Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 06 - 2007

 

Regarding the new draft legislation voted by the Hellenic parliament recently, in order to boost the competitiveness of the Hellenic Registry, Mr. Efthimiou fully approved the move, while he expressed his hope that all of the 550 new buildings will move under the Hellenic flag.
(Source: Nikos Skenderoglou, Hellenic Shipping News)
Source: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/


Peter C. Georgiopoulos emerges from the sea as the next Onassis
In 1997, Mr. Georgiopoulos founded General Maritime Corp. with a calculated bluff. He wanted lucrative contracts ferrying crude for the big oil companies, but couldn't land any as an unknown newcomer. Georgiopoulos needed a track record, fast. So he roped Universe Tankships, a highly regarded firm, into managing his first ship. He then poached some of Universe's prized executives, including its chairman, and pitched the firm's experience to the oil majors.
Mr. Georgiopoulos raised $144 million to take General Maritime public in 2001. To date, the company owns and operates a fleet of 47 vessels and is one of the largest international transporters of seaborne crude oil. In January 2003, he bought Athens-based Metrostar Management, a 19-ship fleet owned by Theodore Angelopoulos and in March 2004 he bought Soponata SA the largest shipping company in Portugal.
FACTS AND COMPARISONS
Aristotle S. Onassis
Peter C. Georgiopoulos
Nationality:
Greek
Greek-American
Financial Worth:
Excess of over $150 million (in GMC shares alone)
Specialty:
Crude oil transportation
Crude oil transportation
Collects:
Art & Antiquities
Art & Antiquities
Age at which first ship acquired:
Under 40
Under 40
Hobbies:
Enjoy historical reading
Enjoy historical reading
Favorite Vacation Destination:
Sailing the Greek Isles
Sailing the Greek Isles
Luxury Transportation:
Owned Olympic Airways
Owns a private Falcon jet
New York business address:
Source: http://www.hellenicnews.com/readnews.html?newsid=6332&lang=US


On and Off Akti Miaouli
Michas said "the loss of Posidonia is very bad for Piraeus and the wider area". Fassoulas and the Piraeus Commercial & Industrial Chamber are concerned at the progress being made to have the PPA venue constructed. As the PPA is yet to call for tenders to construct the complex and agrees, the "schedule is now very tight" Posidonia plans to again hold the June 2008 event in the Hellenikon venue.
Tzoannos said steps have been taken to upgrade ferry services, revive Greek cruising, improve port infrastructure and protect the sea environment. Prime minister, Costas Karamanlis told the forum that tapping the potential of the country's tourist industry is a government priority. "Our tourism industry is acquiring for the first time a targeted communication strategy and special zoning plan," said Karamanlis. He said the introduction of "an investment charter" will enable aspiring investors in Greece's tourism industry to plan their schemes with much greater certainty.
Source: Newsfront, 9 February 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 5


Greeks welcome new flag measures
Currently two-thirds of the 190m dwt Greek-owned fleet is registered abroad.
After years of industry lobbying to reduce the mandatory number of Greek crew required under flag rules, the government bit the bullet shortly before Christmas but the UGS has taken its time before formally welcoming the shift.
The requirement has been cut to between four and six Greeks, depending on the size of the vessel, plus a cadet officer when available. The only stipulation on rank is that the numbers must include a Greek master, although in practice many companies will employ Greek officers and non-Greeks in lower-deck jobs.
Source: www.lloydslist.com, Friday 9 February 2007


Greek Banking Consolidates: Where Goes the Smaller Owner
---There are many banks offering ship finance to Greek shipowners and the market is very diverse and dispersed. But not too many of these shipping banks are willing to lend to the smaller owner with few, older vessels. This is where the smaller Greek banks were really able to "add value" and do good business. Relationships were built up and as acquisitions were made to upgrade or renew fleets - a 1988 built vessel replacing a 1982 built vessel for example - the Greek banks could step in and offer decent financing at decent pricing and everyone was happy.
Within the past two months however three of these smaller banks have been bought out. Egnatia Bank and Laiki Bank were acquired by Marfin Bank and 51% of FBB First Business Bank has been acquired by Aspis Bank. This means that after the due diligence of the deals is complete there is potential for five smaller banks with shipping portfolios ranging from $50 million to $500 million and catering for their clients accordingly, to become two banks with shipping portfolios of close to $1 billion and $0.5 billion respectively. It is early days yet but there is no doubt that individual personalities will change, banking cultures will change and a number of smaller owners may well be looking for new lenders.
In the case of Marfin Bank the new shipping team of 17 experienced professionals is headed by Dimitris Gialouris. There will be 9 marketing executives, a credit assessment team and customer support team. The latter is also responsible to develop international shipping finance business as well, should satisfactory opportunities arise. This is something new for a Greek-Cypriot bank since to date such banks have avoided forays afield from the local market. There will also be a Corporate and Investment Banking division offering treasury-related products for shipping customers (like FFAs, Energy Swaps either for hedging or investment purposes) and this is one area wherby Marfin expect to be able to differnetiate themselves, especially from the local competition.
The majority acquisition of FBB by Aspis has just been announced so it is rather early to guess what will happen next. For the time being the banks will individually carry on business as usual but it is to be expected that in due course Aspis will increase it's shareholding of FBB and seek synergies. What is intriguing in terms of shipping finance is that the acquiror has a modest portfolio of only $50 million whereas the acquired has a shipping portfolio of nearer $ 450 million. It will be interesting to see - in the new shipping department - who gets the upper hand.
By Kevin Oates, Mobile: +30 6944 302 827, teviot@ath.forthnet.gr
Source: Freshly Minted, VOLUME 3 - ISSUE 6, February 8, 2007 available at: www.marinemoney.com


Greek Shipping maintains high interest in Capital Markets
---Like all others who keeps traditions alive, Marine Money is no exception. 1st of February 2007 Marine Money's popular series of Private Executive Briefings for Greek Shipowners and Senior Shipping Executives continued when Jefferies and Co and Blank Rome LLP delivered presentations to 60 shipping executives about current opportunities in the world's capital markets for shipping and the legal quagmire of being their. The speakers included Nick Davies and Anne Dovigen of the London office of Jefferies and Co who spoke about Global Caoital Markets Opportunities and High Yiled Debt. This was followed by Katerina Shaw and Pamela Flaherty of Blank Rome LLP who discussed the Application of US Securities Laws.
Already public companies and private Greek shipowners were in attendence and the cocktail party which followed involved intriguing discussion between the owners and the investment bankers and lawyers. It is rumoured that we will see at least one more Greek IPO this quarter and high yield, after the recent Brittania and Navios successes, seems to be back on the menu.
The event was organised by Mia Jensen of www.marine-marketing.gr and if any information about capital markets opportunities is requested please contact Kevin Oates, Mobile: +30 6944 302 827, teviot@ath.forthnet.gr
Source: www.marine-marketing.gr


Action averted downunder
Dean Summers of the Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) had tried to board the 150,800-dwt Alpha Action (built 1994) in the New South Wales port of Newcastle on Monday to investigate claims over poor onboard conditions and mistreatment of crew members.
Although Summers would not say how he came to know of the concerns of some of the crew members he said they related primarily to issues of security which are also paramount on the agenda of the MUA.
Captain John Tsouras of Alpha told TradeWinds on Tuesday that ITF surveyors are always welcome onboard its vessels but that sensitivity to allowing unauthorised persons onboard the vessel had prompted the initial reaction from the captain of the Alpha Action. Tsouras spoke with the captain on Monday and allayed his fears with regards to Summers boarding.
The ship had a crew of 11 Greeks and 10 Filipinos and Summers said he made it clear to them that the services of the ITF were there for crew members of all nationalities.
By Eoin O'Cinneide in London, published: 10:00 GMT, 06 February 2007 | last updated: 10:04 GMT, 06 February 2007
Source: www.Tradewinds.no