Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 07 - 2006

 

New composition of Greek government

---Following is the new composition of the Greek government after the reshuffle announced on Tuesday:
PRIME MINISTER: Costas Karamanlis
INTERIOR, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & DECENTRALISATION MINISTRY Minister: Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Deputy: Apostolos Andreoulakos, Deputy: Athanasios Nakos
ECONOMY & FINANCE MINISTRY Minister: George Alogoskoufis, Deputy: Christos Folias, Deputy: Antonis Bezas, Deputy: Petros Doukas
FOREIGN MINISTRY Minister: Dora Bakoyannis, Deputy: Yannis Valynakis, Deputy: Evrypides Stylianidis, Deputy: Theodoros Kassimis
NATIONAL DEFENCE MINISTRY Minister: Evangelos Meimarakis, Deputy: Vassilis Michaloliakos, Deputy: Yannis Lambropoulos
ENVIRONMENT, TOWN PLANNING & PUBLIC WORKS MINISTRY Minister: George Souflias, Deputy: Stavros Kaloyannis, Deputy: Themistocles Xanthopoulos
NATIONAL EDUCATION & RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS MINISTRY Minister: Marietta Yannakou, Deputy: George Kalos, Deputy: Spyros Taliadouros
EMPLOYMENT & SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTRY Minister: Savvas Tsitouridis, Deputy: Gerassimous Yiakoumatos
HEALTH & SOCIAL SOLIDARITY MINISTRY Minister: Dimitris Avramopoulos,Deputy: Athanasios Yannopoulos,Deputy: George Constantopoulos
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT & FOODS MINISTRY Minister: Evangelos Basiakos,Deputy: Alexandros Kontos
JUSTICE MINISTRY Minister: Anastasis Papaligouras
CULTURE MINISTRY Minister: George Voulgarakis, Deputy: George Orfanos
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY Minister: Michalis Liapis
PUBLIC ORDER MINISTRY Minister: Vyron Polydoras
MERCHANT MARINE MINISTRY Minister: Manolis Kefaloyannis
TOURISM MINISTRY Minister: Fani Palli-Petralia
MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTRY Minister: George Kalantzis
AEGEAN & ISLAND POLICY MINISTRY Minister: Aristotelis Pavlidis
MINISTER OF STATE FOR COMMUNICATION and government spokesman: Theodoros Roussopoulos
Source: 15 February, 2006 http://www.greekembassy.org


ASE Management to hit the road and sell the exchange to shipping
---Management of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) is to take to the streets in a bid to see if there is a place in shipping for the ASE. While the goal is to sell the exchange's leader-board to Greek shipping, the ASE's management also wants to finally judge whether oceangoing shipping is really interested in the Greek capital market.
Several companies have been earmarked by the exchange which plans a series of informative meetings following the introduction last autumn of new regulations covering listings. The latest rules are the third major set drawn up and seemed to be moving the ASE closer to the day when the larger Greek shipping companies would be on its leaderboard. However, there has been no new interest and the ASE now believes this is its fault as little has been done to "sell the market".
Though the climate is not ideal, the ASE's management is now determined to mount a hard sell. The rule amendments allow parallel listings of any Greek or foreign shipping company as long as the company fulfils requirements including much higher capitalisation than previously called for. In the case of a dual/parallel listing the ASE will accept accounts prepared in accordance with the US General Accounting Principles (US-GAP). An electronic communication system between Athens and the foreign stock exchange and a clearing system will also have to be in place.
Shipping stocks have been confined to ferry companies and even this group has been out of favour with investors for the past three or so years. The new rules are aimed at Greece's larger companies, an increasing number of which are tapping the capital markets in the US and UK.
Candidate companies no longer need to form a special-purpose oceangoing-shipping investment company (EEPN) under Greek law, as was previously necessary, though if they wish to do so they can.
Indeed, with the new rules requiring applicant companies to have a minimum total capitalisation of Euro 100m, small opportunistic companies will be unable to meet this criteria. Other financial requirements are: Assets of Euro 15m ($17.5m); Pre-tax profits over a three-year period of Euro 12m, with an annual minimum of Euro 3m; and EBITDA over a three-year period of at least Euro 16m and not less than Euro 4m annually.
With Athens having a rather small volume large IPOs are along way off, though analysts believe there may be an interest in dual listings. Indeed, Newsfront understands officials from Cyprus linked to the Nicosia Stock Exchange recently visited Athens to look at the opportunities for parallel listings.
The Cyprus exchange is close to getting its first oceangoing company listing, Ocean Tankers Holdings Public Co Ltd, which is associated with the Admibros Group. George Ioannides, vp and ceo of Admibros Shipmanagement Co Ltd said the group is moving ahead with plans and its proposed to seek a listing in Nicosia in the spring. "The Nicosia exchange, though it has greatly improved is restricted, and we are examining a dual listing in Athens," said Ioannides.
He said banks in Cyprus and Greece were advising on the IPO and that funds raised would be used to purchase tankers under 10 years old to trade in niche markets. Presently Admibros has three oil/chem tankers of 4,500, 7,000 and 8,000dwt with a fleet of 15 to 20 units the goal.
In 1999, Stelmar Tankers, LMZ-Transoil and Transmed Shipping examined a listing in Nicosia, but backed-off.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, filed 14 Feb 2006


Aries in New $360 million Facility Led by Bank of Scotland and Nordea
The Bank of Scotland and Nordea Bank Finland will act as joint lead arrangers. Nordea is also is acting as book manager while the Bank of Scotland is acting as facility agent.
President and Chief Executive Officer Mons S. Bolin was quoted "We are pleased to have secured a commitment for this revolving $360 million credit facility with leading ship finance banks. The new $360 facility, which has favorable terms, will provide for the long-term funding of our recent products tankers acquisition while enhancing our financial flexibility. With a $75 million undrawn commitment, Aries is in a strong position to pursue future growth opportunities."
For starters, the loan will go to fund the two Stena panamax tankers that Aries acquired in December for $56 million each.
Source: Freshly Minted, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7, February 16, 2006 available at www.marinemoney.com


Blank-cheque team launches IPO, spending plans vague
---A group of seven individuals with oil-trading and shipping backgrounds have become the latest band to try their hands at raising a large amount of money through an initial public offering (IPO), with pretty vague promises about how the proceeds will be invested.
Energy Infrastructure Acquisition Corp (EIAC) is a Delaware-incorporated blank-cheque company that plans to invest in the oil-and-gas business but the takeover target could anything from a refinery, a terminal, bunkering facilities or tankers.
EIAC is seeking $172.5m on the premise that energy is a promising sector for consolidation and growth but admits it has no specific acquisition proposal in negotiation or even under consideration. No research has been carried out on any potential acquisition.
The prospectus talks of opportunities to acquire and upgrade existing refineries and of several areas of the world where storage terminals could be a good investment.
Bunkering services in shipping bottlenecks such as Gibraltar and Singapore are also identified as potential investments.
In shipping, the oversupply of tanker tonnage, particularly VLCCs, is seen as creating an opportunity, within an 18-month time frame, to buy groups of vessels at advantageous prices.
EIAC plans a listing on the American, rather than the New York or Nasdaq exchanges.
The two key figures in the team appear to be George Sagredos, with 45% of EIAC's stock before the IPO, and Andreas Theotokis, with 35%.
Sagredos, 49, is chief operating officer of EIAC and founder of Hermitage Resources, an oil arbitrageur focusing on the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and other emerging markets. He is a former Goldman Sachs oil-futures trader and tanker broker for D&L Partners of New York. While in his 20s, he worked in Thenamaris' dry-cargo chartering operation.
Theotokis, also 49, is chairman of EIAC and currently a senior advisor to Samsung Corp, having built up its niche east-west oil-arbitrage business. He was formerly with Oilspace Inc, Galaxy Energy Corp and Astroline. The early part of his career was spent with the Petrola Hellas/Latsis group.
Other directors of EIAC include Jonathan Kollek, 46, an oil trader with TNK-BP Management who began his career at Marc Rich, Arie Silverberg, 58, who was head of the crude-oil and products division of Glencore International (formerly Marc Rich), and David Wong, 49, who has a background in Petronas and Marubeni but before that worked for Marc Rich.
Marios Pantazopoulos, 39, chief financial officer of EIAC, previously held a similar position at Oceanbulk Maritime. He has a shipping-finance background and was involved in the privatisation of Hellenic Shipyards.
Maximos Kremos, 59, a former Thenamaris engineering superintendent, appears to have the most shipping experience. He was technical director of Enterprises Shipping and Trading and has also worked at Nereus Shipping, Silver Carriers and Navitankers.
Source: www.tradewinds.no, By Jim Mulrenan, London, published: 17 February 2006


Quintana Maritime Announces Two Time Charter Agreements
---ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 02/15/2006 -- Quintana Maritime Limited (NASDAQ: QMAR) announced today that it has entered into time charter agreements for the M/V Coal Glory and for the M/V Coal Pride.
Coal Glory has entered a short-term time charter for a minimum period of three months and a maximum period of five months with Cargill at a daily rate of USD 15,500 per day. Coal Glory started the new charter on February 2nd, 2006. Coal Glory is a Panamax bulk carrier built in 1995 with a carrying capacity of 73,670 dwt.
Coal Pride has entered into a one-year time charter with Daeyang at a daily rate of USD 14,850 per day. Coal Pride started the new charter on February 8th, 2006. Coal Pride is a Panamax bulk carrier built in 1999 with a carrying capacity of 72,600 dwt.
Stamatis Molaris, Chief Executive Officer of Quintana Maritime Limited, stated, "Consistent with our strategy to predominantly employ our vessels under period charters, we are pleased to announce that we entered two of our Panamax vessels, the M/V Coal Glory and the M/V Coal Pride, into time charter agreements at profitable rates. With these fixtures, our time charter coverage for 2006 increases to 70.8% and to 51.0% for 2007, generating net revenues of USD 56.7 million and USD 44.8 million respectively."
Quintana Maritime Limited, based in Greece, is an international provider of dry bulk cargo marine transportation services. The company currently owns and operates a fleet of eight Panamax size vessels and two Capesize vessels with a total carrying capacity of 916,072 dwt and an average age of 7.2 years.
Source: www.quintanamaritime.com


From Novorissisk the vessel will head for Thessaloniki, with the round trip expected to take between 18 and 25 days.
Another newbuilding at Hyundai, the IA ice class suezmax tanker Alaska, is due for delivery on February 27 and two more will follow in the course of the next year.
With delivery of the Archangel, the company now has a fleet of 26 vessels totalling 3.1m dwt under deployment, boasting an average age of six years. The fleet includes three chartered in vessels and the remaining newbuilding programme includes the three suezmaxes, two aframaxes, four handysizes and one LNG tanker.
The Archangel, like the IC ice class suezmax Eurochampion 2004, is operating in the spot market. Company officials declined to divulge charter details. The remaining five suezmaxes operate on time charters and profit sharing arrangements.
Source: www.lloydslists.com, By Christopher Mayer in Athens- Wednesday February 15 2006


Onshore sources responsible for more sea pollution than ships
---Onshore installations were at fault for the biggest part of sea pollution in 2005, according to data by the Maritime Environment Protection Department, accounting for 52.4 percent of incidents, against 47.6 percent that were caused by ships.
In terms of types of pollutants, 77 instances, or 47.83 percent, involved sludge, 55 instances (34.16 percent) involved solid waste, and 28 instances (18.01 percent) oil by-products.
Port authorities last year imposed fines totaling 872,286 euros, concerning 130 violations confirmed in onshore installations and other sources and 119 in ships.
The Merchant Marine Ministry has drawn up a plan for sea protection including the increase in patrols on and off shore, checks and inspections, as well as punishment measures imposing fines on violators.
Source: NIKOS BARDOUNIAS, http://www.ekathimerini.com, 16 Feb 2006


Unimarine Services Ltd. wins Dubai International Maritime Award
---In the Category "Countering Marine & Atmospheric Pollution" Piraeus based Unimarine Services Ltd. wins second place at the Dubai International Maritime Awardswith the new product: CLEANMAG - The Magnetic Oil Trap.
"We are very proud of this achievement and expect more awards for this specific product which is the first results of our new cooperation with the University of Piraeus and Professor Mr. G .Nicolaides for new products and services", said Jason Georgiou head of Unimarine Services Ltd.
"Also in cooperation with Mr. Nicolaides we are working on other products as per the new regulations, to be able to provide for a a better environment.
We believe that in this way we are the leaders in new technology in our field and we will continue to look for other opportunities to increase our marketing strength in the marine field."
CLEANMAG - The Magnetic Oil Trap.
- 100% effective with faster operational application towards the oil spill accidents.
- Environmentally friendly, non toxic; detrimental protection value towards the marine life, coastal exploitation, recreational zones and vulnerable ecosystems.
- Cost effective
- Can be recycled.
The conventional technologies to fight oil spills available today are:
- confinement with the use of booms
- pumping of the bulk quantities of oil
- skimming technology
- in situ burning
- use of various sorbents or solidifiers
- bioremediation
- chemical dispersants
All of the above methods have been proven insufficient for a thorough oil cleaning up of the water. Part of the oil still stays in the sea with all the negative consequences for the environment.
Almost at every oil spill accident a minor oil quantity escapes into the environment and eventually turns to a residual pollution, accompanied with all the negative consequences for the ecology as well as for the shore based economical activities.
Qualities & Characteristics
- Sorbs only oil (oleophillic-hydrophobic)
- Sorbing ratio is 1:6 by weight
- It is magnetic, therefore can be collected using magnetic means (magnetic drum conveyor belt systems or electro-magnets).
- Low apparent density < 1 g/cc (still floats after oil sorption)
- It is recyclable
- It is non toxic
Source: UNIMARINEWS 8, February 2006, SPECIAL EDITION