Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 06 - 2006
---THE next time somebody starts to spread gossip, think of this:
In ancient Greece, Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"
Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the triple filter test. Before you talk to me about my student, let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you're not certain it's true?"
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued. "You may still pass the test, though, because there is a third filter - the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really..."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"
The man was defeated and ashamed.
This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
It also explains why he never found out that Plato, his student, was having an affair with his wife.
Source: Maritime Advocate Online, Issue 239, February 8, 2006
On and Off Akti Miaouli - People & Palces
The annual general meeting of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) was held February 8.
UGS president, Nicos Efthymiou, topped the poll at the February 8 elections for the 30-member board. A full rundown of the voting (*) new member: Nicos Efthymiou, 18,247 votes; Theodoros E Veniamis, 14,863; Andreas J Martinos, 14,438; John C Lyras, 14,272; Polys V Haji-Ioannou, 14,137 (*); John P Ioannides, 13,595; Dimitris J Prokopiou, 12,958; Christos F Kanellakis, 12,931; Nicos P Tsakos, 12,055; Leonidas J Demetriades - Eugenides, 11,591; John A Xylas, 11,590 (*); Michael D Chandris, 11,515; Constantinos V Constantakopoulos (*); George S Livanos, 11,307; John D Coustas, 11,233 (*); John A Angelicoussis, 11,231; George A Gratsos, 10,737; Nicos A Pappadakis, 10,002; Matheos D Los, 9,942; Evangelos M Marinakis, 9,587 (*); Anastasios V Papagiannopoulos, 9,548; George J Coumantaros, 9,297; Epaminondas GE Embiricos, 8,817; Stephanos D Lecanides, 8,319; Spyros M Polemis, 7,878; George D Dalacouras, 7,847; Panos C Laskaridis, 7,506 (*); Elias M Culucundis, 7,208; Melina N Travlou, 6,675 (*); and Loucas S Fafalios, 6,596.
Source: www.newsfront, 10 February 2006 Vol. 7 / No. 5
Shipowners want reform
The head of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) yesterday called for a change in shipping policy to make the Greek shipping register more competitive, making a barely veiled threat that shipowners could always choose flags of convenience.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, 10 Feb 2006
GenMar plans to dispose of nine tankers and Technical Office in Greece
---General Maritime Crporation announces $247.5 million sale of nine OBO aframax vessels
Disposal of Non-Core Assets Expected to Realize $16.6 Million Book Gain Closes Technical Management Office in Greece
New York, New York, February 10, 2006 - General Maritime Corporation (NYSE: GMR) today announced that it has agreed to sell nine OBO Aframax tankers en bloc to Tanker Pacific for $247.5 million. The Company expects to realize a net gain of $16.6 million from the sale. The Company intends to utilize the proceeds to pay down debt, for corporate purposes which may include share repurchases, and for any future acquisitions that the Company may consider.
Deliveries of the nine vessels are expected to be concluded by June 2006.
General Maritime also announced that upon delivery of the final of the nine OBO Aframax tankers, the Company plans to close its technical office located in Piraeus, Greece, operated by General Maritime Management (Hellas) Ltd. General Maritime will maintain its commercial office in London, operated by General Maritime Management (UK) LLC and its technical office in Lisbon, operated by General Maritime Management (Portugal) Lda. The Company will also retain its commercial and technical office in New York, General Maritime Management LLC.
Source: http://www.generalmaritimecorp.com, News Release
Euroseas Announces Registration Statements Declared Effective by SEC
---MAROUSSI, ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 02/08/2006 -- Euroseas Ltd. announced today that the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") has declared effective its F-4 and F-1 registration statements. Euroseas further announced that its Board of Directors declared a dividend $0.06 per share.
F-4 Registration Statement - Merger with Cove
On February 3, 2006, the SEC declared effective Euroseas' F-4 registration statement concerning the proposed merger between Cove Apparel, Inc. (OTC BB: CVAP) and Euroseas' wholly owned subsidiary, Euroseas Acquisition Company Inc. Under the merger agreement, Cove stockholders will receive 0.102969 shares of Euroseas common stock for each share of Cove common stock owned. On September 26, 2005, four stockholders of Cove representing 67.25% of the outstanding shares of Cove common stock took action by written consent approving the merger. A definitive joint information statement/prospectus describing the merger is being mailed to Cove stockholders on or about February 8, 2006. Until consummation of the merger, Cove's common stock will continue to trade on the OTC Bulletin Board. Upon consummation of the merger, Cove will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Euroseas and Cove's stock will be de-listed and no longer trade on the OTC Bulletin Board. The merger is subject to customary closing conditions.
F-1 Registration Statement - Resale of Shares Issued in Private Placement
In addition, on February 3, 2006, the SEC declared effective Euroseas' F-1 registration statement that registers the re-sale of the Euroseas common stock and shares underlying the warrants issued in connection with Euroseas' $21 million private placement that was consummated on August 25, 2005. In the private placement, Euroseas sold 7,026,993 shares of common stock at a price of $3.00 per share. Investors also received warrants to acquire 1,756,743 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $3.60 per share for a 5-year period. Euroseas is in the process of applying to list its shares of common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board. Once approved, its shares will trade on the OTC Bulletin Board until such time as Euroseas qualifies to list its shares on the Nasdaq National Market.
Declaration of Dividend
On February 7, 2005 the Board of Directors of Euroseas declared a dividend in the amount of $0.06 per share to the shareholders of Euroseas (i) payable on or about March 2, 2006 to those holders of record of common stock of Euroseas on February 28, 2006, and (ii) (A) payable to the stockholders of Cove who are entitled to receive shares of Euroseas in connection with the merger, with such payment being made only to the holders of record of Cove common stock as of the effective date of the merger and such dividend payment being made upon exchange of their Cove shares for shares of Euroseas common stock (assuming such merger is consummated), or (B) payable to Friends Investment Company, Inc. ("Friends") if such merger is not consummated since Friends will be issued the shares that would otherwise been issued in the merger.
Information about Euroseas
Euroseas Ltd. Euroseas Ltd. was formed on May 5, 2005 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to consolidate the ship owning interests of the Pittas family of Athens. Euroseas Ltd., through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns and operates eight drybulk vessels, including four Handysize bulk carriers, three Handysize containerships, and one Panamax drybulk carrier. Euroseas will continue to operate in the drybulk and container shipping markets, with operations managed by Eurobulk Ltd., an affiliated ship management company. Eurobulk will be responsible for the day-to-day commercial and technical management and operations of the vessels. Eurobulk Ltd. is an ISO 9002:2000 certified ship management company and represents four generations of ship management tradition and expertise of the Pittas family dating back to the late 19th century.
Euroseas' five drybulk carrier vessels have total cargo capacity of 190,904 deadweight tons (dwt) and its containerships have cargo capacity of 66,100 dwt and 4,636 twenty-foot equivalent units (teu). Euroseas employs its vessels in the spot and time charter market and through pool arrangements. Presently, six of its vessels are employed under time charters, one is under voyage charter and one vessel is employed in the Baumarine pool that is managed by Klaveness, a major global charterer in the dry bulk area.
Management. Euroseas is managed by Aristides J. Pittas, its Chairman and CEO. Mr. Pittas has 20 years of experience in senior roles within the shipping industry and was formerly Managing Director and Chairman of Eurobulk, and will remain as its Chairman. Anastasios (Tasos) Aslidis, Ph D, is the Chief Financial Officer of Euroseas, and has over 17 years of experience in the shipping industry and was most recently a partner with Marsoft, an international consulting firm focusing on investment and risk management in the maritime industry. Management of Eurobulk will consist of seasoned persons that have over 100 years combined experience in the shipping business and vessel management. Euroseas also has a Board of Directors which is comprised of individuals with senior experience in shipping and related business areas.
Euroseas Dividend Policy. Euroseas plans to distribute, on a quarterly basis, substantially all available cash flow generated by operations less expenses, debt service, reserves for drydocking expenses, special surveys, and after establishing necessary working capital reserves. Necessary working capital reserves will be determined by the business needs, terms of existing credit facilities, growth strategies, and other cash needs as determined by the Board of Directors, or required by prevailing law.
Shipping giant looks to Greece
---BEIJING, Feb. 9 -- China shipping giant China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) is in talks to own part of a major Greek port giving it increased access to European markets.
Company officials said COSCO Hellas, the firm's subsidiary in Greece, is interested in taking part in possible plans to buy shares in the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA).
So said an official surnamed Chen at COSCO's port operations department.
PPA handles almost 60 per cent of all Greek shipping.
Chen said COSCO President Wei Jiafu discussed port investment when he met Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis in January, who was on an official visit to China.
Chen would not give further details as talks are in the initial stages.
The chance to buy into ports was created with the privatization of significant ports in Greece, including Piraeus.
The Greek Government owns 74.1 per cent of PPA at the moment.
The Thessalonica Port Authority said COSCO Hellas has also expressed an interest in developing co-operative ties with the northern Greek port.
Another firm, China Shipping Group (CSG) China's second-largest shipping company is seeking facilities in the Greek port of Crete.
COSCO President Wei Jiafu said earlier that port investment is a priority for the company's future expansion.
In December the group was involved in a joint venture formed by AP Moeller-Maersk and Hutchison Whampoa to buy and develop the second phase of Shanghai's Yangshan port. COSCO Pacific, a port investor affiliated to the Group, took 10 per cent of the venture.
In December, the group also signed an agreement to buy a 20 per cent stake in the Suez Canal Container Terminal in Egypt, its first port investment in the Middle East.
COSCO now holds stakes in a number of Chinese ports in the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Rim in northern China.
Outside of China, it has a 49 per cent stake in a terminal in Singapore, a 25 per cent stake in Belgium's Antwerp port and stakes in other ports in the United States.
COSCO is expected to register a pre-tax profit of around 20 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion) in 2005, breaking all past records, said Chen.
(Source: China Daily)
Source: www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-09 09:11:35
Louis wins case over ship purchase
---LOUIS CRUISE Lines has won a court decision in Piraeus against Dolphin Hellas, its owner, Anargyros Angelopoulos, and his two children over Dolphin's failure to deliver to Louis the 11,563-gt cruise ship Aegean I.
Louis signed an agreement at the end of May last year to buy the ship for 500,000 euro and delivery was set for the end of October but the seller failed to deliver.
The court decision accepted that Louis was at risk of losing the ship, as Dolphin's $16.6m mortgage with Piraeus Bank had been paid off by an unnamed third party, Tradewinds shipping newspaper reported.
Commenting on Dolphin's claims that the buyer had backed out of the deal, the court said: "Not only are these clearly false and a pretext but they are exceptionally contradictory to the good faith and directness called for in the dealings between contracting parties."
Louis then had to prevent the auction of the Aegean I, which it has now successfully completed, the cruise company said in a statement yesterday.
The court decided to accept the application of Progress, a subsidiary of Louis, for the taking of temporary measures, and postponed the sale of the ship via auction until the court decides to cancel the auction at a hearing scheduled on January 1, 2007.
Source: http://www.cyprus-mail.com, Cyprus Mail, Cyprus - Feb 8, 2006
Chios 2005 Shipwreck Survey
---In the fourth century B.C., a Greek merchant ship sank off Chios and the Oinoussai islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The wooden vessel may have succumbed to storm, fire or rough weather, ruining the cargo of 400 ceramic jars of wine and olive oil. The ship went down in 60 metres of water where it remained unnoticed for centuries.
The classical-era ship might never have divulged to archaeologists its clues to ancient Greek culture but for a research team from MIT, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), who used a novel autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to make a high-precision photometric survey of the site last July.
The robotic vehicle used at Chios is an AUV called SeaBed. An Indian scientist at WHOI, Hanumant Singh and his research team designed and built the AUV specifically for imaging the sea floor.
Singh and his engineering team programmed SeaBed to run slow, precise tracklines over the shipwreck site. The AUV scanned the scattered cargo and created a topographical sonar map. WHOI archaeologists and engineers are assembling the 7650 images into mosaics that depict the minute features of the shipwreck.
The Chios wreck is playing a critical role in exploring how advanced technology can dramatically change the field of underwater archaeology. The long-term project is the brainchild of expedition co-leaders Brendan Foley, a researcher at WHOI and David Mindell, professor of engineering systems at MIT.
The researchers took more than 7,000 images, which will eventually be combined into one mosaic of the entire wreck site.
The Deep Submergence Laboratory of WHOI has for years been a leader in building submersible robotic vehicles for a variety of underwater environments, including the ARGO vehicle that found the Titanic and the JASON II vehicle that explores the sea floor today. As soon as SeaBed surfaced with the first images from the Chios wreck, Foley and the Greek archaeologists began interpreting the data.
Much of the true value in cargo ships is the information they provide about the networks that existed among the ancient Greeks and their trading partners.
The new research project will last 10 years or more, focusing on uncovering evidence of ancient trade in the Mediterranean, particularly of the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures and their trading partners in the Bronze Age (2500-1200 B.C.).
Hanumant Singh and his research team designed and built the AUV specifically for imaging the sea floor.
Source: http://www.newindpress.com, Monday February 6 2006 14:11 IST
Greek Banking, Telecom and Technology: Upcoming Prospects for the Key Players
---In Greece as in the wider world, the banking, telecommunication and tech sectors make up the main driving force in economic development. In our post- industrial era, these services across their entire spectrum dictate to a large degree the stock market, social norms and key trends, and assume pivotal importance when assessing the economic outlook of a particular state.
National Bank of Greece
First considerations must go to the National Bank of Greece. It was established in 1841 and was the first bank in the country, having been created in 1830. It is the bulwark of the Greek banking system and the largest group in Greece, with a market capitalization of almost 13 billion Euros. Its branches are spread throughout Greece as well as in the UK, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Albania, Serbia, Romania and other countries. Until recently it had an American subsidiary, the Atlantic Bank, which was sold off.
The main strategic aims of the bank are to expand in the SE European area and it is thus now eying Romanian banks up for sale. Moreover the bank has a diversified range of interests, including the national insurance company, Hercules Cement and Astir Hotels Group, as well as colossal real estate assets all over the country. It is assumed that currently the NBR has a bit over 1 billion euros in readily dispensable assets; this will soon swell if its plans to sell off parts of the companies it controls succeed. For 2006, it is likely to expect financial deals in Romania and the expansion of its branches in the other Balkan states.
Eurobank is one of the fastest growing banking institutions in SE Europe. It was established in 1990 by Spyros Latsis and Deutsche Bank. The latter withdrew in 2003, and currently the stocks of this particular company are some of the most sought-after on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Eurobank employs over 13,500 people and has branches in the Balkans, as well as private banking outlets in areas such as the Cayman Islands, Geneva, London, Monaco and other. Eurobank also issues Open 24 and Eurobank cards, which have a strong representation on the ever growing credit card market in Greece.
Among its targets for 2006, Eurobank seeks to expand into the Polish market, where it plans to open 100 branches in the next three years.
OTE- the National Telecommunications Company
Some 7 million costumers are served by the company, which is also the driving force behind the expansion of ADSL internet in Greece. The state owns 38.6 percent of the stocks, and any decision for a total sell-off (as is rumored) will have implications for the whole of the Greek political system.
Cosmote is one of the fastest growing mobile operators in Europe. It was established in 1998 by the Greek national telecom operator, OTE, and the Norwegian Telenor. It boasts in excess of 4 million customers and has achieved international recognition by affiliating with the I-mode 1 mobile browser under exclusive agreement with NTT.
Plaisio Computers is a medium-sized company in comparison to those mentioned above. But it is clearly a modern business success story. Established in 1969 as a small stationery shop in the center of Athens, Plaisio is currently a leading computer firm with a stock market value of 160 million euros.
The Antenna Group is the largest TV and entertainment conglomerate in Greece. It was first established in 1987 by the shipping tycoon Minoas Kyriakou, and from then on expanded into areas such as television, publishing, music, internet, credit cards and education. It owns a subsidiary in Bulgaria, Nova Televisia and Radio Express, and it broadcasts worldwide via satellite. Antenna is thus very popular in the Greek diaspora.
Within Greece itself, the station tends to fluctuate between first or second place in terms of viewer ratings. Over 2,000 people work for the group, which also has an innovative educational center that serves as a pool for nursing future talent.
For 2006, no definitive predictions can be made, though it should be said that the Antenna Group is well known for making careful business moves.
OPAP first started in 1958 as the state organization for the football lottery-PROPO- and currently is a giant in the Greek gambling sector. With a market capitalization of around 11 billion euros, and the ever increasing Greek lust for the lottery and other games of chance, it reaps huge profits each year.
Last year, the Greek government sold 16.6 percent of its share through the stock market. For 2006, the corporation is offering a 250 million euro contract for gaming software and machinery; potential interested parties such as Intralot, Scientific Games, Lottomatica and others are preparing to fight over it. In the near future, further expansion in the Balkan market, as well as further partial company sell-off by the government are likely.
Ioannis Michaletos is a researcher on HRM, sustainable development and member of the governing board of the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS) in Athens.
Source: http://www.balkanalysis.com, Posted on Thursday, February 09 @ 09:00:00 EST by CDeliso By Ioannis Michaletos