Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 14 - 2011

 

Greek orders will continue, but ships will be different

---The ship of the future will have to be considerably different to those trading now as pressure from environmentalists demands new ship designs. According to one of Greece's leading ship managers, this will "lead to some shipowners making money while some will not".
Stavros Hatzigrigoris, md of the energy arm of the Angelicoussis Group, Greece's largest shipowning group, says: "I do not see much difference from a VLCC built in 1972 than one built today. We need new ship designs" while "older ships have to be scrapped".
Speaking at the 'Building for the Future' conference in Athens, April 6, the boss of Maran Tankers Management said shipowners expect the shipyards and the classification authorities to lead the way, as the industry answers the call for a cleaner more efficient ship.
He said owners expect larger, slimmer vessels which will provide economies of scale. Ships need to be more directionally stable, and greater use of hydro-dynamic efficiency devices have to be introduced. "The Japanese builders have led the way here, with the Korean yards only now starting to introduce these systems, in which superstructures have to be examined to reduce drag. A 1% gain in efficiency may seem small, but 1% is 1% and in the case of a VLCC it represents $1,000 a day today," said Hatzigrigoris. He said a new generation of paints is being developed, and the air-bubble concept is being talked about as "leading to a 7% to 10% improvement in efficiency, but it is still early days".
He said shipyard capacity will have to be reduced in Japan and Korea, but to a lesser extent in China. Further, yards have to streamline their operations by reducing sub-contracting, which "will reduce capacity", though he expects productivity to rise "2% annually in Japan, 5% in Korea and 8% in China". Korea's tendency to get high-value orders because of their technology will continue but this may cause bottlenecks for owners wanting large, more standard ships.
Greeks will continue to order ships, he believes, because they have the funds and because they see new ships and second hand ships' prices are similar, but admits to "I do not know why". Indeed, Greeks ordered in 2010 because they had the funds, while some felt they may have missed the boat, so when prices came down they moved. Further, many lost money in other investments and felt it was better "to invest in a ship which will last 25 years than keep funds in the bank or in other forms of investment".
Hatzigrigoris said he believed new building prices will drop over the next 12 to 18 months, though freight market will stay depressed as long as the rate of new deliveries outpaces market needs.
-- Filed: 2011-04-07
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Radical renewal grips Cosmoship
---A Greek player is still upbeat on its fleet additions at an uncertain time.
Greek bulker and containership operator Cosmoship is continuing a radical fleet makeover with deliveries of new vessels and disposals of old ships.
Last week, the company saw the 30,000-dwt Niki C come out of New Times Shipbuilding in China, while at the same time it got rid of the 34,500-dwt Diana C (built 1983) to Chinese buyers for a reported $5.3m.
As TradeWinds has reported, the 30,000-dwt sisterships Loyalty (built 2011) and Melody (built 2010) were two of four vessels Cosmoship was understood to have chartered to Korea Line Corp (KLC) at $18,000 per day for five years from delivery.
Cosmoship has three more of the series of 30,000-dwt vessels due from New Times. No prices for the bulker orders have ever been revealed but are believed to be considerably lower than the $35m suggested when they were booked.
Savvas confirms that the next vessel, named Justice, will be delivered in June but that the remaining pair may arrive in 2012, despite one being listed for August delivery.
The company also has two 37,000-dwt bulkers on order at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, having originally inked four. It resold the two middle units to a compatriot owner. The first vessel is slated for delivery at the end of July but Savvas says the yard has notified the company there may be some delay, believed to be because the Japanese manufacturers of certain components may have suspended exports following the recent disasters there.
The second containership due out of Guangzhou Wenchong, together with one of a pair of 34,000-dwt bulkers at Daesun Shipbuilding, may also be pushed to 2012 delivery, Savvas says.
Meantime, as regards disposals, last month Cosmoship sold the 37,600-dwt Paloma C (built 1983) also to Chinese buyers for a reported $5.1m.
Savvas says the 66,700-dwt bulker Lioness C (built 1983) and 65,600-dwt Pearl C (built 1987) along with five 1980s-built containerships will be sold in due course, although he does not appear to be in a hurry to dispose of vessels, especially the boxships.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 22:01 GMT, 07 Apr 11 | updated: 20:51 GMT, 06 Apr 11
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Danaos Corporation Adds Largest Vessels Using New Facility
---Athens, Greece, April 6, 2011 - Danaos Corporation (NYSE: DAC) a leading international owner of containerships, announced that on March 10, 2011 and April 6, 2011, it took delivery of two newly built containerships, the Hanjin Germany and the Hanjin Italy, expanding its operational fleet to a total of 53 containerships aggregating 243,529 TEU.
The Hanjin Germany and the Hanjin Italy, built at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. Ltd, both have a carrying capacity of 10,100 TEU, are 349 meters long, 45.6 meters wide and have a speed of 25.50 knots.
Both Hanjin Germany and Hanjin Italy have commenced their 12-year time charter at a fixed charter rate immediately upon delivery.
These vessels are currently the largest in operation in the Danaos fleet and the first ones to be financed under its new Comprehensive Financing Plan.
About Danaos Corporation
Danaos Corporation is an international owner of containerships, chartering its vessels to many of the world's largest liner companies. Our current fleet of 53 containerships aggregating 243,529 TEUs ranks Danaos among the largest containership charter owners in the world based on total TEU capacity. Furthermore, the company has a contracted fleet of 12 additional containerships aggregating 119,150 TEU with scheduled deliveries up to 2012. The company's shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DAC".
Source: http://www.danaos.com/


Paragon Shipping Inc. announces filing of IPO Registration by its wholly-owned subsidiary Box Ships Inc.
---ATHENS, Greece, April 4, 2011 - Paragon Shipping Inc. (NYSE: PRGN), or the Company, a global shipping transportation company specializing in drybulk cargoes and containers, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Box Ships Inc. ("Box Ships"), has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") for an initial public offering (the "Offering") of 10,000,000 shares of common stock of Box Ships. Immediately following the closing of the offering, the Company will own approximately 22.7% of the issued and outstanding shares of Box Ships' common stock, assuming that the underwriters do not exercise their overallotment option.
The joint book-running managers are UBS Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Lazard Capital Markets LLC and UniCredit Capital Markets, Inc. are acting as co-managers of the offering.
When available, copies of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933 may be obtained from UBS Investment Bank at 299 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10171, Attention: Prospectus Department; phone: (888) 827-7275, or from Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, Attention: Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10014, telephone (866) 718-1649, or by e-mailing [email protected]
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted, prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities issuable pursuant to the registration statement, nor will there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
The statements in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the outcome to be materially different.
Source: http://www.paragonship.com/news.php?id=134


Navios Maritime Partners L.P. Announces Public Offering of 4,000,000 Common Units
---Piraeus, Greece, April 7, 2011 - Navios Maritime Partners L.P. ("Navios Partners") (NYSE: NMM), an owner and operator of dry cargo vessels, announced today that it plans to offer 4,000,000 common units representing limited partnership interests in a public offering. Navios Partners expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an additional 600,000 common units to cover over-allotments, if any. Navios Partners expects to use the net proceeds from the public offering to fund its fleet expansion and/or for general partnership purposes.
Navios Partners' common units trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NMM".
The joint book-running managers for this offering are Citi, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo Securities and the manager is S. Goldman Capital LLC.
When available, copies of the prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus related to this offering may be obtained from: Citi, Brooklyn Army Terminal, 140 58th Street, 8th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220 (tel: (800) 831-9146); J.P. Morgan, Attn: Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717 (tel: (866) 803-9204); Wells Fargo Securities, Attention: Equity Syndicate Department, 375 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 10152 (tel (800) 326-5897).
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. This offering may be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus.
About Navios Maritime Partners L.P.
Navios Partners (NYSE: NMM) is a publicly traded master limited partnership which owns and operates dry cargo vessels.
Source: http://navios-mlp.irwebpage.com/news_display.html?relid=2011-04-07


Petrofin Bank Research: Key Developments and Growth in Greek Ship-Finance, April 2011
--- This excerpt include: Main findings and The outlook for 2012 and beyond
> Greek ship finance remained in the doldrums in 2010, as bank appetite remained subdued for bank related reasons.
> Total loans (drawn and committed), booked both in Greece and worldwide, for the end of year 2010: down to $66.235 from $67.020bn in 2009, i.e. a reduction of -1.17%.
> The number of banks involved in Greek shipfinance is 39. Deutsche Schiffsbank merged its portfolios with Commerzbank and ex Dresdner bank. Fortis Bank Belgium has merged its portfolio with BNP Paribas. No fresh banks entered the Greek ship finance market, although it is widely expected that more Chinese banks will soon enter the market.
> The top 10 banks hold 63.10% of the market, a slight decrease from last year (64.13%), or the previous years. The top 10 banks still dominate the market.
> European banks continue to account for the vast majority of total loans: 97% (Table 5).
> RBS remained the market leader. Deutsche Schiffsbank, Credit Suisse, NBG and DNB Nor made up with RBS the top five.
> Emporiki moves to second place after NBG, closely followed by Marfin and Alpha bank.
> The total percentage of German banks in Greek ship finance fell from 28.74% in 2009 to 26.95% in 2010.
> Star (growth) performers in 2010 were BNP Paribas, DNB Nor, DVB, ABN Amro, HSBC, DB Deutsche Shipping, Nordea, ING and China Exim.
> Most negative performing banks in 2010 were HSH Nordbank and to a lesser extent RBS, although there were numerous banks that displayed negative growth.
> Continuing our research into the percentage of Committed but Undrawn loans that refer to Newbuildings, we note that the largest percentage of Committed and Undrawn loans continues to refer to Newbuilding orders. 82.89% of Committed but Undrawn loans referred to newbuildings, compared to 84.62% last year.
The outlook for 2012 and beyond
The change of direction in Greek ship finance, that commenced in 2009 with a fall in total loans of -8.48%, continued in 2010 with a further fall of -1.17%.
Considering the massive rises of previous years, the above overall fall of 10.62% in the last two years is not excessive.
The ship finance industry party addressed the problem via the conversion of committed facilities to drawn loans and this is manifested by an increase in drawn loans of 4.53%. However, the level of commitments was reduced substantially by 26.27%. What does this mean? Simply, that banks did not replace such converted newbuilding loan facilities with fresh newbuilding commitments.
As the Greek shipping loan book produced substantial loan repayments, estimated at a minimum of approx. 12% per annum i.e. approx. $8bn, it is self-evident that banks used the loan reductions to accommodate their forward commitments and / or reduce their overall exposure.
The banking industry in the West is experiencing massive deleveraging, as a result of higher capital adequacy requirements, lower market liquidity and a reduced risk appetite. A quick look at those banks that grew their shipping loan exposure in 2010 shows that they were Far Eastern and Scandinavian banks primarily and / or banks that had spare credit capacity and thus, room to grow.
The cause of the overall fall in the Greek ship finance totals lies more with the inability of banks to increase their exposures.
The Greek banking sector was the most affected by the above factors of capital inadequacy, illiquidity and over expansion in recent years, coupled by the economic plight of the country and the problem facing the Greek banks across the whole spectrum of their activities in Greece.
It is, thus, quite remarkable how Greek banks have been able to maintain their Greek presence in the light of extremely negative conditions. The answer may be seen in the high regard that Greek banks hold their ship finance portfolios and the additional benefits that such relationships bring to the Greek banks.
Looking into the future, the Greek banking situation appears to be inexorably linked to the economy of Greece and as such, it is expected that loan runoffs shall not be utilised to make new shipping loans for 2011. As such, the liquidity shall be used to cover the overall liquidity requirements of the Greek banks.
An opposite case can be made for non-Greek lenders. We have seen evidence that even contracting banks, such as HSH and RBS have set aside funds for new loans, which underline their commitment to remain in Greek ship finance but at lower overall levels.
The main growth is expected to come from the Far East, where liquidity and capital adequacy considerations do not affect the banking sector. Chinese banks, in particular, appear keen to lend to Greek owners, if it enables the placing of newbuilding orders at Chinese shipyards. This example is expected to be followed, to a lesser extent, by Korean banks.
In view of Basle III requiring higher capital adequacy over the next years, European banks are expected to underperform compared to Far Eastern banks in ship finance. However, there remain a number of banks that shall be attracted by the high rewards being offered nowadays in yields and terms by Greek ship finance. As such, we anticipate that over the next couple of years additional banks shall join Greek ship lending.
The demand for loans, too, is expected to slow down, as the immediate prospects for dry bulk and the tanker sectors appear to be unclear and the rate of newbuilding orders has slowed down. Consequently, we anticipate that as the year shall progress, bank competition for the top Greek private and public companies shall increase and some limited appetite shall appear for middle size Greek names, which up to now have found finance largely unobtainable. The small owners still face an uphill financing task not helpful by loan margins often exceeding 5%.
The above positive expectations are supported by the fact that the majority of international lenders to Greek shipping have increased budgets for 2011. This will be supportive, especially for those Greek owners with orders, which have not been financed up to now, representing the majority of orders going forward. It is thus expected that the demand for finance for newbuildings shall be accommodated by non-Greek banks, in an orderly manner. We anticipate overall Greek ship finance totals to stabilize in 2011 and perhaps show an overall increase. A key and unpredictable factor is the contribution to Greek ship finance by Greek banks in 2011, which remains in doubt.
All banks are utilizing the market opportunities not only to improve the overall quality of their loan portfolios but also to increase their yield. It is estimated that over the last 2 years banks have been able to increase their loan portfolio yields as new loans and higher priced existing loans may now account for over 40% of their loan book. This process is expected to continue over the next years but at a slower pace.
Unexpected factors may, also, alter the appetite of banks. These include the risk of much weaker dry and wet markets, geopolitical factors, as well as changes in the world economic growth and international trade. Consequently, the Greek ship finance industry is still bound with many uncertainties, at this time. However, it is expected that the foundations towards a gradual recovery and growth are being laid both by banks and Greek owners.
Source:


Flurry of finance for listed companies
Wednesday 06 April 2011, 18:09 by Steve Matthews
---Investors focus on sectors where prospects remain relatively bright
THE last week or so has seen several major ship financing deals of various hues completed or mooted. This might appear to contradict the rising volume of voices warning of imminent carnage among shipowners and operators as freight and charter earnings in the major sectors languish at their lowest levels for several years, with few signs of rapid recovery.
While some deals are for refinance and restructuring purposes, others are aimed more positively at funding investments, but in those sectors where prospects look relatively bright.
Average time charter equivalent spot earnings during the first three months of this year are at their lowest levels for many years. For very large crude carriers, at about 27,000 per day, they are the lowest since 2002. For medium range clean product tankers they have continued the recent trend of barely covering operating costs at about 7,500 per day, and for capesize bulk carriers the position is even more depressing with rates averaging only just over $6,000 per day.
Owners with vessels secured on time charters are faring a bit better, with rates holding up closer to breakeven levels. In the container sector, charter rates have recovered even though freight rates have dropped sharply in recent months as overcapacity hits the main trades and some lines plunge back into the red.
As these disappointing earnings are set to continue, owners are facing increasing pressure on cashflows and that is coming through in their bottom lines, leaving investors disappointed. Bankers are fretting about whether owners can maintain interest and principal repayments and their ability to abide by loan covenants, even those renegotiated relatively recently.
He suggested that for container shipping many operators were saved by the strong recovery last year, but that this is not sustainable and that operating margins will revert to their historic levels at best. But margins on the main trades could come under pressure because of the large number of vessels being delivered into those trades that is not supported by demand growth.
Prospects for this sector depend largely on the global economy.
Mr Stokes was less hopeful for the tanker and dry bulk sectors. He commented that owners of product tankers have been under severe financial pressure for much of the past two years and there are expectations of restructurings or outright bankruptcies in 2011 if the freight market brings no relief.
In the crude tanker sector, with the impact of single-hull phase-out now much diminished and an anticipated increase in newbuilding deliveries of VLCCs and suezmaxes in 2011, most tanker owners are expecting another 12 months of hardship before the possibility of an upturn in 2012.
Overall Mr Stokes described the consensus view as stabilisation for containers, continued poor markets for tankers with hopes of an upturn next year, but worsening conditions in dry bulk.
So far those owners that have run into acute problems have managed to secure the immediate finance necessary to continue and they hope to see them through to when earnings and cashflows recover in a year or two. But some have had to use increasingly ingenious measures to secure their futures.
Genmar seems likely to succeed in raising sufficient funds from private-equity investor Oaktree and a follow-on share issue to recapitalise with the help of new bank loans to refinance existing facilities and stave off its cash shortage, although it has already had to sell assets.
In the container sector, Danaos has completed a massive financial restructuring, raising $818m in new loans. The container market, although going through challenging times, is probably the most favoured among investors as likely to produce acceptable returns.
Indeed another Greek owner, Paragon Shipping, has announced that it is to seek an initial public offering in the US for its containership operation Box Ships to raise funds to finance the purchase of six containerships.
Other companies still striving for solutions include TopShips, Seanergy and Oceanfreight, all of which have been warned by Nasdaq to take action to raise their share price above the required $1 minimum within 180 days or risk being de-listed. The value of all three has been hit by the poor bulk and tanker markets. Other Nasdaq-listed shipping companies could fall foul of this rule if market prospects do not improve.
These are just the publicly-listed shipping companies, whose position is, or is meant to be, fully transparent, even though their share prices have slumped. What is not known is the situation of the large majority of private shipping companies, especially in the dry bulk sector, who must be bleeding funds or exhausting cash accumulated during the boom years.
Yet despite this apparent gloom, some companies are still going to market and raising funds for new ventures. Most are well known, publicly-listed groups seeking finance to invest in sectors expected to be more lucrative than the more depressed mainstream shipping markets. Several recent bond issues have been announced by such groups.
Navios is launching a high-yield bond to finance a logistics operation in South America. Navios South American Logistics, based in Uruguay, is seeking to raise some $185m from eight-year senior unsecured notes to refinance debt and invest in tugs and barges for its terminal, river and coastal operations. Navios chief executive Angeliki Frangou has previously indicated an intention to spin off the logistics company through an IPO when market conditions are favourable.
Mr Stokes commented that it is significant that Mr Fredriksen is currently showing more interest in offshore oil and gas related-assets than his traditional shipping fleet.
This is backed up by recent deals whereby shipping companies in specialist sectors are raising funds to invest, while traditional shipping companies are more concerned with shoring up their existing finances.
Recent planned fundraising deals
Company Purpose Planned fundraising
Genmar Refinancing $200m from Oaktree, follow-on share issue and bank refinance; total $800m
Danaos Refinancing $818m in new loans
Paragon Investment in containerships Planned IPO $184m
Golar LNG Investment in LNG carriers Planned IPO $300m
Teekay LNG Investment in LNG carriers Planned follow-on offering $172m
DryShips Investment in drillrigs $500m bond issue
Navios Logistics Refinance and investment in tugs and barges $185m high-yield bond
Source: company announcements
Source: www.lloydslist.com


Somali pirates free Greek oil tanker
---Somali pirates have freed a Greek-owned oil tanker seized two months ago off Oman, the Greek coastguard and pirates said on Friday.
Shipping industry sources welcomed the news but said pirate attacks were getting out of control in the region, threatening international trade.
Analysts say more than 40% of the world's seaborne oil supply passes through the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea and is at risk from pirate gangs.
The Greek-owned and flagged 319,000-dwt tanker, Irene SL, with seven Greeks, 17 Filipinos and one Georgian aboard, was one of three oil tankers hijacked by pirates this year.
The tanker's Greece-based manager, Enesel, said the tanker was released on Thursday but declined to say if a ransom was paid or give any detail on the release for security reasons.
The pirates told Reuters they received a ransom payment of $13.5 mln before freeing the vessel.
"We received the agreed ransom amount of $13.5 mln... The ship has sailed away," a pirate who gave his name as Abdiwali said by phone from Lebed, a village on Somalia's Indian Ocean coast near Hobyo, a pirate lair.
"Somali pirates have freed the tanker 'Irene SL' which had been captured on February 9 while sailing with crude oil 200 nautical miles off the coast of Oman," the coastguard statement said.
"According to the owner, the crew of 25, of whom seven are Greeks, are well and the ship continues on its voyage to Durban, South Africa," it added.
Pirates gangs, who are making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms, are able to stay out at sea for longer periods and in tougher weather conditions, by hijacking commercial ships and using them as motherships to launch attacks.
"Hijacked oil tankers have tended to be released for larger ransoms. Not only is the cargo seen as valuable, but the political weight of an oil tanker is also seen as high value," said John Drake, senior risk consultant with security firm AKE.
The U.S.-bound vessel was carrying about 2 mln barrels of Kuwaiti crude, worth $200 million at market prices when it was seized.
Irene SL's crude oil cargo represented 20% of total U.S. daily crude oil imports, or 5% of total daily world seaborne oil supply, said Intertanko, an association whose members own the majority of the world's tanker fleet.
Despite successful efforts to quell attacks in the Gulf of Aden, navies have been unable to contain piracy in the Indian Ocean because of the vast distances involved.
Intertanko welcomed the release of the Irene SL and its crew but said no ship was safe in the Indian Ocean from the risk of attack, with crews also increasingly facing torture by gangs.
"Piracy is out of control," said Intertanko chairman Graham Westgarth. "International trade is threatened. Governments need to protect the world's shipping lanes by showing political will, not political indifference."
Source: April 09, 2011 - www.financialmirror.com


Azerbaijan and Greece sign contract on cooperation in sea transportation
---05 April 2011 [19:50] - Today.Az
Azerbaijan and Greece have signed a contract on acceleration of development of cooperation and relations among tAzeri and Greek companies engaging in sea transport, providence of the movement of passenger and cargo ships between Azerbaijani and Greek ports without obstacles.
Azerbaijan State Marine Administration says ASMA Chairman Gudret Gurbanov and Ioannis Diamantidis, Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs, Island and Fisheries have held meeting, after the signing ceremony. Gurbanov spoke about the bilateral cooperation directions between Azerbaijan and Greece in this sphere, within the International Sea Organization.
Source: http://www.today.az/news/business/83841.html


Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum - Athens, 21-22 June 2011
---Yachting sector boost can propel growth for Greece and East Med tourism industry
Thursday, April 07, 2011
The yachting industry is a key enabler and important revenue generator for Greece and Eastern Mediterranean economies according to Greek and international experts who will participate in the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum scheduled for 21-22 June in Athens. The Posidonia Forum will examine the growth potential for the Cruise, Yachting and Passenger shipping industries in the region.
In Greece, demand for yachting activities has waned hit by unimaginative bureaucratic government measures and overall dwindling inbound tourism volumes, as well as increased competition posed by nearby destinations that have given birth to new, ambitious and cost efficient yachting experiences.
Experts agree that the sustainable development of yachting activity can have a game-changing impact on local economies through creation of new jobs across a number of sectors such as sports, education, commerce, food and beverage.
But new marina development alone will not be enough for the region to attract more yachting business. Standardization of marina facilities for boat owners is an important step to the right direction for the yachting industry, as is the quality improvement of the surrounding infrastructure and services, competitiveness of the overall tourist product, effective marketing and seamless cooperation with local authorities.
The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is organised under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners' Association and is supported by MedCruise. The Posidonia Forum is sponsored by the Piraeus Port Authority, the Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens and Louis Cruises.
Further information: Theodore Vokos, Project Manager, Tel: 210 4283 608 E-mail: [email protected]
Source: http://www.traveldailynews.com/pages/show_page/42585-Yachting-sector-boost-can-propel-growth-for-Greece-and-East-Med-tourism-industry


IMO - The race begins
---As Efthimios Mitropoulos prepares to step down, the upcoming secretary-general elections have attracted the largest-ever field of candidates
What does the secretary-general do?
The role according to the IMO Convention:
shall keep members informed with respect to IMO activities
shall prepare and submit to the council the financial statements for each year and the budget estimates on a biennial basis
shall assume any other functions which may be assigned to him by the conventions, the Assembly or the Council
shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any authority external to the organisation [and, along with the staff] shall refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as international officials
Candidate profiles
Name: Chai Lee Sik
Country: South Korea
Name: Andreas Chrysostomou
Country: Cyprus
Name: Neil Ferrer
Country: The Philippines
Name: Jeff Lantz
Country: USA
Present role: Director of commercial regulations and standards for the United States Coast Guard; Chairman of the IMO Council
Name: Esteban Pacha Vicente
Country: Spain
Present role: Director general of the International Mobile Satellite Organization
Name: Koji Sekimizu
Country: Japan
Source: Fairplay - Story of the Week 07 Apr 2011