Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 31 - 2010

 

Greek copycat orders seen

---A SURGE in Greek orders of Kamsarmax ships has to do with copycat behaviour, not growth expected in Asian exports, a Greek broker told Fairplay today.
Maria Bertzeletou of Golden Destiny in Piraeus said Greek owners are exploiting the willingness of yards to amend orders for little cost.
Handymax orders by Greek owners have meantime been very rare, she pointed out. A Kamsarmax is an 82,000dwt ship with an overall length of 229m.
Bertzeletou discounted indications from some Greek brokers that coal increases expected from India are behind the Kamsarmax orders.
Another Piraeus broker, George Moundreas, has said 55 of 93 bulker orders placed by Greeks were Kamsarmaxes during the first half of 2010.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 04 Aug 2010


ABS exhonerated in 'Prestige' case
The tanker broke up and sank in 2002, creating severe pollution off the Spanish coast.
Spain alleged the defendant was negligent in its inspection of the 26-year-old, single-hulled tanker six months before the sinking and failed to detect and warn about corrosion and other problems.
In her 20-page ruling, Swain said she recognised a "general imperative to hold appropriate parties accountable for oil spills that cause major economic and environmental damage," Reuters said.
She nevertheless said classification societies could not under US maritime law be liable to injured countries on the basis of reckless conduct in its certifications.
"By relieving shipowners of their ultimate responsibility for certified ships, such a rule would be inconsistent with the shipowner's non-delegable duty to ensure the seaworthiness of the ship," she said. "The shipowner is ultimately in control of the activities on board ship."
Swain previously dismissed Spain's case in 2008 on the grounds she lacked jurisdiction. A federal appeals court in New York last year ordered her to reconsider the matter.
Brian Starer, a partner at Squire Sanders & Dempsey representing Spain, said he was disappointed with the ruling.
"To give them in essence a free pass is shocking in this day and age," Starer said in an interview with Reuters.
ABS spokesman Stewart Wade said he was pleased with the decision, calling it "correct and appropriate."
Source: http://www.tankeroperator.com/news/todisplaynews.asp?NewsID=2128


More Greek players join rush to order kamsarmaxes
---Two more well-known Greek names have joined the stampede to book kamsarmax bulkers as the orderbook for the vessels continues to swell.
Christos Kanellakis, who controls Alpha Tankers & Freighters along with his wife, Anna, sister of John Angelicoussis, confirms that the company has booked four 82,000-dwt bulkers at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. Brokers say the ships are to replace a pair of aframax tankers booked at the yard but then cancelled.
However, Kanellakis says this is not correct. The order for four ships with one option attached, which has not been exercised, was originally negotiated back in February and signed before Easter, he says.
Brokers suggest the vessels are to be delivered in July, September, October and December of 2012 but Kanellakis says they are due mid-year, although he could not confirm specific months. No price has been attached to the orders.
The owner says he is unable to reveal what the remaining four ships on order are but does say that they may be under construction in Japan.
Kyla Shipping, headed up by Nicholas Livanos, has also booked four kamsarmaxes at Hyundai Samho. A company executive confirms the order but declines to comment on the report that they are replacing two suezmax tankers it had on order there.
The 158,000-dwt tankers were reported booked in December 2007 for delivery in August and November 2011. At the time, no price was given on the deal.
It is understood that the kamsarmax order was inked some time ago, at the end of May or early June, and the ships are said to be due for delivery in January, February, June and August 2012. No price details are available. Kyla has this week taken delivery of the 91,800-dwt post-panamax bulker Michalis L from Sungdong Shipbuilding.
The eight new kamsarmaxes come on top of an escalating number of ships in this category booked by Greeks this year. Last week, TradeWinds reported that the Latsis group had inked a pair of 82,000-dwt bulkers at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD).
According to Piraeus broker George Moundreas & Co, Greek owners ordered 55 kamsarmaxes in the first half of the year.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 21:59 GMT, 05 Aug 10 | updated: 19:16 GMT, 04 Aug 10
Source: http://www.tradewinds.no


Top Ships Reports Second Quarter And First Half 2010 Financial Results
For the three months ended June 30, 2010, the Company reported:
- Net loss of $1.8 million or $0.06 per share.
- Operating income of $4.1 million.
- Revenues of $21.8 million.
For the six months ended June 30, 2010, the Company reported:
- Net loss of $0.9 million or $0.03 per share.
- Operating income of $9.5 million.
- Revenues of $44.9 million.
Evangelos J. Pistiolis, President and Chief Executive Officer of TOP Ships Inc., commented:
We are pleased to report a positive operating income for the second quarter and the first six months of 2010, which is a result of our committed charter portfolio. Net profit would have been marginally positive for the second quarter and $1.8 million for the first six months of 2010, respectively, before drydocking costs.
We are also pleased to report that we expect to complete an agreement with DVB Bank to restructure the bridge loan, which was due to be repaid on July 30, 2010. We expect that the agreement will involve a partial repayment and new maturity date. We believe that our relationship with DVB Bank remains excellent.
The visibility of our cash flows has been further enhanced following our entry into a 3-year time charter contract for the M/V Cyclades with a well-established charterer at a daily rate of $20,000. The charter will commence upon redelivery of the vessel from its present charterer.
[ Full News Release is at http://www.topships.org/inv_relations.php ]
Source: http://www.topships.org/inv_relations.php


Tsakos Energy Navigation Reports Profits For Second Quarter 2010
---Operating expenses decline by 14% - Total net income since 2002 exceeds $1 billion
SECOND QUARTER 2010 HIGHLIGHTS
- Voyage revenues of $112.8 million
- Operating income of $30.1 million
- Net income of $8.5 million
- EPS, diluted, of $0.22 per share
- Vessel average daily operating expenses decreased by 14% to $7,342
- Delivery of a new building aframax and sale of one aframax and one panamax tanker with total gains of $5.8 million
- Semi-annual dividend of $0.30 per share paid in April 2010 (bringing the total for fiscal 2009 to $0.60)
- Quarterly dividend declared of $0.15 with first payment in July, 2010
FIRST HALF 2010 HIGHLIGHTS
- Voyage revenues of $217.5 million
- Operating income of $63.2 million
- Net income of $27.9 million
- EPS, diluted, of $0.73 per share
- Quarterly dividend policy announced
For full text go to http://tenn.gr/en/financial/TEN_PROFITS_FOR_SECOND_QUARTER_2010.pdf
Source: http://tenn.gr/en/financial/TEN_PROFITS_FOR_SECOND_QUARTER_2010.pdf


Omega Navigation Enterprises Announces Capital Injection by Founder and CEO
---Athens, Greece August 5, 2010, - Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONAV, SGX: ONAV50), a provider of global marine transportation services focusing on product tankers, announced today that it agreed to a capital infusion of $5.25 million through a loan by its founder, CEO and largest shareholder, Mr. George Kassiotis.
The capital infusion will be made through a company owned and controlled by George Kassiotis in the form of a secured convertible promissory note which, under certain circumstances and at the option of the holder, may be convertible into a maximum of 8.75 million common shares of the Company at any time after the one year anniversary of the Note or upon an event of default under the Note. Interest on the Note will be 4.0% per annum. The capital infusion will be used to satisfy short term liquidity requirements and fund part of the contracted equity contributions for the Company's newbuilding program through its Joint Venture Company MegaCore Shipping Ltd, with the target of improving long-term profitability.
The capital infusion is being made at a time when the Company is in discussions with its lenders to extend the term of its current loans beyond the current maturity of April, 2011. The Company believes that the capital infusion should facilitate the loan extension as well as further enhancing other relationships with key business partners.
Mr. George Kassiotis, founder, CEO, commented, "I have agreed to provide capital to Omega to address short term liquidity requirements and strengthen its balance sheet. This capital infusion further shows my ongoing commitment and support to and confidence in the Company and its prospects, especially as it is made in a very challenging and uncertain economic environment and should allow the Company to continue with its growth plans. It further aligns my interests with those of the Company and our other shareholders in light of my continuous position as Omega's largest shareholder since our IPO in 2006. I, along with the rest of the Board of Directors and our senior management team, remain fully committed to making Omega a leading participant in the product tanker sector, as well as delivering long term shareholder value."
About Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc.
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. is an international provider of global marine transportation services through the ownership and operation of double hull product tankers. The current fleet includes twelve hull product tankers with a carrying capacity of about 680,000 dwt, of which two double hull product / chemical tankers, with a capacity of 47,000 dwt, and two double hull product / chemical tankers, with a capacity of 37,000 dwt., are owned through equal partnership joint ventures with a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore International, A.G. Furthermore, as previously announced, the joint venture company has entered into shipbuilding contracts with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea, to construct and acquire seven additional double hull product tankers with a capacity of 74,000 dwt each scheduled for delivery between October 2010 and early 2012.
The Company was incorporated in the Marshall Islands in February 2005. Its principal executive offices are located in Athens, Greece and it also maintains an office in the United States.
Omega Navigation's common shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol "ONAV" and are also listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited under the symbol "ONAV 50".
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.
The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "will," "may," "should," "expect" "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, the Company's management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in the Company's records and other data available from third parties. Although the Company believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond the Company's control, the Company cannot assure you that the Company will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.
In addition to these important factors other important factors that, in the Company's view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand for product tanker and dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in the Company's operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for the Company's vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, 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, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
Source: http://www.omeganavigation.com/080510.html


Danaos Corporation Announces Bank Restructuring, New Debt Financing and Sale of $200 Million of New Common Stock
Danaos also announced that it has entered into agreements with several investors, including its largest stockholder, to sell to them 54.054 million shares of its Common Stock for an aggregate purchase price of $200.0 million in cash. The shares will be issued at $3.70 per share, which represents a 5.9% discount to the 30-day volume weighted average share price of $3.93 per share and a 6.6% discount to the 60-day volume weighted average share price of $3.96 per share.
This equity investment satisfies a key condition to the aforementioned arrangement with Danaos' lenders and, together with the new debt financing and existing loan modifications contemplated by such arrangement, will be used toward the completion of Danaos' current newbuilding program, comprised of 18 additional containerships aggregating 159,150 TEUs with scheduled deliveries up to 2012, as described in greater detail in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 18, 2010.
The purchasers of the Common Stock include the Company's largest stockholder, a family trust of Dr. John Coustas, and members of his family which together will be investing over $100.0 million. Additional investors include a private company affiliated with George Economou, the chief executive officer of DryShips, Inc.(Nasdaq: DRYS), members of the executive management of Danaos, as well as other investors. Following completion of the transaction, Mr. Economou will own 10.6% of the pro forma outstanding Common Stock and will join the Board of Directors of the Company as an independent director.
Danaos' CEO, Dr. John Coustas, stated:
Evercore Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Danaos on all transactions associated with this restructuring.
Source: http://www.danaos.com/


Piraeus pleases the eye
* Thursday 05 August 2010 * by Nigel Lowry
Piraeus Port Authority is turning out to be a very active space indeed
But the Piraeus Port Authority, under George Anomeritis, is turning out to be a very active space indeed, with hardly a week going by without a new initiative being announced or implemented.
Meanwhile, a long-overdue greening of the port has begun with plantings alongside a new administration building at the Neo Ikonion container terminal. In the autumn, the PPA is planning to plant thousands of trees and shrubs as one element in the first stage of turning itself into an eco-port.
Source: www.lloydslist.com