Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 14 - 2010

 

Akti Miaouli / Marketplace

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> Signs the container ship market is recovering failed to save Danaos from Lazard Capital Markets analyst Urs Dur's dropping his recommendation to 'buy' the Piraeus-based shipowner's stock. Dur is worried about th fate of the John Coustas-led company's newbuilding programme.
"Danaos has 26 ships (all with long-term contracts) due for delivery between now and the end of 2012, and approximately $1.7bn in capital expenditures, much of which lacks debt finance today," the analyst said in a note to clients. "We believe the company will need to raise at least $500m in equity between now and end 2012.
The downgrade followed release of Danaos' 2009 fourth quarter results which were pretty much in line with what was expected. Dur, however, wrote: "We believe that, if DAC is able to delay its remaining 26 ships due for delivery by an average quarter, while maintaining its contracts on each, spread ship deliveries into 2013, raise $500m in equity between today and end 2012, and find debt financing, one can get the DAC model to yield a discounted cash flow of $10-11 a share." Dur lowered his 2010 earnings a share estimate to $1.02 from $1.34.
> Aegean Marine Petroleum has completed the Euro 30/35m acquisition of Belgium's Verbeke Bunkering N.V., a physical supplier of marine fuel in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam (ARA) region. E. Nikolas Tavlarios, president of Aegean Marine, said: "With this strategic transaction we have more than tripled Aegean Marine's global reach since going public in December 2006." He said Aegean Marine is well positioned to significantly strengthen its global brand recognition and increase sales volumes. The deal adds 18 units to the Dimitris Melissanidis-controlled Aegean fleet.
> A Greek bulker was reportedly involved in a collision with a fishing boat off China which left six people missing on the night of March 5. The Malta-flagged ship, named by Chinese state news agency Xinhua as Melinai, allegedly struck the fishing vessel near Taizhou City in Zhejiang province some 20 miles east of Dacheng Island. The ship involved is in fact thought to be the 27,500dwt Melina 1, built 1980, managed by United International Management.
> At the ordinary general meeting of Wista Hellas, March 29, Anna-Maria Monogioudi was re-elected to a second two-year term as president, while Jenny Pournara was re-elected vp. Others elected were: Secretary: Evgenia Saridou; Treasurer: Maria Alexandraki; and Member: Eleftheria Magiafi. Three alternate members and a three-member audit committee, were also elected.
> Coastal Oil Singapore Pte Ltd has expanded its network by the establishment of Coastal Oil Hellas Ltd with the goal of growing Coastal's presence in the European and Middle East regions and to create a platform from which the group can engage in the trade of marine bunkers and to market oil commodities and its related component products. Establishmnet of the Greek office is seen as key to Coastal expanding its trade network beyond the in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has has a physical presence and experienced market growth in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. The Coastal Group, sees Europe and Middle East as attractive markets, and under gm Nicholas Leopoulos, Coastal Oil Hellas provides up-to-date market coverage 24-hours a day and full technical support for its oil products from its offices at: 6 Anapiron Polemou Street & 33, Pigis Avenue, 151 27 Melissia, Athens-Greece Tel: +30 210 6228 021E/E+30 210 8082 805 Fax: +30 210 8089 315 E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected] Website: www.coastalpetrol.gr
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Greece owns one seventh of the world's fleet in terms of deadweight tonnage
---Date: 05-04-2010. - By Renee Maltezou
Greece's shipping industry is one of the pivotal industries in the Greek economy. How the sector fares this year is crucial for the country, which is battling with a debt crisis.
Here are some facts about Greek shipping:
* Shipping is one of the top contributors to Greece's 240 billion euro ($323.7 billion) economy along with tourism and construction. It accounted for about 5 percent of GDP in 2009.
* Greeks have been seafarers for thousands of years. Ship owners made fortunes running the British naval blockade in the Napoleonic wars and in the 20th century the riches and rivalry of Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos were legendary.
* Greece owns one seventh of the world's fleet in terms of deadweight tonnage (dwt). Its merchant fleet is the second largest in the world after Japan and ahead of China and Germany, at 140.7 million deadweight tonnage.
* Greece's fleet accounts for about 8 percent of the world's fleet in terms of vessels. The total number of ships it operates stands above 3,000.
* Greek ship owners are key players in the dry bulk shipping sector, which ferries strategic commodities including coal and iron ore, as well being active in the oil tanker market.
* Greek shippers have taken delivery of 230 newbuildings since the start of 2009. About 367 vessels are on order in 2010 and 249 will be on order next year.
* Foreign banks account for about 75 percent of lending to the Greek shipping industry. Total loans related to Greek ship finance booked last year fell by nearly 9 percent to $67.02 billion from $73.23 billion in 2008.
* The number of Greek companies operating ships stands at 1,142, managing on average three ships of 43,795 dwt capacity each.
* The Greek controlled fleet is registered under 47 flags. About 969 ships are Greek-flagged. Other big flags in the Greek fleet are Liberia and Panama, under which 581 and 558 vessels are registered respectively.
* Greek shipping companies have to pay a tonnage tax but are exempt from income taxes on profits from operating Greek registered vessels. Analysts expect Greece to maintain the favourable tax regime further cushioning the sector, adding that if direct taxation was introduced companies would relocate to other countries.
* While shipping accounts for just over 1 percent of Greece's 5 million workforce, its economic influence is far higher. Foreign earnings from shipping were about 13.5 billion euros last year, according to the central bank.
* Earnings hit a 10-year record high in 2008, at 19.2 billion euros ($25.78 billion) with the sector accounting for more than 7 percent of GDP.
* Greek shipping magnates invest in everything from Greek banks to construction and tourism.
Sources: Reuters; Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee/IHS Fairplay/ Petrofin/Deloitte
Source: http://www.balkans.com/interview-view_new.php?id=53241


Migration of Asian finance bolsters Greek owners
Two Asian banks debuted as lenders to Greek owners in 2009, according to Greek ship finance analyst Petrofin: Seoul-based Kexim and the Import-Export Bank of China.
Source: Fairplay - Trade 08 Apr 2010, www.fairplay.co.uk


Attica feels heat over Korea order
---European yards are calling into question the order price and funding being sought by a Greek owner to build at Daewoo.European shipbuilders have challenged moves by Greece's Attica Group to raise EUR 60m ($81m) using European taxpayers' money for newbuildings ordered in South Korea.
European yards are calling into question the order price and funding being sought by a Greek owner to build at Daewoo.European shipbuilders have challenged moves by Greece's Attica Group to raise EUR 60m ($81m) using European taxpayers' money for newbuildings ordered in South Korea.
Central to the complaint is the allegation that Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is building below break-even and breaching a European Union (EU)-Korea free-trade agreement signed in Brussels last October.
Attica has applied to the European Investment Bank (EIB) for funding toward the EUR 140m cost of ordering last year two 2,400-passenger ropax fast ferries. The owner is providing 40% equity.
"How can you justify European taxpayers' money for a project that is highly disputable?" said one shipbuilding source.
Attica says that for more than two years its management held talks with half-a-dozen yards in Northern and Southern Europe but they all failed to meet one or more of the group's requirements on delivery dates, pricing and provision of guarantees.
The row follows the Community of European Shipyards' Associations (Cesa) launching a procedure to investigate claims by its members of competitors tendering at "irrationally" low prices.
It is understood this is the first case to be fully investigated, although yard sources say there have been other complaints.
With competition for contracts having intensified, "it doesn't come as any surprise that some players are behaving like this", comments one yard source.
The Attica case was so politically sensitive because of the free-trade agreement that he insists on not being identified.
It is claimed that most complaints from builders in Europe target Daewoo for entering a so-called "price war" but not Hyundai Heavy Industries or Samsung Heavy Industries. Daewoo did not respond to questions from TradeWinds.
The Attica deal has touched a nerve because there have been so few contracts in recent years for ferries, one of the last bastions of European shipbuilding. Louis Cruises of Cyprus is said to have been negotiating with Daewoo to build a cruiseship, although nothing has been finalised.
EIB spokesman Richard Willis confirms the bank is carrying out a due diligence of the Attica project before deciding whether to lend the EUR 60m.
"There are clear procurement guidelines to follow and we have to ensure they are done properly," he said.
It is understood that this includes inquiring into any allegations of uncompetitive behaviour in which the European Commission (EC) may also play an investigative role.
The EIB is an EU institution owned by 27 member states and provides long-term financing for projects, including transport links in the region. Grimaldi last year benefitted from a EUR 80m loan for cruise ferries.
Attica chief financial officer Yannis Criticos says that after failed attempts to place an order in Europe, the group chose Daewoo, the same yard that built its three "most successful" vessels, the Blue Star Ithaki , Blue Star Paros and Blue Star Naxos .
He says the investment in new tonnage is to continue serving the Greek ferry market and further develop Greek island routes for the benefit of islanders, visitors and the movement of local produce and industrial goods. Greece is a member of the EU.
Almost everything carried will be European, he says, adding that the "benefits for the European ferry trade are very significant".
Attica declines to comment further but newbuilding sources claim European yards interested in building the ships, which will have 600 lane metres for trucks and trailers as well as space for private cars, were hugely more expensive than the South Koreans.
Also, the vessels are still likely to contain a large proportion of European components.
Upward of 75% of the value of passengerships can involve equipment supplies, with steelwork a much smaller proportion. However, Korean yards eager to enter or grow in the sector are keen to further develop their own supply networks.
By Geoff Garfield London
Published: 23:00 GMT, 08 Apr 10 | updated: 14:00 GMT, 08 Apr 10
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Navios to enter tanker sector
---(Apr 9 2010). A new company formed by the Greek shipping group Navios Holdingsis to purchase 13 tankers for nearly $500 mill.
Eleven will be product tankers, while the other two will be chemical carriers, according to New York based news agencies.
The aggregate purchase price is $457.7 mill, of which $123.4 mill will be paid from existing cash and $334.3 mill from debt financing. The company also has options to purchase two additional product tankers for $40.5 mill each.
Called Navios Acquisition, the new company is a so called SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company), which first offered shares to the public in June 2008, soon after the New York Stock Exchange allowed this type of company to list.
Navios Holdings and its CEO, Angeliki Frangou, is no stranger to the special-purpose vehicle type deal. A SPAC sponsored by Frangou in the early 2000s acquired Navios and brought it public, the agencies said.
One of the oldest names in drybulk, Navios has existed since the 1950s, when it was the oceangoing shipping arm of US Steel.
Generally, SPACs have about a two-year window within which to do a deal. If the sponsors don't meet this self-imposed deadline, the vehicles dissolve and shareholders theoretically get their money back, news agency TheStreet reported.
Navios Acquistion was therefore running up against its own deal deadline. According to a US SEC filing, the SPAC's CEO, Angeliki Frangou, who also heads up Navios Holdings and its sister company Navios Partners, was approached in February by a bank looking to help sell nine tankers then on order at shipyards.
Frangou said in a statement, "We are pleased to announce this transaction; Navios Acquisition will be a platform for building a world-leading operator of modern, high-quality product and chemical tankers. We are excited about building another company in the shipping sector and believe that the attractive market dynamics make this an ideal opportunity for leveraging our global network of relationships and world-class skills developed in building Navios Holdings into one of the pre-eminent drybulk shipping companies."
She continued, "We have successfully built shipping companies before. Since taking control of Navios Holdings in August of 2005, we grew the fleet from six owned and 22 chartered-in vessels, representing 1.8 mill dwt, to 32 owned and 27 chartered-in vessels, representing 6.4 mill dwt. We thus grew Navios Holding's fleet by 256%, in dwt.
"In addition, in 2007 Navios Holdings launched Navios Partners on the New York Stock Exchange, and Navios Partners currently has a fleet of 13 vessels. Today, the Navios group has a combined current enterprise value of $3 bill as compared to Navios Holdings' enterprise value in August 2005 of $0.6 bill, representing 414% growth. We aim to replicate these achievements in the tanker sector through Navios Acquisition," Frangou added.
Navios Holdings also said that it believed that this vessel acquisition programme was a valuable opportunity. If Navios Acquisition's stockholders do not approve this deal, Navios Holdings would purchase the vessels for its own account.
Frangou further explained, "To help execute our growth strategy, we are assembling a board of directors and senior management team that has extensive experience in shipping and tanker sector. I will continue to serve as chairman and CEO, and Ted Petrone will continue to serve as president and board member. We have also appointed Leonidas Korres, previously our SVP for business development, as CFO.
"I am also pleased to announce that Rex Harrington, who formerly served on the boards of Navios Holdings, Dampskibsselskabet TORM, Clarksons PLC and Lloyd's Register, will join our board of directors. We look forward to leveraging our combined operating and transaction experience to grow Navios Acquisition into a world-leading operator of modern, high-quality product and chemical tankers," she concluded.
Source: Tanker Operator's newsletter, www.tankeroperator.com


NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Dropdown of Six Vessels and Ship Management Company
---PIRAEUS, Greece, April 6, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) ("NewLead" or "the Company") today announced it has completed the dropdown of six vessels (four drybulk vessels and two product tankers) and Newlead Shipping S.A., an integrated technical and commercial management company, from Grandunion Inc. ("Grandunion"). In connection with this transaction, NewLead transferred to Grandunion 8,844,444 shares of NewLead's common stock and assumed existing liabilities.
Michael S. Zolotas, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewLead Holdings Ltd., stated, "The successful closing of this transaction is another step in transforming NewLead Holdings. The six vessels have quality time charters and are expected to add approximately $19.4 million in EBITDA annually." Mr. Zolotas continued, "Newlead Shipping S.A. provides us with technical and commercial management necessary for a fully integrated maritime company. We anticipate that technical and commercial management will create significant contribution to our operating profit through higher vessel utilization and operating cost efficiencies and allow NewLead to achieve a competitive cost structure."
As a result of this transaction, NewLead Holdings' fleet consists of eleven product tankers and seven drybulk carriers.
Newlead Shipping S.A. is an integrated technical and commercial management company, appropriately licensed and staffed to provide a broad spectrum of technical and commercial management services to all segments within the maritime industry. Newlead has the following accreditations:
* ISO 9001 from American Bureau of Shipping Quality Evaluations for a quality management system, by consistently providing a service that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and enhancing customer satisfaction through, among other things, processes for continual improvement;
* ISO 14001 from American Bureau of Shipping Quality Evaluations for environmental management, including policy and objectives targeting compliance to the legal and other requirements to which the Company subscribes;
* Certificate of Company Compliance from ABS to the Safety, Quality and Environmental from American Bureau of Shipping.
Newlead Shipping S.A.'s management has broad expertise, including specialized knowledge required for managing oil tankers, gas carriers, chemical carriers and bulkers. Senior personnel have a successful performance record and the support of a dedicated pool of senior engineers and top-class masters.
Related Matters
Based on the outstanding shares at March 31, 2010, we believe the number of NewLead's shares outstanding, giving effect to this transaction, will be 88,298,265.
As a result of this transaction, Grandunion owns approximately 28.5% of the Company and, as a result of the voting agreement, controls the vote of approximately 48.4% of the Company's outstanding common shares.
For more detailed information concerning this transaction, please see the Form 6K which is anticipated to be filed shortly.
About NewLead Holdings Ltd.
NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international shipping company that owns and operates product tankers, and dry bulk vessels. To learn more about the Company, please visit the Company's website at .
Source: www.newleadholdings.com


Hellenic Mediterranean Panel elects Turkish vice chairman
Sabaz is a share owner in the Besiktas Group Companies. He was elected for two years at the spring convention of the Panel held on March 18, 2010. The Besiktas Group has been a member of InterTAN since 1997.
Source: MarineDeal News <[email protected]>


Aegean Marine Petroleum Shares Attractively Valued With Bunkering Demand Strengthening Considerably
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Source: Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC