Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 38 - 2004

 

Greek ships are on IMO's white list

---For the third straight year, the Greek merchant marine flag is included on the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) so-called "white list."
Last year, out of 1,524 ships inspected in ports around the world, 74 (4.9 percent) were grounded for violating safety and environmental standards set by the IMO. This is below the 6 percent limit set by IMO for inclusion on the white list. There is also a gray list, as well as a black list.
The white list includes the highest-quality flags; a total of 28 countries are on that list, including China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United States.
Another 26 countries are on the black list, including two newcomers to the European Union, Cyprus and Malta. In Cyprus's case, 3,792 ships were inspected during the 2001-2003 period and 300 were found to have violated IMO standards. In the case of Malta, 4,696 ships were inspected and 364 (7.75 percent) were grounded, slightly above the limit for inclusion on the black list.
"Since they joined the EU, these two countries are making efforts to improve the quality of their merchant fleets and are expected to join the gray list and, eventually, the white list, along with most of the other EU members," an IMO source told Kathimerini.
Currently, 24 countries are on the gray list, including Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia.
A large part of the Greek merchant marine's presence on the white list is due to the fact that shipowners have invested greatly in the renewal of the fleet. Contracts for the building of 371 new ships have been signed and shipowners had taken out loans worth $13.5 billion to finance their purchases. All these new ships conform to strict IMO safety and environmental standards and will join the Greek flag gradually, over the next five years.
Recently, Greek shipowners have been registering an increasing number of their ships under the Greek flag rather than under flags of convenience. According to the Merchant Marine Ministry, during the first half of the year more ships were registered under the Greek flag than left it for flags of convenience. The average age of the registered ships is two years and that of delisted ships, 18 years.
Source: www.ekathimerini.com, By Nikos Bardounias - Kathimerini, 17 Sep 02


Shipowner linked to smuggling of 10,000 migrants into Italy
---A Genoa prosecutor has issued warrants for the arrest of an unnamed Greek shipowner, his son, and his legal advisor for allegedly using a fleet of ships under his control to smuggle more than 10,000 illegal immigrants into Italy.
An Athens News Agency report from Rome, September 16, said the immigrants, mostly Pakistanis were smuggled over a period of four years on the nine vessels said to be controlled by the shipowner. The human cargoes were carried from Turkey to various locations in Italy according to the agency report.
Meanwhile, September 16, four illegal immigrants were caught when they tried to board the ferries, Superfast XII, three people, and Superfast VI, one person. They had false documents.
The Marine ministry (YEN) told Newsfront that in the first six months of 2004, some 1,055 illegal immigrants had been caught on boats in Greek waters. The ministry said there were 26 boats involved and that 49 smugglers had been arrested. In the whole of 2003, 2,439 people were caught on 47 boats with 49 smugglers arrested.
Since 1997, Greek Harbour Corps and Navy authorities have caught some 27,340 illegal immigrants travelling to Greece by boat. Some 372 boats of various sizes and types have been confiscated over the period, while 682 smugglers were arrested. In 2001 alone, almost 7,000 illegals were caught, 90 boats confiscated and 370 smugglers arrested.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 17 Sep 04


Twenty-year claims low for London Club
---THE London P&I Club has reported that its level of claims for the 2003/4 year of account was down by fourteen per cent on the previous year. And it says its ongoing vessel inspection programme, which sees roughly half its entered fleet inspected each year, has helped produce this marked improvement.
John M Lyras, Chairman of the London Club, says, "Claims for the 2003/4 policy year are running at a lower level than at any time during the last twenty years, a fact that I believe is a reflection of the selectivity of our underwriting". He adds that such selectivity results in part from tactical decisions based on the Club's ship inspection programme and other means of assessing members.
Paul Hinton, Chief Executive of A Bilbrough & Co, Managers of the London Club, says that, while the Club's comparatively benign claims experience - in contrast to that of many other members of the International Group of P&I Clubs - can sometimes be attributed simply to good fortune, the factors are usually more complex. "Bilbroughs' Loss Prevention Department continues to inspect, annually, roughly fifty per cent of all vessels entered, a figure that is believed to be by far the highest in the industry", he said.
www.lsso.com
Source: maritime advocate online 173, 14 Sep 04


Mangouras lawyers keep up the fight
---LAWYERS acting for Apostolos Mangouras, master of the Prestige, continue their efforts to have his bail conditions eased while he awaits trial, writes Brian Reyes in Gibraltar.
A fresh appeal was filed with a Spanish court this summer, the third such case now in progress in the run-up to the second anniversary of the casualty next November.
His treatment has been widely criticised.
This is not least because, under Spanish law, people aged 70 or over have strong grounds to avoid prison sentences if ultimately found guilty.
Capt Mangouras will celebrate his 70th birthday next January.
Source: Lloyd's List, Tuesday September 14 2004


easyJet boss eyes budget cruise line
---He is also scouring region's cities for properties to set up budget hotel chain
(SINGAPORE) Having made his mark in Europe with low-cost airline easyJet, Stelios Haji-Ioannou now plans a Singapore-based budget cruise business. And the 37-year-old entrepreneur is also scouring regional cities including Singapore for properties for an Asian budget hotel chain.
"During the winter months, our ships will head to Singapore (from the Mediterranean). Singapore is a natural base (for regional budget cruises).'
Mr Haji-Ioannou's London-based easyGroup has already acquired a 170-passenger cruise ship that will be retrofitted at Keppel group's Singapore yard. Keppel Corp spokeswoman Wang Look Fung confirmed yesterday that her company is having discussions with easyGroup.
Mr Haji-Ioannou said the vessel, formerly an Italian luxury cruise-liner called Renaissance 2, will head for the Mediterranean in February 2005 to become the first ship on the easyCruise.com fleet.
The young businessman, who comes from a Greek shipping family and whose business card reads Serial Entrepreneur, founded easyJet - Europe's second-biggest low-cost airline - in 1995 when he was 28. Since then, his easyGroup has ventured into myriad travel-related businesses, such as car rental, coaches, Internet cafes and credit cards, among others.
Speaking to reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a talk organised by travel research company MarketShare, Mr Haji-Ioannou, explained his plans for easyCruise. 'Our ships will ply the Mediterranean during the five months of the European summer,' he said. 'However, during the winter months, while most other Mediterranean cruise operators head for the Caribbean, our ships will head to Singapore. Singapore is a natural base (for regional budget cruises).'
He said easyCruise ships will be 'modern, casual and minimalist' and will cater to youngish travellers who enjoy on-shore holidays in more than one destination.
Then in an obvious reference to incumbent Star Cruises, he added: 'The authorities should welcome the fact that there will be no gambling. We won't have casinos - only cruises.'
Besides budget cruises, Mr Haji-Ioannou aims to build a region-wide chain of budget hotels via a franchise arrangement. 'There is very real demand for good-class budget hotels in across Asia-Pacific,' he said. 'That is my message for people in Asia who have real estate suitable for conversion (to budget hotels). We can combine forces.'
The easyHotel.com website features the new Kensington, London hotel, which will be ready by Spring 2005. The website describes the hotel as 'no-frills, low-cost accommodation on the basis of book early, pay less' - a concept that will soon arrive in Asia.
But Luton, UK-based easyJet, whose 92 aircraft fly to 52 European destinations, has no plans to expand its air operations to Asia, Mr Haji-Ioannou said.
Source: http://business-times.asia1.com.sg, By Ven Sreenivasan, Published September 16, 2004


Stelios launches new attack
---Greek entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou today renewed his attack on Stelmar Shipping management, warning of legal action unless notice of a new annual meeting was called within the next five business days.
Haji-Ioannou, who again made his demands in an open letter to Stelmar chairman Nick Hartley, called for a repeal of this year's bylaw changes at the meeting, and a review of the possible dismissal of directors Peter Goodfellow and Stamatis Molaris for loan irregularities.
Haji-Ioannou warned he would call his own shareholders' meeting if notice of his demands was not received by the end of the day Monday, and launch legal action if this too was unsuccessful.
"Stelshi Holdings (in which Haji-Ioannou is the sole shareholder) hereby makes demand on the Board of Directors and the officers of the company to take immediate corrective action in order to avoid the commencement of a shareholders' action," said the letter.
It went on: "Stelshi Holdings reserves all of its rights and remedies to proceed either in the name of the corporation in a derivative action or in its own name against all those responsible for this egregious, improper and unlawful conduct."
It is understood Stelphi Holdings, controlled by Polys Haji-Ioannou, has already called for a meeting under Section 7.1 of the Liberian Business Corporation Act.
A spokesman for London-based Stelios aid a number of lawsuits were under consideration at the present time. A decision would be made next week if Stelmar failed to respond.
Though it is not clear in which jurisdiction any lawsuit would be filed, W Scott O'Connell, the lawyer signing today's letter on behalf of Stelshi, is based in New York.
Haji-Ioannou has long opposed the May alteration of Stelmar's company's bylaws, describing them in today's letter as 'outrageous'.
He has also claimed Stelmar withheld from him notice that the company's annual shareholders' meeting, adjourned from April for lack of a quorum, had been reconvened on 19 May.
More recently he has expressed anger at the way Stelmar management handled the revelation that chief executive Peter Goodfellow and chief financial officer Stamatis Molaris took out some $300,000 in loans from the company.
Haji-Ioannou questioned in July whether Goodfellow had taken advantage of insider information in selling off the majority of his holdings in Stelmar, an issue which could also be the subject of a future lawsuit, say sources.
Haji-Ioannou is demanding that the proposed shareholder meeting consider the removal of Goodfellow and Molaris.
Source: www.tradewinds.no, By Liz Shuker in London, published: 12:01 GMT, 14 September 2004 | last updated: 10:11 GMT, 15 September 2004


Digital Ship Athens, 2-3 November 2004
---A two day conference and exhibition - Metropolitan Hotel, Athens, organised by Digital Ship Athens is in association with AMMITEC, the Association of Maritime Managers of Information Technology and Communication
Using IT to help comply with OCIMF best practise guidelines - improved transparency and communications with charterers / regulators / owners - broadband ship shore communications - cost effective and manageable crew communications - smooth running of shipboard computers and software - improving electronic purchasing systems - is AIS a useful tool for shipping - developments in maintenance management systems
NO CHARGE FOR ADMISSION FOR SHIPPING COMPANY EMPLOYEES
HALF PRICE FOR RESIDENTS OF GREECE AND CYPRUS
SPEAKERS CONFIRMED TO DATE: Charis Nassis, IT manager, Ceres Hellenic - Aris Inglessis, IT Manager, Samos Steamship - Babis Aggelopoulos, project manager, Tsakos Shipping - Patrick Slesinger, chief information officer, Wallem Shipmanagement - Paul Hananias, IT Manager, Empros Lines - Mike Kennedy, technical director, Hellespont Steamship - Achilleas Choursoglou, IT manager, Olympic Shipping and Management - Tassos Makris, IT Director, Gourdomichalis Maritime - Dimitris Makris, IT manager, Andriaki Shipping - Anders Bergstrom, True Heading - Sylvie Roby, France Telecom - Paul Jolley, Rydex
Detailed agenda: http://www.thedigitalship.com/athens2.htm
Source: Press release, 17 Sep 04


Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forum - 14 October 2004
---Main sponsors include industry leaders such as: Fortis Bank Greece - Lloyd Fonds AG - Pareto - ABN AMRO Bank - Jefferies & Company Inc. - Howe Robinson Sale & Purchase - EDB Bank & Finance - Norton Rose - International Registries, Inc. - Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited - Stelmar Shipping Ltd - Danaos Shipping Co Ltd.
08:30 Registration & Coffee
09:30 Opening Remarks, Mr. Kevin Oates, Marine Money Greece
09.35 Keynote Address, Mr. Matt McCleery, President, Marine Money International
09:50 Economic Outlook, Mr. Guy Verberne, Head of International Economics, Fortis Bank
10:20 Market Outlook:
Wet Market, Mr. Ole-Rikard Hammer, Senior Analyst, P.F. Bassoe AS.
Container Market, Mr. Paul Dowell, Director, Howe Robinson Shipbrokers
11:00 Coffee Break
11.30 Bankers Trends: Market up, margins down
Trends in Greek Ship Finance, Mr. Ted Petropoulos, Managing Director, Petrofin SA,
Panel, Mr. Harris Antoniou, Director, Fortis Bank Greece, Mr. Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, Head of Shipping, ABN AMRO Bank
12:15 Alternative Finance Structures for Greek shipowners
UK Tax Lease,Mr. Andrew Cameron, Syncap
KG Finance, Dr. Torsten Teichert, CEO, Lloyds Fonds AG
KS Finance, Mr. Peter W. Wallace, Partner, Pareto Private Equity ASA
13:00 Lunch Break - TEN's 11th birthday
15:00 US capital markets - a summary, Mr. John Sinders, Managing Director, Jefferies & Company Inc.
Panel, Mr. Stamatis Molaris, CFO, Stelmar Shipping Ltd., Ms. Randee Day, Managing Director, The Seabury Group
15:45 LNG: The Greek contribution
Overview of the LNG Market, Mr. Keith Bainbridge, LNG Shipping Solutions
Panel: Mr. Nikolas Tsakos, CEO, Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited, Mr. Sjur Agdestein, Managing Director, DVB Bank AG - Greece, Mr. Harry Theochari, Partner - Global Head of Shipping, Norton Rose
Moderator: Mr. Clay Maitland, Managing Partner, International Registries Inc.
16:30 Coffee Break
17:00 Boom and bust - is this time any different. Open Discussion:
Mr. Harris Antoniou, Director, Fortis Bank Greece
Mr. Pierre Aury, Managing Director, Clarksons Capital Limited
Mr. Peter Weernink, Managing Director, Swissmarine
Mr. Marios Pantazopoulos, Finance Director, Oceanbulk Group
Mr. Iraklis Prokopakis, Deputy Managing Director, Danaos Shipping Co Ltd
17:45 Closing Remarks
Mr. Matt McCleery, President, Marine Money International
Mr. Gust Biesbroeck, Deputy Director, Global Shipping Group Fortis Bank
18:00 Cocktail Reception, Sponsored by International Registries, Inc.
Book your place now. The Registration form (pdf 196kb) is located at: http://www.marine-marketing.gr/marinemoney/pdf/RegFormGSF2004.pdf
For more information, please contact: Marine Money Greece, Mia Jensen, mia@marine-marketing.gr & Kevin Oates teviot@hellasnet.gr
Source: Marine Money Greece