Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 23 - 2007

 

Angelicoussis stays top of Greece's "Tonne Millionaires"

---The energy transportation companies controlled by John Angelicoussis retain their positions as the largest Greek shipping fleets. Kristen Navigation and Maran Gas top the Greek fleet tonnagewise, ahead of two other primarily energy groups, the Tsakos group and the Dynacom/Dynagas run by George Procopiou.
Add in the bulk carrier operation Anangel Maritime Services (Greece's 12th largest company) and you have a combined fleet of 60 vessels (36 tankers/24 bulkers) of 11.5m dwt (8.3m dwt/3.25m dwt) run out of Angelicoussis' Syngrou Avenue hq. On the other side of Syngrou Avenue is the hq of the Tsakos group, which runs a combined fleet of 71 ships (52 energy / 17 bulkers / a ro-ro, offshore ship) of 7.19m. Both groups fly the Greek flag.
According to the annual survey carried out by Naftiliaki, tonwise the Angelicoussis group is a shade larger than it was in 2006, but shipwise, the energy fleet is unchanged while the bulk operation is two units less. Both arms are modernising and though there is a flow of newbuildings from the yards, VLGS and capesize and panamax bulkers remain on order, an investment of around $1.4bn.
New York-listed TEN and Tsakos Shipping & Trading's 71 ships and 7.188m dwt is eight ships and 815,000dwt more than in 2006 and shipwise is now the largest Greek fleet, displacing the Restis Group.
Tsakos has 51 tankers and leads the energy fleet of Procopiou which stands at 6.377m dwt and 45 ships, 43 of them tankers, including an LPG newbuilding. Like Angelicoussis, both Tsakos and Procopiou are engaged in massive newbuilding programmes.
Fourth place is held by the group runby George Economou. US-listed DryShips/Cardiff and, since the end of April OceanFreight, which raised $200m in an IPO on the Nasdaq, has a combined fleet of 6.86m dwt/57 ships, 200,000dwt and two ships up on 2006, but Economou has said he intends to continue to grow both the public and private fleets, with tankers featuring in the private arm. The group has seven capesize bulkers, eight aframax tankers, six 156,000dwt tankers and two VLs on order, an investment of more than $1.6bn.
Restructuring continues at Thenamaris (Ships) Management and the Dinos Martinos-controlled company slips three places to nine, with its 40-ship fleet of 3.85m dwt some seven ships and 385,000dwt down on 12 months ago. Older brother, Thanassis Martinos/Eastern Mediterranean also slips, from 11 to 13 as the 3m dwt/26 ships now controlled is 141,500dwt and three ships less. But, the youngest of the three Martinos brothers, Andreas/Minerva Marine moves up five places to 15th, though his all-tanker mainly Greek flag operation of 2.677m/29 ships is only one ship and 167,000-tonnes more than in 2006.
Under the Ceres Hellenic banner Peter G Livanos continues to slip down the big league ownership ladder as he goes about reducing his involvement in direct ownership and becomes an increasingly
active investor. In 2003, with just under 6m dwt and over 50, ships Livanos topped the list. Now with 12 units of 1.6m dwt he occupies 37th place down 22 places from last year. However, through his various investments, most notably in the Belgium-listed Euronav, analysts believe he controls the fortunes of more tonnage than ever.
All of the companies in the 2006 'millionaires' class remain, and are joined by Metrostar/Theodore Angelopoulos, back in at 33rd position; US-listed Navios Maritime/Angeliki Frangou number 46 just ahead of Marine Management Services/Tosia/Gregory Callimanopulos; Londonlisted Goldenport Shipmanagement/Paris Dragnis, 50; and Hellespont/Basil Papachristidis, with nine ships of 1,000,910dwt.
Source: 8 June 2007, www.newsfront.gr, Vol. 8 / No. 22


---A surge in property investments, mainly by foreign buyers, has pushed land prices to record highs, with one investment banker saying that prime coastal plots are becoming scarce.
Apart from investments in property, investors, mostly from Greece, are also looking to buy up Cypriot public companies with minimal traded volumes to act as vehicles for their own listing purposes.
The former chief executive of Hellenic Bank and chairman of Cyprus Airways has set up Aepias, a regional investment banking firm with a twin base in Athens and Greece, advising Greek investors on takeovers in Greece, Cyprus and the Balkans.
Loizides said he was not worried of takeovers from Greece, despite the increasing trend of the last three years of foreign companies buying up Cypriot companies.
Based on this estimate, Loizides said that the proportion of foreign ownership of CSE-listed companies should be double that figure, or about 18%.
But in Athens this trend is more pronounced with close to 50% representing foreign ownership while multinational companies have set up their own operations there while many were established in Greece a long time ago, such as Siemens which has had a presence in Greece for nearly 100 years.
The recent trend has shown that many Cypriot public companies in the banking, dairies, food, insurance, super markets sectors are being bought up and taken out of the CSE, such as Chris Cash and Carry (by Carrefour Marinopoulos), Lanitis Bros (by 3E Hellenic Bottling Co.), Aristo Developers, Christis Dairies (by Vivartia, formerly Delta Group).
Cypriot companies are rapidly being gobbled up by Greek and other investors, Loizides said, attributing this surge to many reasons.
Tax is very low and attractive, there is reasonable inflation, a reasonably up-market society and Cyprus is regarded as part of regional development plans of Greek companies expanding to the Middle East or the Balkans.
On the other hand Cypriots are becoming more familiar with overseas investments but do not have the necessary liquidity to buy themselves despite there being a record CYP 14 bln (EUR 24 bln) in deposits and a further 2 bln (EUR 3,4 bln) in fixed-income accounts in Cyprus banks.
Loizides concluded that local agencies, a common phenomenon in Cyprus, are fast becoming an endangered species as they are being overtaken by principal companies, due mainly to the globalization plans of their principals that are setting up wholly owned companies in various markets.
Source: 06/06/2007, http://www.financialmirror.com/more_news.php?id=7188&type=st&nt=Business


Globus cashes in on London AIM quote
---GLOBUS Maritime will this week become the third Greek shipping company with a stock quotation in London after a successful initial public offering, which priced in the middle of the expected range and was oversubscribed.
Jefferies International acted as bookrunner and global co-ordinator for the placement, which is understood to have been bought by a spread of institutional investors, including some said to be specialists in the maritime industry.
The company, which owns and operates five handymax vessels bought from the Restis shipping group last year, has an initial market capitalisation of $170m.
Out of net proceeds of $46m, the company will be paying $34m to pay the outstanding 90% of the purchase price for its sixth ship.
Globus has agreed to acquire the 1995-built panamax bulker Darya Geeth for $38m with delivery expected in early July. The vessel will be renamed Island Globe for Globus.
The remaining proceeds of about $12m will be used for working capital or future growth, the company said.
Admission to the Alternative Investment Market and trading in the shares are expected to take place on June 6. The trading symbol will be GLBS.L.
Globus has said it favours paying out more than 50% of annual net profits in dividends.
Source: By Nigel Lowry - Monday 4 June 2007, www.lloydslist.com


Ocean Freight Inc. Offers Exposure to Robust Dry Bulk Sector
Operating in the dry bulk sector, there is an encouraging outlook for OceanFreight as iron ore and coal demand is only offset by expected fleet growth, which would lower shipping rates to mid cycle by the end of the decade. Dry bulk shippers are experiencing a solid earnings environment driving shipping rates and asset values higher on high demand for commodities, especially iron ore and coal. Important to the success of the company is fleet strategy. Their initial acquisition of 7 vessels will deliver six 7-12 yr old Panamax vessels all under time charters and one 17-year-old Capesize vessel with an undetermined time charter. Management companies AllSeas and Quintana will handle day-to-day management of the vessels and Cardiff will oversee delivery of vessels and management performance.
Upcoming catalysts include timely vessel delivery and operational performance. Delays in delivery will result in lower earnings however if some of the ships were to come in earlier than expected (delivery expected on last day of window) the company would realize $10-15K to earnings for each day, enabling a positive EPS for the quarter. Due to the vessel delivery timing the 2nd quarter 2007 EPS, and for that matter the 2007 EPS are not reflective of the ongoing steady state earnings power of the company under its initial time charter strategy.
As vessels come off the initial time charters post 2009, the company must consider the plans to meet the dividend commitment through fleet expansion. Even if the vessels enter the spot market or are recontracted, they will be so at lower rates and a fleet expansion plan is advised.Mr. Barcelo and his team expect each additional Panamax to add approximately $5.0mn or $0.35/share in free cash flow in 2009, or approximately half that if the vessel is financed exclusively through debt and corresponding interest payment is taken into account. So, OceanFreight will likely have to expand its fleet by at least one Panamax carrier if it is to cover the $0.24/share gap Bank of America sees developing between the cash flow available to shareholders and dividend in 2009, assuming that the size of the fleet remains unchanged.
Well capitalized with their strong third party fleet managers and an experienced management team, Bank of America believes OceanFreight will deliver on its operating and financial strategies.
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 , J u n e 7 , 2 0 0 7  P a g e 5


Grimaldi looks east with stake in ANEK
The privately owned Italian company has acquired a 14% stake in ANEK Lines, the Greek company that operates 10 ferries. Two of these, Olympic Champion and Hellenic Spirit, are large and fast ro-pax vessels, while the rest of the fleet is mainly made up of second-hand acquisitions from Japan.
ANEK also owns the 38,000gt El Venizelos, a cruise ferry originally ordered by Stena Line in 1979 from Poland; Stena cancelled its order when work fell behind schedule, then the finished ship landed with ANEK.
ANEK operates domestic services from Piraeus to Crete and international services from Patras to Ancona and Venice, which include calls at the domestic ports Corfu and Igoumentisa.
Grimaldi Naples has nine ferries in shortsea services in the Western Mediterranean, which link ports in Italy with France, Spain and Tunisia.
The stake in ANEK means that Grimaldi has extended its influence for the first time to the east.
To wield real influence in ANEK, Grimaldi is likely to try increasing its holding from the current 14%, which is basically a financial stake, albeit a strategic one.
The Italian company has also sought expansion in northern Europe, where it holds a 50.7% stake in Finnlines, the Helsinki ro-ro shipping group, after its attempt to acquire full control had failed in the winter. It is tempting to ask whether the Motorways of the Seas will ever get going in a major way (Fairplay, 31 May), unless the very fragmented European ferry business manages to consolidate.
Grimaldi managers appear to be thinking along these lines.
Source: 07 Jun 2007 Fairplay International Shipping Weekly


---GREEK-based tanker owner Athenian Sea Carriers and the chief engineer of the company's suezmax vessel Captain X Kyriakou have been cleared by a Californian jury of of several charges including falsifying an oil record book and obstructing an investigation.
The verdict implies that the jury did not accept the evidence of six Filipino crew members who gave evidence for the prosecution.
Source: Thursday, 07 June 2007, Maritime Global Net, http://www.mgn.com/news/dailystorydetails.cfm?storyid=7789


Tanker owner, engineer indicted in waste oil dumping case
---Ionia Management, a Greek company that manages a fleet of tanker vessels, was indicted today for its role in overboard dumping of waste oil from the M/T Kriton into international waters and for efforts to impede the United States Coast Guard and other authorities from learning of the illegal conduct.
The indictment also charges Edgardo Mercurio, Second Engineer aboard the M/T Kriton, with obstruction of justice.
The announcement was made jointly by the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Connecticut and the U.S. Attorney's Office in for the Southern District of Florida.
The indictments, returned today in Connecticut and Florida, charge Ionia Management S.A. and Mercurio with falsifying records to conceal the illegal discharge of waste oil, and using and presenting false oil record books to the Coast Guard in port calls in the District of Connecticut and the Southern District of Florida. According to the indictment, Mercurio encouraged other crew-members to lie to the Coast Guard about the violations.
The Justice Department points out that an indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The investigation was conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, and the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigative Division. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Source: June 7, 2007, http://www.marinelog.com/DOCS/NEWSMMVII/2007jun00074.html


Hellenic P&I Club awaiting bill voting to begin operation
Source: 07-06-2007 - http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com


Greece proposes gas pipeline on Burgas-Alexandroupolis route
---Gazprom will study a Greek proposal to build a gas pipeline alongside the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the company was quote as saying by Russian online news outlet Moscow Times.
That pipeline would eye the same southeast European markets as Nabucco, the project to diversify European supplies by delivering gas from Central Asia.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias made the new pipeline proposal after talks with President Vladimir Putin.
The pipeline could be connected at the Bulgarian port of Burgas with a link from the Blue Stream pipeline which takes gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey.
Gazprom has long been looking to use Blue Stream as a link to increase supplies to southeastern Europe and considered Greece as a possible transit country, said the publication.
Greece had previously not shown interest in the project.
Blue Stream is able to carry 16 bln cu m of gas every year, but shipped just 5.1 bcm in 2005.
Gazprom has an edge over Nabucco thanks to its proven resources and possible lower costs due to laying the gas pipeline next to the oil pipeline, Vladimir Vedeneyev, an analyst at the Bank of Moscow, told the newspaper.(Dnevnik)
Source: http://news.dnevnik.bg/print.php?id=10822


MSC is eyeing port of Astakos
By Nikos Roussanoglou - Kathimerini
Listed construction company AEGEK is locked in negotiations with the Italian-Swiss group MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) on the latter's possible entry to the country's sole private port at Astakos, western Greece.
AEGEK sources suggested that MSC was studying the option of operating the port, as well as participating in the investment, which is the main objective for the construction firm. The same sources refuted reports about the possible sale of the Astakos shipping and industrial zone to entrepreneur Vassilis Koutsis, who holds 10 percent of the investment through his SYMET company.
MSC was founded in 1970 and is based in Geneva. It operates port installations in a number of countries and has a fleet of 340 container ships, with a total capacity of 1,113,000 containers.
The Astakos zone covers 1.6 square kilometers and has a range of advantages, including its location and the depth of its port, which allows the docking of large container ships. This explains the interest from MSC, which has been facing problems in the port of Piraeus. The Astakos port has the capacity to handle 850,000 containers annually, a figure which can be expanded to 1.5 million, while the investment currently in progress comes to -126 million.
AEGEK is attempting to transfer its interests at Astakos for at least -150 million. If this proves successful, the company will have gone a long way toward emerging from the monitoring of creditor banks. It will also increase its share capital by 64.8 million euros, in a process that began this week and will end on June 19. Some -50 million of that will be used to cover short-term obligations, mainly to Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank.
AEGEK today has a backlog of projects worth -700 million. It is also the main contractor for the Thessaloniki metro. The latter project will have to overcome opposition from local people on some sections of the line, but the company does not appear overly concerned about this obstacle.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=84227


COSCO eyes Greek port investments
Chan said Greek ports were strategically located and had the potential to be developed into regional hubs. But, he added, nothing had been decided yet and did not provide further details.
As trade between China and Europe expands, COSCO is looking for investment opportunities to play a more active role in regional shipping and port business. Since starting container services to Greece in 2004, COSCO more than doubled container volumes to Greek ports through 2006.
Source: The News - International, Pakistan - Jun 4, 2007, http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=59073


TLT gains Piraeus base with Constant merger
Fifteen-partner Constant is based in London's Sea Containers House, also the home of TLT's London outfit, and has a second office in Greek shipping centre Piraeus.
TLT managing partner David Pester said: "We targeted Constant & Constant as it's a strong commercial firm whose work in specialist banking and finance complements our own practice.
"It also brings additional resource in real estate, as well as further expertise in commercial trade, shipping, logistics and transport.
"It's also extremely good fortune that we're in the same building - we can increase our London infrastructure overnight without significant disruption."
However, the merger mirrors the Lawrence Jones tie-up in that none of the group will immediately join the merged firm's equity tier. The newly merged firm will operate under the TLT name and be headed by Pester.
Constant senior partner Richard Wilson said: "The merger will provide us with the resource not only to grow our traditional maritime practice, but also to enhance our commercial, property and private client business, [which will] enable us to provide the range of legal services that our clients demand of us in a more complex legal world."
Source: Jon Parker 4-Jun-2007 , http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=126279&d=122&h=24&f=46


Piraeus Marine Club: President's Report 2006
Dear Members,
I am presenting a detailed report of our overall undertaking, the actions of theBoard, our annual economic report for the year 2006 and the budget for 2007, for your approval.
The accounts have been prepared and audited by Moore Stephens, and have been signed off by the Audit Committee whose members are Mr. George Gourdomichalis, Mr Athanasios Samios and Mr. John Economides.
FINANCIAL REPORT
Total Revenues for 2006 came to EUR 880,760 of which EUR 56,595 were donations. For 2005 Total Revenues was EUR 1,076,030 of which EUR 308,717 were donations.
1. Restaurant and bar sales came to EUR461,026 compared to EUR 412.453 in 2005
2. Revenue from Membership fees and New subscriptions came to EUR 306,800. We added three company Memberships and 38 new Member enrolments. Member deletions and resignations came to 52 in total.
3. Revenue from Company Insignia, which always presents a major contribution to our bottom line, came to EUR 15,375 compared to EUR 4,232 in 2005.
Our loan interest expense was Eu. 5.768 while in 2005 interest expense was EUR 6,672. Long term loan to the Royal Bank of Scotland was reduced to EUR 75,000 by the end of 2006 with the remaining amount payable in 6 six semiannual instalments of EUR 12,500 by 31/10/2010.
The Board has also started the procedure for the creation of a pension fund tocover the future pension compensations of Club staff members. The total amount required comes to EUR 108,770. With the retirement of a fourth employee (May 2007) this amount is further reduced by EUR 19,886.
CHANGE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS
Following a joint decision, Moore Stephens, with whom the Club has successfully cooperated over a number of years, is handing over the reins to DELOITTE Hadjipavlou, Sofianos & Cambanis S.A.on June 30th 2007. We hereby offer our thanks to our member Mr. Damianos Konstantinou and Moore Stephens for our many years of successful cooperation.
Deloitte will take over on July 1st 2007. The day-to-day accounting surveillance will be carried out by I. & A. Saliari SA Accounting Company, a company introduced by Deloitte, as their close collaborator.
JUNIOR MEMBERS
Aiming to attract more members from the younger generation in Shipping, we introduced new pricing for the yearly membership fees and enrolments of members under 30 years of age to EUR 300 (instead of EUR 500) and EUR 250 (rather than EUR 300), an action we would like members to communicate to their younger associates.
CREDIT POLICY- MEMBERS
During the year, the tidying up of Membership lists continued, especially those with overdue membership fees. As a result, a number of outstanding fees of over two years have been collected. Given this opportunity, we would like to inform Members who do not wish to renew their membership to advise the Accounting Department in writing accordingly. In this way repeated disturbance of our Members is avoided and the Marine Club has a clear picture of its financial situation.
As far as events are concerned, all outstanding debts have been collected.
Formal regulation has been adopted where,- with the written confirmation of each event- 30% advance payment is required with the balance to be paid upon completion of the event in cash, by cheque or credit card.
ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
CLUB RENOVATION- DONATIONS
Old furniture and utensils not used during the renovation were donated to the ARGO non-profit Organization to be used for their new boarding school in Messogheia.
We are deeply grateful to the Members-Donors for their invaluable support.
We equally express our thanks to all Members for their understanding during the time the Club remained closed.
CONSTRUCTION
ELECTRONICS
applications.
The Club now offers a whole range of conference center facilities. Each floor can be set up quickly in a variety of layouts according to different client needs.
HUMAN RESOURCES- INTERNAL ORGANIZATION
Furthermore, two Assistant Chefs have been hired for the Cold Kitchen and buffet.
WORKING LUNCHES
In 2006 the guest speakers were:
Revenue from Working Lunches over the three years came to EUR 75,878.
EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS
Revenue from Educational Seminars over the three year period came to EUR 10,720.
THEMED LUNCHES- FOREIGN CUISINE
Ambassador Herbert Kroll, were major successes and will be repeated.
Scandinavia)
Revenue from Themed Lunches over the three year period came to EUR 11,410
ANNUAL SEMINARS
Seminar revenue over the three year period came to EUR 33,735.
CLUB EVENT SPONSORSHIP
We have introduced the institution of sponsorship for Events organized at the Marine Club. We sent a Circular whereby we inform the Members of the four levels of sponsorship and sponsor promotion offered. Now our Members can not only sponsor issues that appeal, but also present a favorable image of their organization.
OLD CLUB PAINTINGS
COMPANY INSIGNIA
Revenue from Company Insignia over this three year period came to EUR 14,765
BOARD OF DIRECTORS- NEW BOARD
With this opportunity I would like to thank the members of the current Board for their superb cooperation. Specifically, Messrs. George Dalakouras, Apostolos Dombros, Dimitris Kapaitzis, Vangelis S. Marinakis, Nicos Pateras, Alex Rodopoulos, Theodore Sioufas and Mrs. Maria Prevezanos.
Many thanks, John Xylas, President
Source: Piraeus Marine Club


Marine Money Greece to host Ship Finance & Investment Forum in Dublin
Marine Money Greece, together with the anchor sponsor Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking and government supporter IMDO, have announced the inaugural Marine Money Dublin Ship Finance & Investment Forum, which will be held on Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin. The 1st Annual Marine Money Dublin Ship Finance & Investment Forum will look at the development of Ireland, over the past two decades, as a financial and asset management center and what is attracting international shipping companies to open an office there. More information: Marine Money Greece, 15 Athinaeon Street, 175 61 Palio Faliro, Greece, Tel: (+30) 210 9858 809, Fax: (+30) 210 9842 136, E-mail: mia@marine-marketing.gr Website: www.marinemoney.com
Source: mia@marine.marketing.gr, www.marinemoney.com