Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 22 - 2010
---As the 1,856 exhibitors from 87 countries taking part in Posidonia 2010 were at work finalising their stands, the 22nd edition of Posidonia was being described as the most international exhibition event worldwide. It was also being seen as a golden opportunity to demonstrate one of Greece's great strengths at a time when the country is pretty much under the cosh.
"Posidonia is a great opportunity for Greece. It is important in difficult times to demonstrate the strengths you have. Shipping is an area of real strength for Greece. It is a huge opportunity for Greece to show it has such an important industry," said David Moorhouse, chairman of Lloyd's Registry.
Indeed, recognising this a high profile committee comprising senior members of the Greek shipping community has been created to enhance the contribution Posidonia makes to the shipping industry and to take advantage of the many opportunities it presents in promoting the interests of Greek shipping. Themistocles Vokos, chairman Posidonia Exhibitions, said the goal of the Posidonia Coordinating Committee is "to further strengthen the existing links of Posidonia with the Greek shipping community so that the industry's aspirations can be effectively projected both at home and abroad".
Under the chairmanship of John C Lyras, past president and current board member of the Union of Greek Shipowners, the committee comprises: George A. Gratsos, chairman of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Theodore E. Veniamis,E president of the UGS, Haralambos J. Fafalios, chairmanEof the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee of London, and Vokos.
"In its 44-year history, Posidonia has served as a networking forum between shipping industry professionals and has laid the foundations for thousands of business transactions that have had significant contributions to national economies and corporate bottom lines, jobs creation and growth stimulation," said Vokos.
"And thanks to some 10,000 international high level shipping industry executives who will visit the show, Posidonia also injects significant foreign exchange inflows directly into a large number of tourism industry SMB's, the spinal chord of Greece's economy. This is estimated to be a biennial windfall of around Euro 50m spent in tourism related activities in Athens and the Aegean islands," said Vokos.E
Posidonia 2010 is set to open at the Hellenikon Exhibition Centre, June 7 and run to June 11. Occupying some 31,000sq mtrs, the 2010 edition is the largest Posidonia ever, 11.5% bigger than the 2008 event. It is expected to attract upwards of 15,000 visitors in total from the shipping industry, a remarkable achievement considering the global economic downturn.
-- Filed: 2010-06-04
--Not much attention has been given to those owners who quietly sold off large parts of their fleets.
Over the past year, much discussion has surrounded Greek shipowners who went out on a limb and possibly overextended themselves with secondhand purchases and newbuildings during the boom years.
Almost as much has been said about those who made few or no moves during that time and are now ready to use their cash reserves.
But very little has been said about the owners who took advantage of soaring prices to sell, in some cases their whole fleet, and who for the past couple of years have kept behind the parapet.
The move was seen as extremely wise because many of them were somewhat elderly general cargoships or multipurpose (MPP) vessels that in a less buoyant market might not have been so sellable.
On several occasions thereafter, P&A was said to have booked newbuildings but Pateras has consistently denied this.
Now, however, it looks as if Pateras is on the brink of making a more substantial move.
The group has examined various possibilities, adds Dheere, not just the purchase of bulkers, which were its main area of operation, but also containerships and other types of vessels.
Another owner who almost completely disposed of his privately controlled fleet was Petros Pappas of the Oceanbulk group but he believes he moved too soon.
This is not to say Pappas did not make a profit on the sales, maybe just not as much as he would have made later.
From close to 30 ships in mid-2003, Pappas had whittled the fleet down to just three chartered-out vessels by mid-2005.
But the owner has not been out of shipping entirely. He is the non-executive chairman of Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk Carriers and is understood to hold a stake of about 18% in the company. It has recently booked two capesize newbuildings and bought a third in the secondhand market.
Pappas is ambivalent about the future of the market but at the same time hints that he is working on a shipping deal, although he will not reveal anything for now.
Another owner to have quietly sold a huge number of ships over the past few years is Charalambos Mylonas of Transmed.
However, depending on the source of information, Transmed is also listed as having up to 17 newbuildings on order, all theoretically set for delivery this year and next.
Other databases list different combinations of orders.
These are of course not the only Greek companies that have shrunk their fleets through multiple sales and in all three examples it is clear that the right business opportunities will bring them back into the headlines, willingly or not.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 21:59 GMT, 03 Jun 10 | updated: 21:03 GMT, 02 Jun 10
Greek interests spread far and wide
---Although the economic downturn has blown away the newbuilding market and reduced the budgets available to upgrade vessels, shipbuilding is still one of the potential growth areas that will generate interest at Posidonia 2010.
Age profile continues to improve
As the number of vessels worldwide fell over the past year, the overall size of the Greek fleet shrank accordingly, as it lost 80 ore and bulk carriers, 24 containers and 56 dry cargo vessels. Apart from the figure for oil tankers, which rose by eight vessels, the number of tankers dropped, as chemical and products tankers diminished by 38 vessels and gas tankers by 11.
The biggest loser in percentage terms is Greek-controlled combination or OBO vessels that can carry ore or oil, which dropped 3-4% over the last 12 months in comparison with the world fleet.
A large percentage of Greek-controlled ships sail under the flags of the major registration states, with Panama and Liberia both having 14% of deadweight, Malta 13% and the Marshall Islands12%. Cyprus and the Bahamas are not far behind with 7% each. Malta and the Marshall Islands have made major gains, as owners have moved away from the Greek, Panama and Cyprus flags.
A noticeable feature is that the age profile of the Greek-controlled fleet has kept getting younger over the last decade. The average age was more than 20 in 2000, but is only 11.6 years in 2010 and because newer vessels are larger the average age is just 8.2 years old in terms of deadweight.
Hundreds of ships may be owned offshore and plenty of Greek owners and operators may live outside the country, but the shipping industry is of great importance to Greece. One can gauge this by the massive amount of local sponsorship, provided by such organisations as the Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping; the Municipality of Piraeus; the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping; the Union of Greek Shipowners; the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee; the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association; the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies; and the Union of Marine Enterprises.
The Greeks themselves are no longer shipbuilders and have taken little interest in recycling activities, so agents of the Asian yards could be generating a lot of business, but there should still be enough scope for an enterprising service provider or equipment manufacturer with global credentials.
Source: http://www.fairplay.co.uk, Solutions and Newbuildings - Magazine - Feature 03 Jun 2010
Gregory Callimanopulos: the Hellenic lion
* Thursday 03 June 2010 * by Nigel Lowry
He may seem a shade closer than most of his peers to tabloid-style fantasies of what a shipping magnate ought to be like. But, ironically, that is one of a number of traits that set him apart from many shipowners seen on the streets of Piraeus in real life.
Mr Callimanopulos seems at ease with the fact that the breadth of his interests can be seen as both strength and weakness.
Descended from a leading chieftain in the Greek War of Independence, his father, Pericles Callimanopulos, began in the shipping business just after the First World War. Establishing Hellenic Lines in 1935 filled a gap for a Greek-owned liner service linking the country with the outside world. Against all the odds, Hellenic managed to break into the liner trades and, in the early months of the Second World War, even managed to launch a service linking the US with Greece and Turkey.
After the war, the founder moved to the US with the goal of rebuilding the shattered service. The following year, the rest of his family, including the 10-year-old Gregory Callimanopulos, boarded a steamer to relocate in New York.
Somehow, Hellenic expanded its fleet to about 40 ships and widened its network to the Middle East and Indian Ocean, succeeding in the face of discrimination by liner conferences and indifference on the part of the Greek government.
But all shipping sectors are closely monitored and the choices have been the result of independent thinking.
Four of the vessels have been financed by $127m from the Export-Import Bank of China with Citibank, making Toisa one of the first select foreign shipping companies to win major bankrolling from Chinese financiers.
Mentally bracketing the tankers with the offshore sector as a more demanding business than dry, he continued investing in tankers and the group began 2010 with a fleet of seven on the wet side. The sole single-hull left is the very large crude carrier Pericles G.C., built in 1990, which was acquired from World-Wide Shipping four years ago for a reported $39m. Mr Callimanopulos suggests the VLCC will soon be phased out.
Further renewal is already taking place as six more new tankers roll off the production line, this time from China New Times Shipbuilding. Ordered in 2006 for an estimated $400m, there are three 114,000 dwt aframaxes and three 163,000 dwt suezmaxes, all of which are expected to join the Marine Management fleet by end-August this year.
But then he does.
Most probably, the Princeton-educated owner was not at all that they had bargained for. But just to underline the point, he brought their cross-examination to an end himself by asking them to make available an office for him to make some urgent business calls.
With that, he turns away, looking to live life more than dwell on it excessively.
Seanergy Maritime acquires 51% stake in Maritime Capital Shipping & Expansion to 20 Dry Bulk Vessels
Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp. Appoint Brigitte Noury and Anna Kalathakis to its BoD
Ms. Brigitte Noury served, from March 2002 until December 2009, as Director of Corporate & Investment Banking Asset & Recovery Management - Europe for Societe Generale. She also served, from June 1989 until February 2002, as Head of Shipping at Societe Generale. Mrs. Noury received a Master of Economic Sciences and a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Dijon.
Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: NNA) is a global shipping company specializing in the product and chemical tanker sectors.
Lloyd's Register Hellenic Advisory Committee meeting held in Piraeus this week
The next Committee meeting will be held in November.
Notes to editors
Contact: Annita Patargia, Media Relations Coordinator, T +30 210 4580835, E [email protected], www.lr.org
Michalis Pagonis recognise for 60 years with the Tsavliris Salvage Group
The Tsavliris Salvage Group and many in the Greek shipping community gathered February 23 at the Yacht Club of Greece to celebrate the New Year and to recognise the contribution to salvage of Michalis Pagonis, who has offered a staggering 60 years of loyal service to the Tsavliris group.
Pagonis, who began his career as a teenager and worked for the founder of Tsavliris Salvage, Alexander G. Tsavliris and now for his three sons, Nicolas, George and Andreas Tsavliris, spoke of his pride in being a part of the accomplishment of "turning the company into one of the most recognised salvage and towage companies worldwide".
Source: Newmartec, June 2010.
Supreme Court rules on issue of international arbitration and ship arrests
Contributed by Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC, May 19 2010
The Cyprus court was referred to the English Court of Appeal decision in The Vasso ((1984) 1 Lloyd's Law Reports, 235), where the owner of cargo carried onboard the defendant's ship wished to pursue a claim against the defendant for damage to that cargo. After the plaintiff had commenced an action in rem in the Admiralty Court, the parties entered into an ad hoc agreement to arbitrate and the plaintiff actively pursued its claim in the arbitration (there being no arbitration clause in the bill of lading). Having sold the vessel in the meantime, the defendant refused to provide security and the plaintiff applied to the Admiralty Court for an order to arrest the ship, which was granted. The defendant applied to the admiralty court for (i) a declaration that it did not have jurisdiction to arrest the vessel as security for arbitration proceedings, and (ii) an order discharging the undertaking by the defendant's protection and indemnity club which was filed for the purpose of releasing the vessel. The court granted both orders requested by the defendant.
In reaching his decision, the judge quoted the following extract from The Vasso at p 242:
"However, on the law as it stands at present, the Court's jurisdiction to arrest a ship in an action in rem should not be exercised for the purpose of providing security for an award which may be made in arbitration proceedings. That is simply because the purpose of the exercise of the jurisdiction is to provide security in respect of the action in rem, and not to provide security in some other proceedings, for example, arbitration proceedings. The time may well come when the law on this point may be changed: see s. 26 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act, 1982, which has however not yet been brought into force. But that is not yet the law. It follows that if a plaintiff invokes the jurisdiction of the Court to obtain the arrest of a ship as security for an award in arbitration proceedings, the Court should not issue a warrant of arrest."
The Vasso was the sole decision to which the Cyprus court referred. The judge noted that even though the extract quoted above was said in passing, it constituted a sufficient basis to conclude that the Cyprus Admiralty Division did not have jurisdiction "in the circumstances of the present case that were explained, since the request of the plaintiff is for security in connection to the result of an arbitration procedure".
Therefore, the decision in Nationwide Shipping Inc should be interpreted as being confined to the ability to arrest a vessel. The Supreme Court has recently confirmed the power of Cyprus courts to issue interim orders in aid of international commercial arbitration proceedings, having adopted, among other things, the following principles from English cases:
* "The jurisdiction of national courts is primarily territorial, being ordinarily dependent on the presence of persons or assets within their jurisdiction. Commercial necessity resulting from the increasing globalisation of trade has encouraged the adoption of measures to enable national courts to provide assistance to one another, thereby overcoming difficulties occasioned by the territorial limits of their respective jurisdictions."
* "Once the court is satisfied that there are such assets in the possession or control of the co-defendant, the jurisdiction exists to make a freezing order as ancillary and incidental to the claim against the principal defendant, although there is no direct cause of action against the co-defendant."
* "Equally, there may be instances where a party seeks an order that will have an effect on a third party, which only the court could grant."
* "I can see no reason why 'assets' should be limited to the defendant's assets."
Further to the general power of Cyprus courts to issue Mareva injunctions under the Administration of Justice Law, the Supreme Court has specific power under the Merchant Shipping Laws to issue orders prohibiting any dealing with respect to ships registered in the Cyprus Ship Registry.
For further information on this topic please contact Costas Stamatiou at Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC by telephone (+357 25 110 000), fax (+357 25 110 001) or email ([email protected]).