kefalonia, pictured, and Neptune Ithaki are equipped with multiple thrusters, have a high load capacity stern ramp and stern quarter ramp, and are fitted with an environmentally friendly propulsion plant, including a CPP propeller and shaft generator.
Neptune Lines has four further car carrier vessels in this series on order at Hyundai Mipo. The next two are expected to enter service in the first half of 2010 and the two final ships in the series are scheduled for delivery in 2012.
NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Closing of Container Vessel Sale
--- Exits Container Sector
ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) (the "C, Jan 20, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) (the "Company") announced that the MSC Seine, a 1990-built 2,917 TEU Container vessel, was delivered to her new owner today, January 20, 2010. As previously announced, the gross proceeds from sale will be used to reduce debt and add flexibility to the balance sheet.
About NewLead Holdings Ltd.
NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international shipping company that owns and operates product tanker and dry bulk vessels. The Company's products tanker fleet consists of five MR tankers and four Panamax tankers, all of which are double-hulled. The Company also owns three dry bulk vessels secured on period charters.
---By Tom Leander, Wednesday 20 January 2010
AS THINGS generally go in shipping, it is the lack of noise that signals that the real action has begun.
On Monday, we reported that Greek shipowners had successfully forced down newbuilding contract prices with Asian shipyards.
Some owners recognised that they could cancel an existing contract with a Chinese yard and replace that with a newbuilding in South Korea and walk away with a new ship and in the black.
All of this is taking a time-honoured path. Shipowners around the world tend to look at what their Greek colleagues are up to. They may be breathing easier now. This is the most concrete sign yet that the paralysed newbuildings market is finally showing signs of life.
Source: Lloyd's List Newsroom Blog
Shipping revenues sank in 2009
Win/win opportunities for Greek owners and banks
--- Greek owners want more finance; Greek banks want business. Can they get together for mutual benefit?
According to Ted Petropoulos, managing director of Petrofin, the Athens-based ship finance analyst, 2009 put a strain on the relationship between Greek shippers and foreign banks which have traditionally supported Greek shipping projects.
This is not the case with Greek banks that lend to shipping. They have made clear their intention to remain committed to the industry, unlike their foreign counterparts, according to Petropoulos.
In the past year, he continued, many banks exploited client asset cover breaches, restructures and/or the fact that there has been limited fresh lending to increase their loan portfolio yields.
Petropoulos predicted that loan demand will exceed supply for at least one to two years and added that terms are at their highest ever. Meanwhile, loan conditions are stringent and more secure due to low values.
The fact that there is an absence of alternative lending opportunities to Greek industries other than shipping increases the chances that Greek banks will be willing to further penetrate the market, or even enter it for the first time, said Petropoulos.
$73.2Bn total Greek lending at the end of 2008
Top 12 banks lending to Greek shipping:
1 - RBS / ABN - $14.74Bn
2 - HSH Nordbank - $5.67Bn
3 - Commerzbank (with Dresdner and Deutsche Schiffs) - $7.60Bn
4 - Credit Suisse - $4.90Bn
5 - National Bank of Greece - $3.55Bn
6 - DNB - $3.04Bn
7 - Emporiki Bank of Greece - $2.97Bn
8 - Calyon - $2.97Bn
9 - Alpha Bank - $2.65Bn
11 - HVB - $2.18Bn
12 - Piraeus - $2.08Bn
Source: http://www.fairplay.co.uk. Fairplay - Trade 21 Jan 2010
Upgrading of Piraeus becomes part of national strategic plan
---The government is to draw on European funds to develop Greek shipping's homeport, Piraeus. Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping minister, Louka Katseli said it is the intention to incorporate the development of Piraeus into the government's national strategic plan (ESPA) for 2007/2013 and draw on EU, as well as state and private funding, to carry the plan through.
Development of the Piraeus port and the city itself was the subject of a special meeting called by deputy Prime minister, Theodoros Pangalos, and attended by a number of government ministers, Piraeus MPs, the Piraeus Prefect, Yiannis Michas, Piraeus Port Authority chairman and md, George Anormeritis and the Mayor of Piraeus, Panayiotis Fasoulas.
A further meeting has been set for February 17, at which specific projects are to be discussed under the coordination of Anormeritis and the secretary general of shipping policy, George Vlachos. Aim of the plan is to develop the port in harmony with the city by connecting both in a common investment programme. Pangalos said the development of Piraeus city is being neglected.
Among projects to be promoted include: upgrading of the waterfront generally; the development of sea tourism; construction of a five star hotel; implementation of the longstanding plan to create an internationally acceptable exhibition centre; the creation of sports facilities and green park areas; the connection of the port with the metro and tram networks; and upgrade the shiprepair zone.
Financing will come from EU funds and the European Investment Bank's (EIB) Euro 3bn facility. Further, the private sector will be invited to take part in joint ventures.
-- Filed: 2010-01-20
Maria Damanaki - Commissioner designate impresses MEPs
---20 January, 2010. THE NEW European fisheries commissioner designate, Maria Damanaki, has already been invited to Scotland to see first hand the failings of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The Greek politician, who has been recommended by the Commission to manage fisheries, yesterday (Tuesday) attended a three hour grilling by the European Parliament's fisheries committee.
Afterwards Scottish MEPs from all sides of the political spectrum said they were impressed by Ms Damanaki's performance and her grasp of the complex management issues.
If she becomes a commissioner later this year she will oversee the forthcoming reform of European fisheries policy.
SNP president Ian Hudghton MEP said that whilst he was impressed by Ms Damanaki's willingness to engage fully with members of the committee, he expressed concerns that some of her statements showed a lack of awareness as to the extent of the CFP's failings.
"I have invited Ms Damanaki to come to Scotland at the earliest possible opportunity to see first hand the efforts of the Scottish fleet," he said.
Tory MEP Struan Stevenson added that she will be a competent commissioner.
"I was impressed with Mrs Damanaki's broad grasp of the complex fisheries brief. Her performance during three intensive hours of examination was intelligent and articulate. She will be a highly competent commissioner," he said.
During the debate Ms Damanaki said: "We are not discussing giving back powers to the member states, but that does not rule out involving them in day to day implementation of our management policies.
"We need tailor-made solutions for special sea-basins. If we are to avoid micro-management from the centre and 'one-size-fits-all' policies, then tailor-made solutions are the answer, but I appreciate that this will be a difficult journey if we are to achieve a fishery that is sustainable environmentally, economically and socially."
She went on to rule out any return to subsidised 'new-build' for fishing vessels, although financial assistance for modernisation would be allowed.
She added that there will be no question of re-nationalisation of the CFP under her term in office, but that replacing TACs and quotas with an effort-reduction system (days at sea) across the whole of the EU would not be easy.
"It might be appropriate in some fisheries, but not all", she said.
Says Philippine Embassy in Greece: Stranded Filipino sailors to get back pay
In its report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the embassy said the monies to be given to the crew, including 12 Filipinos, was calculated using Greek wage standard which is about four times more than what the seafarers would have received on wages stipulated in their contracts.
Philippine Ambassador to Greece Rigoberto Tiglao said that while they are awaiting their salaries, the embassy continue to extend assistance to these seafarers.
The embassy also offered to house them at the Filipino Workers Resource Center for the meantime.
The statement also said that when the seafarers decided to file a case against the vessel owner, the embassy engaged a lawyer for them, but only one decided to be represented by that lawyer. The rest was represented by the lawyer from the International Transport Federation.
Embassy officials and staff have constantly communicated with them to ask about their welfare and well being, as well as providing them with food and other basic needs.
Tiglao also sent a letter to the Greek Minister of Economy, Competitiveness, and Shipping Louka Katseli requesting her to allow the return to the Philippines of the seamen as soon as possible even before the arrival of the relief crew, the statement said.
Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20100124-249161/Stranded-Filipino-sailors-to-get-back-pay First Posted 12:17:00 01/24/2010 Filed Under: Overseas Employment, Transport, Waterway & Maritime Transport
Shipping confidence levels stable
---By David Hughesm Published: Thu, 21 January 2010
Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry have stabilised, according to the latest Shipping Confidence survey by shipping account and adviser Moore Stephens, although a sustainable recovery in the markets still appears to be some way off.
Hellenic- / Norwegian-American Chambers of Commerce - Shipping Conference 9 February 2010
The event, to be held February 9 2010 at the New York Helmsley Hotel, will discuss: Will China Lead Shipping out of the Global Recession?
For preliminary program and registration details: http://www.hellenicamerican.cc/ship2010Fin.pdf
For further information contact either Chamber: HACC +212 629 6380 / NACC +212 885 9737 or [email protected]
Capital Link - Greek Shipping Forum - 23 February 2010
Capital Link Greece Shipping Forum: Accessing Capital in Today's Markets Coming out of the Crisis - Positioning for the Rebound
Tuesday February 23, 2010, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel, Athens, Greece
Global Lead Sponsor: Fortis Bank Nederland Silver Sponsor: PricewaterhouseCoopers
The 2009 Greek Shipping Forum in Athens debates the current trends in the shipping, financial and capital markets and focuses on the latest capital raising methods and various alternative funding options in a tight credit market for public and private ship owners. Also, how to manage risk in today's global and highly volatile market environment.
The Forum will also evaluate new and emerging business models by the Greek Shipowning community in response to asset value reductions and volatility in the global shipping markets.
Greek ship owners are a major force in global shipping operating more than 20% of the global fleet. Throughout the many historical downturns, Greek ship owners have been able to manage and survive weak freight markets long enough to turn losses into profits when markets improved. This could be the reason why the shipping and investor community continue to look at the behavior of Greek ship owners during peaks and troughs as they have been able to prove the art of success in one of the most difficult to predict professions in the world.
Taking a hard look at new global investment strategies and risk, the Capital Link Shipping Forum is designed as an interactive informational and networking forum for addressing a range of current opportunities and challenges specific to the shipping community but relevant to all global financiers and investors.
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
New York Vincent Tricoli, Tel: +1 212 661-7566 ext 234, Email: [email protected]
Greece Vicky Siabani, Tel: +30 210 6109800, Email: [email protected]