Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 19 - 2007

 

Hellenic ship owners pour cash on local economy

Originally it was announced that Restis had bought a shareholding of 33.45% in Imako, with Nikos Pateras of Pacific&Atlantic picking up a 5.02% chunk of the stock. Golden Entertainment, however, later announced that Pateras had made a friendly agreement to sell his holding to Restis.
The Restis family already has substantial investments outside shipping, including entertainment centres and the managementof the prestigious Athens Golf Club.
The two owners will join big shipping names that have been established in media and publishing for many years.
The Vardinoyannis family is also heavily involved in publishing for many years, producing some of the most popular women's magazines, as well as in television through the local Star channel.
Source: 07-05-2007 - Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News.


NAT subsidy proposals fuel hot debate
---Government proposals to subsidise the Seamen Pension Fund (NAT) as part of measures to make the Greek flag more attractive are causing heated debate in parliament. Amid opposition claims May 9 that such a move "will open the floodgates", Marine minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis said adopting the proposal "will bring new people into the shipping sector" and "re-inforce the competitiveness of the Greek flag".
The proposal, tacked on to a bill before parliament which sets legislation for the foundation of Greek P&I Clubs, is that on oceangoing cargo ships, where up to six Greek crew are employed, the state will subsidise the contribution paid by the crewman. If more than six Greeks are employed, the state will cover the owners' contribution also for the additional crew.
The minister charged the opposition made an about-face in two days, after having proposed May 7 that "the social contribution of seafarers be subsidised". However, opposition MP, Yiannis Diamantidis said that what the government is proposing is not a subsidy as the proposal foresees no contributions at all being paid which "presents a grave danger for NAT" while if approved "will open the floodgates as other labour groups will want to follow".
It is estimated the government proposal will mean an annual loss of income to the five seafarer social welfare funds of around E8.3m, with the NAT share of this accounting for E5.2m. The 14 Greek seafarers unions, which make up the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO), are demanding the state covers all social security shortfalls. They also seek strict adherence to work conditions and hours and the immediate verification by the Athens government of the ILO Convention of 2006.
Meanwhile, the ambition to establish a Greek P&I club seems to be struggling, as more evidence emerges that the country's insurance sector is not sufficiently strong enough.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 11 May 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 18


Elmira jumps on four Brovig chem tankers
---Elmira Shipping of Greece has grown its chemical-tanker presence with the en bloc purchase of four ships from Brovigs Rederi of Farsund, Norway.
The Greek owner paid around $27m each for the 12,800-dwt Brovig Fjord (built 2005) and Brovig Bay, Brovig Sea and Brovig Ocean (all built 2006). The IMO-II tankers were built at Samho Shipbuilding in South Korea and were originally ordered by Arne Blystad. The contracts were sold on to Brovig for a reported $25m in 2005.
Brovig managing director Svenn O Pedersen declines to comment on the price other than saying "it was OK".
The four ships have been owned by a KS (limited partnership) company in which Brovig had a 25% stake. The tankers are employed in the Eitzen City Class Pool and TradeWinds is told they will continue to under the new ownership.
Pedersen also says Brovig has ordered another 9,000-dwt tanker at the Dong Fang shipyard in China. This means the owner has five such ships on order at Dong Fang. Brokers suggest the vessels are cost between $17m and $20m each.
In addition, Brovig has taken delivery of two 4,200-dwt chemical tankers from the Selah shipyard in Turkey.
For Elmira, the latest buy boosts its chemical-tanker fleet to eight modern units. The owner has been steadily acquiring this type of tonnage over the past few years. The company bought the 11,500-dwt Liquid Fortune (ex-Bow De Silver, built 2000) in December for $26.5m.
Elmira also controls another four modern ro-ros and two general cargoships. The fleet make-up is a complete change from just three years ago, when it controlled reefers and bulkers. Those ships were sold at the high end of their respective markets, earning Elmira the reputation of a savvy asset player.
Trond Lillestolen and Yiota Gousas Oslo and Athens, published: 04 May 2007
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Quintana continues Capesize push
Source: Fairplay Daily News, 07 May 2007


Harry Vafias career started in 1999 immediately after his studies in England. Taking advantage of a small equity injection of $4m by his family he proceeded with the foundation of Stealth Maritime leading successfully the Vafias Group for the first time in the field of crude oil tankers. Following the booming tanker freight market Stealth maritime turned this small amount into huge profits in the range of $400m, by trading in and out of tankers, that means a return of 1000%! compared to the originally invested fund.
For those that happen to know Harry Vafias have understood that he is a charismatic and restless personality that despite his tough schedule you can see him around his office in Kifissia or at his business appointments in Akti Miaouli, Piraeus. Someone could bet that in Harry Vafias veins runs only sea water because of his so far successful carreer in shipping, but that is not 100% true.
Source: www.elnavi.gr, http://www.elnavi.gr/index.php, ELNAVI Magazine, issue April 2007, page 16


Yacht symposium and show on Poros at end of another good year
---EPA
The Poros show confirmed that Greece has no shortage of luxury yachts, such as these pictured above in Monaco.
STATHIS KOUSOUNIS
Yachts and professional recreation boats valued at above 500 million euros are gracing the 6th International Yachting Symposium that opened on Sunday and lasts until Thursday on the island of Poros.
Organized by the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owner Association (EPEST) and the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA), the symposium is being held along with the International Yachting Show on the Argo-Saronic island.
Antonis Stelliatos, the president of EPEST, stated that the maritime tourism sector has seen considerable growth in recent years. Yacht bookings have increased from several markets abroad, with those of America and Russia showing the greatest interest.
A study by survey company ICAP concluded that the sector will also show significant growth rates in the coming years. In the 2000-2005 period, the domestic yacht market grew by an average annual rate of 15.3 percent.
Polyester boats covered most of the market (59.6 percent), followed by inflatable boats with 34.8 percent. Sailing boats made up 5.6 percent of the market.
Current market trends and conditions show that polyester boats will record a 15 percent increase within 2007, as people are increasingly opting for this type of boat. The inflatable boat market will rise by 5 percent, while the sailing boat market should remain stable or move slightly higher.
Sector professionals suggest that consumers deciding to purchase a recreation boat for the first time are turning now to the smaller polyester vessels (up to 7 meters long) as the cost of buying them is considerably less than that of dinghies of a similar size.
Another study by Hellastat found that the increasing interest in Greece as a tourism destination, the successful staging of the Olympic Games and constant advertising activity by tourism authorities, along with participation at international shows, have improved the prospects of local marina operators and the broader sea tourism sector.
Marina operators called 2006 a successful year, as sea tourism traffic has increased significantly. EPEST suggested that tickets sold for vessels with up to 49 passengers rose by 100-150 percent last year.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=83234