Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 22 - 2007

 

Hellenic shipowners cash in on bulk carriers

(Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News)
Source: 31-05-2007 - http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com


Greek breaks order hiatus
---Teo Shipping has placed an order four bulkers at close to $200m in China.
A Greek shipping company has splashed out close to $200m on four bulkers in China after a decade-long hiatus.
Newbuilding players say Athens-based Teo Shipping Corp has placed orders for four post-panamaxes at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding.
A source close to Hudong-Zhonghua confirms the orders and says the 87,000-dwt newbuildings will be double-hulled and built to the new common structural rules (CSR). Teo Shipping is believed to have paid close to $50m per ship and will be taking delivery in 2011.
A state-owned shipyard, Hudong-Zhonghua is the only Chinese facility building 87,000-dwt bulkers as rivals are building larger ships of 93,000 dwt.
The Shanghai-based shipbuilder is constructing the smaller-size bulker - 229 metres long with a 36-metre beam - because of the width restriction of its slipway, which is only 38 metres across.
Although Hudong-Zhonghua's post-panamax bulkers may be of smaller size, the ship type is said to be selling well. Last month, Italian owner Rizzo Bottiglieri DeCarlini Armatori (RBCA) disclosed it has contracted four ships for delivery in 2010. The company said the bulkers are competitive in design and commercial performance "especially in draught-restricted ports and in view of the expansion of the Panama Canal".
Including Teo Shipping and RBCA's order contracts, Hudong-Zhonghua has secured a total of 20 units since entering the post-panamax-bulker sector early this year.
Other owners who have placed orders include Greece's Iolcos Hellenic and Gleamray Maritime and an unidentified Chinese owner.
Iolcos and Gleamray are said to have stacked up two more of the post-panamax bulkers each, bringing their total orders there to six and four newbuildings, respectively, while the unknown domestic company has booked two vessels.
Hudong-Zhonghua, which is one of the yards under the umbrella of China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), is the country's only builder of LNG carriers. It currently has five vessels under construction - three to serve China's Guangdong terminal and two for the Fujian facility. The yard is poised to be selected to construct more LNG-carrier newbuildings for the country's two planned LNG-terminals at Shanghai and Zhejiang. Hudong-Zhonghua is scheduled to deliver its first LNG newbuilding in November.
Irene Ang Singapore, published: 01 June 2007
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Greek ports falling behind
---There has been a new call for Greece to speed up the privatisation of container handling operations in Piraeus and other ports.
"It is a reality that state-run businesses are ineffective," said George Gratsos, president of Hellenic Chamber of Shipping in a recently published open letter.
"The current performance of Piraeus and other ports, despite their improvement, is not sufficient to ensure the rapid developments necessary to make Greek ports a transhipment hub."
There have been repeated calls for a reform of Greek ports, some coming from bunker players.
Container throughput in Piraeus declined in 2004 and 2005.
The government hoped to reverse the trend, in part by privatising the terminal operations, but unions opposed the moves.
An eight-week long period of industrial unrest at the end of last year left container throughput in Piraeus in 2006 at 1.39 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), barely more than in 2005.
In the first quarter of this year, Piraeus handled around 275,000 TEUs, 17% down compared with the first three months of 2006.
Reports said shipping companies were hesitant to commit to Piraeus while the privatisation scheme was still in doubt.
Speaking at the Bunkerworld bunker forum in Athens this month, one leading player said the volume of bunker fuel supplied in Greek ports was also falling year-on-year.
Christopher Tzouvanakis, Chairman of the Vestalco Group, said there were signs that decline could be reversed. In particular he mentioned moves towards privatising port operations to increase efficiency.
The Vestalco Group includes the global bunker supplier Vestoil Ltd.
Source: Nick Jameson | Mon May 28 12:24:0 GMT 2007, http://www.portworld.com/news


Public-private partnership for port security systems
---The government is promoting the concession of the security for the 12 biggest ports of Greece to a public-private partnership (PPP). In the next few days, it will proclaim a tender to commission a consultant. The project of installing security systems at ports via a PPP has a 340-million-euro budget and the contract with the private party will have an eight-year duration, while its payment will also derive from the container levy that the state receives today. The fact that a consultant will be hired to realize this PPP contract is crucial, as the state will not determine the technical specifications of the security systems but only the level of security desired for port installations as defined by community and international regulations.
Source: 26 May 2007 http://www.ekathimerini.com


BLUE STAR MARITIME S.A. Availability of Annual Report 2006
---Blue Star Maritime S.A. announces that the Annual Report for the year 2006 which was prepared in accordance with the provision of decision No 7/372/15.2.2006 of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, is available as of today, Wednesday 30 May, 2007 at the Company's website (www.bluestarferries.com) and the Athens Exchange website, as well as in hard copy from the Company's Head Office at 157, C. Karamanli Avenue, 16673 Voula, Greece.
For more information, please contact the company's Shareholder Services Department, tel.: 210 8919840.
Source: 30/5/2007 www.bluestarferries.com


Global Oceanic Carriers Limited: Holdings in Company
Michael Tartsinis and Antonis Nikolaou (another executive director of the Company) are both associated with Solstice and Tildough and will be appointed directors of both companies in due course.
As a result of the transactions Solstice International Investments Inc. holds 26,020,815 ordinary shares in GOC representing 65% of the issued share capital of the Company.
Tildough Holdings holds 5,737,477 in GOC representing 14.3% of the issued share capital of the Company.
For further information:
Global Oceanic Carriers Limited , Michael Tartsinis, Chief Executive Officer Tel: 00 30 210 898 6362 mtartsinis@gocarriers.com
Source: 29 May 2007, press news, www.gocarriers.com


MARITIME COMPANY OF LESVOS S.A. Forced Sales
---We would like to inform our shareholders that according to the Greek Capital Market Commission?s decision 39/428/17.05.2007 the total of 294.338 (two hundred, ninety four thousand and three hundred thirty eight) registered shares remaining in paper form will be forcedly sold on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, June 18, 2007 (through the process outlined in article 99 of the Athens Stock Exchange Regulation and Greek Capital Market Commission decision 1/380/04.05.2006). The sale will be conducted via the Athens Stock Exchange?s member Artion Finance. The outcome of the forced sale will be announced to the shareholders through the procedure outlined in the pertinent legislation (Law 3371/2005, article 18). For further information, please contact the Company?s Shareholders? Department, Ms. Evaggelia Kofina at +30 210 41 18 121.
Source: 1/6/2007 http://www.nel.gr


Navios Maritime Holdings underwriters exercise over allotment option
---Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. ("Navios") (NYSE:NM) , announced today that the underwriters of its recent common share offering exercised the full over-allotment option granted to them by Navios. As a result of the exercise, Navios sold an additional 1,725,000 shares, bringing the total to 13,225,000 shares sold, resulting in total net proceeds of $124.8 million after deducting the underwriter discount and estimated offering expenses. Concurrent with the exercise of the over- allotment, Navios announced the closing of the share offering originally announced on May 16, 2007.
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. acted as joint bookrunning managers of the offering. S. Goldman Advisors LLC and Dahlman Rose & Company acted as co-managers.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 May 2007 )
Source: Thursday, 31 May 2007, http://www.bymnews.com


OceanFreight: Completion of the Chartering of Initial Seven Vessel Fleet
---ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 31, 2007 -- OceanFreight Inc. (NASDAQ: OCNF), a NASDAQ listed bulk shipping company which completed its initial public offering on April 25 of this year, announced that it has chartered its only remaining unchartered vessel M/V Juneau (1990 built; 149,000 DWT) for a two year period to commence in August 2007 at a rate, net of commissions, of $46,800 per day.
Bob Cowen, OceanFreight's Chairman and CEO, said "We are pleased that we were able to secure a charter for our Capesize vessel to a first class charterer for two years at a rate more than $4,000 per day higher than that assumed in the Company's initial public offering. The M/V Juneau was the only vessel in OceanFreight's initial fleet not committed to a long term charter at that time.
The commencement of Juneau's charter in August will permit us to immediately put her into drydock when she is delivered in late June, and the vessel will be able to operate for a full three years before the next scheduled drydock.
We are also pleased to announce that OceanFreight has engaged Wallem Ship Management of Hong Kong to act as third party technical manager for our vessels. Wallem is one of the world's largest and most well respected ship managers and OceanFreight has been able to retain Wallem at about half the cost in management fees that had originally been anticipated."
Company Contact: James Christodoulou, Chief Financial Officer, Tel. 212-488-5050, E-mail: james@oceanfreightinc.com
Source: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=259936


PIRAEUS PORT AUTHORITY SA Q1 2007 Financial Results
---The Board of Directors of P.P.A S.A on 29 May 2007 approved the Financial Reports of the Company for the first quarter of the financial year 2007. The Financial Reports are summarized as follows:
- The Company's turnover increased by 3.37% amounting to Euro 35.67 million, against Euro 34.51 million the relevant period of the financial year of 2006. This increase is attributed to the fact that the transit cargo shortfall, was offset by the carry over of local cargo from 2006.
- Other operating revenues, compared to those of the relevant period of 2006 were reduced by 28.51% amounting to Euro 1.49 million (2.08 million on 31/3/2006). The reduction is mainly attributed to the extraordinary income, which the first quarter of 2006 was higher as a result of ships clearance revenues.
- Total expenses increased within the reporting period by 1.41% and amounted to Euro 32.14 million against Euro31.69 million the relevant period of 2006. The main factors which explain the increase are the increase in the non- operating expenses (compensations etc), the increase of provisions for the doubtful debts and the depreciations. The remaining expenses reduced marginally by 0.87% compared to the relevant period of 2006.
- Asset depreciation incorporated in the operational cost, increased by 8% amounting to Euro 2.40 million, against Euro 2.22 million of the previous financial period.
- E.B.T. amounted to Euro 4.99 million, against Euro 4.75 million of the relevant period in 2006, showing increase by 5.12%. Net profits after current and deferred taxes increased by 9.28% due to the higher tax rate of the first quarter of 2006. (2007 - 25%, 2006 - 29%).
- Finally, cash and cash equivalents of the Company on 31 March 2007, amounted to Euro 31.26 million against Euro 22.62 million on 31 December 2006 and Euro 17.01 million on 31 March 2006.
Source: 30/5/2007 http://www.ase.gr/content/en/Announcements/CompaniesPress/new/Press.asp?anid=48300


Top Tankers Repurchase Vessels, Improve Cash Flow
---Earlier this week Top Tankers announced they would reacquire four Suezmax tankers sold in 2006 in a sale/leaseback transaction.
Source: h t t p : / /www.ma r i n emo n e y . c om  Ma r i n e Mo n e y F r e s h l y Mi n t e d  T h u r s d a y , Ma y 3 1 , 2 0 0 7  P a g e 5


Tsakos: Undervalued Shipping Giant
---Joey Keasberry submits: The maritime sector is hot. It's been hot for a couple of years now, but as world trade continues to grow, profits continue to grow. Greek shipping giant Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd (TNP) now has 53 tankers, out of which 23 ice-class tankers.
True, there might not be much ice in Greek waters, but there certainly is a growing demand for ice-class tankers in Northern waters. Especially North and East of Russia at least for the coming ten years the demand for ships to transport oil & oil products will grow substantially. With an average vessel age of five years and a bit, Tsakos Energy Navigation [TEN] certainly is well-equipped for this period of growth.
With a fleet that's more than doubled in five years and with net income having increased fifty times, one might argue that TEN is already too far in its growth cycle. But the opposite is true. Let's have a look at the stock's valuation. At a current share price of USD 63.50, TEN trades at a little over six times last year's earnings. This is already very low compared to the industry average of 16, but especially when considering that its 5-year EPS growth rate is almost double that of the industry, one has to come to the conclusion that this is a chance of a lifetime.
Critics are sceptical as ice class tonnage has increased rapidly during the past five years and some are afraid of overtonnage. Charter rates are therefore expected to be somewhat lower in the coming years until supply and demand are in balance again. It must be said though that TEN has built up a reputation of being one of the leaders in ice-class and also of knowing how to keep costs under control.
I think that the fears are overrated and that at the current valuation, the potential rewards outweigh the company's risk profile and I therefore consider this stock a very attractive one. I add Tsakos Energy Navigation to my list of stock picks at a price of USD 63.50 with a one-year price target of USD 90.
Full Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author did not have a position in the above-mentioned stock.
Source: Posted on May 29th, 2007 with stocks: TNP http://transport.seekingalpha.com/article/36573