Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 48 - 2006

 

Ship orders show steep rise

---The recent rise in freight rates has particularly boosted shipyards in the Far East with an increase in orders for delivery up to the year 2010.
Orders this year represent some 8 percent of the global dry-bulk capacity. Comparing this with the 6 percent annual increase in dry-bulk shipments makes the rise in orders seem anything but unrealistic.
Nevertheless, the average rise since 1990 comes to 3.5 percent annually, which is mainly parallel with the Chinese growth.
However, over the last six months ship orders have changed significantly. The total number of orders has grown by 23 percent, from 230 million dwt to 284 million dwt, which is a very substantial increase in a relatively small period of time. The biggest portion of that is attributed to tankers with a capacity under 100,000 dwt, whose increase comes to 42 percent. This is directly associated with the new regulations on crude oil shipping to be applied as of 2008.
In very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and Suezmax tankers, the percentage of increase reached 35 percent over the last few months, while the almost-forgotten multipurpose type of vessels also showed a steep rise in orders, coming to 41 percent, that is 3.8 million dwt.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels have also shown an important increase in orders, with the expectation that, owing to the considerable investment in natural gas in the Middle East, shipments of LPG from that region should grow.
The orders for new dry-bulk carrier ships cover about 17 percent of the global fleet, or 74.6 million tons, while orders for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers represent an 18 percent rise.
In contrast, orders for ships of multiple uses, refrigerating ships (reefers) and vehicle carriers, show very little interest.
Shipowners appear to be particularly keen on investing in new ships and they have expectations for quick and significant returns on their capital in an exceptionally inflationary market.
After a good 2005, European contracts are down by 42 percent, although the recent rise of the Chinese and Japanese currencies could change this particular trend in the last quarter of the year.
Source: By Dimitris Sigalas - Kathimerini, http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=77114


Greek truckers angered by port protest
---Scores of truck drivers used their vehicles Friday to block the entrance of Greece's largest container terminal, angry at a three-week dock workers' protest that has slowed pre-Christmas traffic.
Truckers stopped vehicles entering or leaving the Ikonio terminal, near the Greek capital's main port of Piraeus, in an effort to press dock workers to end their protest.
The work-to-rule demonstration was called in opposition to plans by the Piraeus Port Authority, OLP, privatize management at its commercial ports.
Negotiation attempts between the striking union and Merchant Marine Ministry have repeatedly collapsed.
Truck drivers say it has cut traffic by more than 50 percent, forcing long waits and lost orders.
OLP said a the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA had informed them of plans to reduce operations at Piraeus' commercial ports following the protest.
Source: December 1, 2006, 2:45PM EST , http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8LO8D480.htm


MSC switches business as dispute hits Greek ports
Employees at the state-controlled Piraeus Port Authority and Thessaloniki Port Authority have been staging the overt- ime ban for three weeks in opposition to plans for an international tender to operate the twoports for a period of 30 years.
The government has said it plans to privatise parts of the two ports through an internati- onal tender to be completed within a year in a bid to bolster in- vestment, develop container business and make Greece a regional ship-ping hub.
But the unions oppose such moves, fearing for their jobs, and claim they have so far been excluded from any discussions by government and by management at the ports.
Mediterranean Ship- ping Company, the biggest customer at Piraeus, decided this week to switch part of its business to ports in neighbouring countries, including Italy and Turkey, to overcome the backlog of containers.
About 1,600 employees are directly employed at Piraeus while another 600 work at the Thessaloniki port.
Unions have vowed to continue the industrial action but say they remain open to dialogue with management and the government.
Source: Company News, Lloyds List, By Philip Pangalos in Athens- Friday December 01 2006


Attempts to move stuck ship unsuccessful
---Update 3:52 p.m.: The Spar Opal was freed from grounding by tugboats at 3:32 p.m. today. The ship is being moved to the Upper Wall of Iroquois Lock where it will await a final dive inspection before resuming its voyage.
St. Lawrence Seaway Develop Corporation spokesperson Vicky Garcia told NewsWatch50.com that the final inspection is merely a formality and that there was no damage to the ship.
11/29/06 Shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway will remain confined to one lane for at least another 24 hours, possibly longer, near the Iroquois Lock. Attempts to re-float one of the two ships aground near the lock were unsuccessful today.
Two tugs working to free the Greek ship Golden Eye were not able to move the ship. Seaway officials and the ship owners are planning to off-load some of the ships cargo of steel to lighten the vessel.
According to Vicki Garcia, spokesperson for the St. Lawrence Seaway Develop Corporation, off-loading some of the steel will not begin until at least Thursday, possibly later, since a detailed plan for the operation is not yet in place.
Meanwhile, attempts to free the Norwegian ship Spar Opal, also aground near Iroquois Lock, have not yet begun. A fleet of three ocean-going tug boats, needed to move the Spar Opal, have not yet arrived on the scene.
Ms. Garcia told NewsWatch50 the plan is to attempt moving the Spar Oval this evening.
At about 8:30 p.m. Monday, the Spar Opal, carrying a load of potash, experienced engine trouble and became grounded on the south side of the channel. An hour after that, the Golden Eye, was preparing to drop anchor outside the lock and wait for the Spar Opal to be moved when its bow became mired on the south side of the channel.
Source: http://www.newswatch50.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=0D027B1B-3DC5-4A33-9DE3-1D01EE6EA7D9


Greek minister visits Asry
---MANAMA: Greek Transport and Communications Minister Michalis Liapis visited the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (Asry)
He was accompanied by Bahrain Transportation Ministry Assistant Under-Secretary for Civil Aviation Services Ahmed Nemat Ali.
Mr Liapis, who was making his second visit to Asry, was welcomed and shown around the complex by chief executive Mohamed Al Khateeb.
He also attended a reception at the company's VIP Restaurant, where he was welcomed by senior Asry officials, as well as the captain and chief engineer of a Greek vessel, under repair at Asry.
Mr Liapis said he was happy to visit Asry for the second time in 10 years and to see its tremendous progress and achievements.
He congratulated Asry for winning the confidence of the Greek ship owners, who he said come to Asry all the time because it provides them with high quality, competitive prices and punctual delivery times.
He said he was looking forward to more cooperation between the shipping community in Greece and this "wonderful shipyard".
Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com, Vol XXIX NO. 253 Tuesday 28 November 2006


Aegean Marine Petroleum Sets Price Range
Bear Stearns is leading the revived offering, which was originally put forward in November of 2005. Also on the deal are Johnson Rice, Simmons & Company, and Dahlman Rose. Seward & Kissel, Reeder & Simpson, and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel are providing legal advice.
Source: www.marinemoney.com, Freshly Minted Weekly on-line.


Navios Maritime Announces Proposed $300 Million Senior Notes Offering
---PIRAEUS, Greece, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. ("Navios") announced today it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, approximately $300 million of senior notes due 2014 (the "Notes"). The Notes will be offered and sold in the United States only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") -- and in offshore transactions to non-United States persons in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act.
The Notes to be issued by Navios will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed by the Company's existing subsidiaries, except for Corporacion Navios Sociedad Anonima, and certain future subsidiaries. The net proceeds of the offering are intended to be used to repay borrowings under the Company's existing credit facility.
The Notes and related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States or for the benefit of U.S. persons unless so registered except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable securities laws in other jurisdictions. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the Notes and the related guarantees, nor shall there by any sale of the Notes and the related guarantees in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful. This press release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.
Source: Wednesday November 29, 6:10 pm, ET Press Release Source: Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/061129/nyw152.html?.v=70


Diana Shipping Inc. Takes Delivery of Capesize, Expanding Fleet to 15 Vessels
News Category : PressRelease
---ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diana Shipping Inc. , a global shipping transportation company specializing in dry bulk cargoes, today announced that on November 28 the Company took delivery of the newly-built Sideris GS, a 174,186 dwt Capesize dry bulk carrier, built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
The vessel, as previously announced, is chartered to BHP Billiton Marketing AG for a four-year period with a one year extension at the charterer's option. The gross charter rate for the initial 47 to 49 month period will be: $46,000 during the first year; $43,000 during the second year; $39,000 during the third year and $36,000 during the fourth year. The charterer has the option to employ the vessel for a further 11-13 month period at a daily charter rate of $48,500. The charter commenced on December 1, 2006.
With the delivery of the Sideris GS, Diana Shipping has increased its fleet to fifteen vessels (thirteen Panamax dry bulk carriers and two Capesize dry bulk carriers). In addition the combined deadweight of the fleet has increased to approximately 1,312,419 tons and the weighted average age has decreased to 3.6 years.
About the Company
Diana Shipping Inc. is a global provider of shipping transportation services. The Company specializes in transporting dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes. Diana Shipping Inc. priced its initial public offering of common stock on March 17, 2005.
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," "except," "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, our management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe 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 our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.
In addition to these important factors other important factors that, in our 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 dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for our 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, vessel breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
Diana Shipping Inc.
Source: Posted on : Fri, 01 Dec 2006 14:07:59 GMT | Author : Diana Shipping Inc., http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,29125.shtml


Torpedoed in the foot
Source: Lookout, Fairplay International Shipping Weekly, 30 Nov 2006


Analysis of [ Top Tankers ] Numbers
---29-Nov-06 06:20 pm Yahoo! Message Boards > Business & Finance > Investments > Stocks (A to Z) > Stocks T > Top Tankers Inc. (TOPT)
1. how people overreact to news and lose money
2. How analysts are always scamming and manipulating the market.
12/31/2005 Vessels on hand 886,754 net
6 months 06 dep and Amort (24,066)
Cost of Vessels SOLD (469,490)
Gain on sale 5,126
6/30/2006 Vessels on hand 431,344
Proceed from Sale of Vessel 474,616
Proceeds used
LTD paid (266,018)
Div Paid (217,466)
6/30/06 Cash 84,793
6/30/05 cash 43,233
Improvement 41,560
The company is more cash-solvent now with less debt
LTD 6/30/06 284,505
LTD 6/30/05 518,774
Debt reduced (234,269)
Int. savings each quarter at 4.75% 3,159
Amort saings each quarter from 7,750 sale of vessels
Savings ach Qtr 10,909 Millions EPS increase 0.38
Today's news is about the treatment of that 5,216 gain from
sale of vessels in Q1 and 2. the company showed it as
amortization of deffered gain. What you will see next week is a restatement with removal of a portion that item from Income statement and it will be added to the Balance Sheet at unamortized gain on sale of asset. Gain on sale of asset often requires amotization over a period. If you have loss, you recognize it immediately, in the Qtr you sale, but if you have Gain, you amortize it.
With current number of shares, the net of tax (40%) effectfrom adjustment of 5,216 is exactly 11 cents
.4*5,216,000/28,847,107 = 0.11
Going forward, I am expecting revenues of 380-400 Million in 2006 and an EPS of around $1.45-1.6
Cash Book value is $7.5, at this time and TOPT will be in $8-10 range within a month.
Sentiment : Strong Buy
Source: http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks_%28A_to_Z%29/Stocks_T/threadview?m=tm&bn=24367&tid=57031&mid=57031&tof=2&frt=2


Minoan misses sale cash
---The 28,000-gt Ariadne Palace (built 2002) went to Moby Lines in September for EUR 90m.
The lack of gains from disposals was the main reason behind a drop in third-quarter net income at Greek ferry owner Minoan Lines.
The company also had to battle soaring bunker costs while revenues were slightly down as the active fleet dropped from eight to seven in the period.
Net income for the three months to 30 September fell to EUR 25.13m ($33.17m) from EUR 32.2m in the comparable period last year but the 2005 figure included a gain of EUR 7.8m from the sale of subsidiary FORTHnet.
Minoan saw a particular increase in revenues and volumes from its Heraklion-Piraeus service as internal tourism and truck traffic volumes improved.
Operating costs were slightly higher in the period at EUR 45.88m as against EUR 45.35m with the picture over the first nine months of the year somewhat bleaker.
A difference in EUR 0.9m in the tax bill for the year so far was more than offset by a rebate of EUR 1.5m relating to the financial years from 2000 to 2005.
Minoan has a 33.3% stake in compatriot ferry operator Hellenic Seaways which has become the centre of attention regarding a possible takeover bid. In November, having appeared to be considering a move for a controlling stake in Hellenic, Greek rival Attica Holdings exited the race after Laskaridis Shipping purchase 33.4% of shares in Hellenic.
Last week Attica pushed its stake in Minoan up to 13% with a share purchase splurge worth EUR 4.3m.
By Eoin O'Cinneide in London, published: 10:14 GMT, 30 November 2006 | last updated: 10:16 GMT, 30 November 2006
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Cypriot heads EUR 2 bln Greek island investment
---A Cyprus-based development company, Kerlengou Island Investments Plan Ltd, has bought the 12-square-kilometre island of Dhokos, in the Saronic sea off Hydra, and plans to develop a mega-project worth EUR 2 bln.
This is reportedly one of the last of more than 60 private Greek islands on sale across Greece in recent years,
The nearly-deserted island previously owned by shipping magnate Petros Livanos, just as tycoon Aristotle Onassis had acquired Skorpios as his private retreat, was auctioned for EUR 180 mln and has already attracted interest from investors in Greece, Cyprus and the Middle East.
Costas Kerlengos, who runs a group of security, retail, transport and telecom companies, plans to develop tourist hotels and villages and individual properties taking advantage of recent relaxations in the Greek laws on island developments.
Dhokos only has a handful of inhabited homes, while its main bay is a natural shelter that has become a popular anchorage for many yachtsmen sailing the Aegean.
A stretch of 5 sq.m. will remain undeveloped due to archaeological sites on the island, while the whole development foresees the sale of 12,000 plots starting from EUR 75,000 (CYP 44,000) per property.
Kerlengos said that he has lined up a Greek architectural firm to help with the development and work should begin on the island by early-2008.
Due to the expansion of his business to Greece and realising the potential of the Aegean tourism market, Kerlengos also plans to charter a 750-passnger cruise ship next year to operate in the Greek islands.
More than 60 private Greek islands are reportedly on sale across the country, drawing the interest of domestic and foreign investors as well as international tourism groups.
The owners of those small islands have realized the assets they have in hand and are rushing to make the most of them.
The 4 sq.km Skyropoula island, right next to Skyros, was said to have been recently bought for nearly 6 mln euros by one or more members of the Haji-Ioannou family of shipowners.
Another island proceeding with tourism investment plans is Alatas in the Pagasitikos Gulf, close to Volos in central Greece and covering a surface of 0.5 square kilometers. Greek press sources say the islet has been leased for the next 50 years by United Five Development from Cyprus, which is expected to invest more than 50 mln euros in building a major hotel unit of 900 beds with restaurants, recreation spaces, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Source: Financial Mirror, Cyprus, 01/12/2006