Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 36 - 2007

 

Summer boom for drybulk

---Non-Subscriber Extract, 439 of 2,091 words, By Barry Parker
The turmoil in the asset-backed credit markets seems not to have impacted the availability and pricing of secured shipping finance.
In an environment where most vessel purchases are tied to forward chartering commitments, one deal in particular, for Nasdaq-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping, demonstrates a very creative approach to handling counterparty risk.
During July, New York Stock Exchange-listed Genco Shipping and Trading announced that the company would acquire nine capesize newbuildings - with seven yet to be delivered - from Swiss owner Theodore Angelopoulos (Metrostar Management). Four of the units, two of which are now on the water, have already been fixed on timecharters.
The Genco financing strategy includes a new 10-year USD1.4 billion revolving credit facility, with lender DnB Nor serving as lead arranger, bookrunner and administrative agent.
DnB has established a relationship with Genco, participating, along with Nordea and Citibank, in previous lending. Borrowings under the new loan will be priced at Libor plus 80bp through to the fifth year and, thereafter, at an 85bp margin. Genco's stated dividend policy of paying out all available cash, less appropriate reserves, remains unchanged.
The abundance of caution surrounding Genco's financial dealings can be seen in its management of interest rate risk. In addition to the notional USD406 million of interest rate swaps between Genco and counterparty DnB, the two parties entered into two new swaps, commencing in March 2008 with four-year tenors and an aggregate notional value of USD150 million. The rates are effectively fixed at just over 5 per cent, plus the applicable margin, or roughly 5.8 per cent all-in on the USD150 million that will be drawn under the new facility.
Within a week of the Genco announcement, Eagle Bulk Shipping announced that it would acquire 26 supramax drybulker newbuildings put on order by privately held Greek owner Anemi. Eagle said that 21 of the vessels, set to deliver between 2008 and 2012, would be fixed on long-term charters.
The lengthiest deals will extend out to 2018; many of the charters will have a floor rate with upside profit sharing. Eagle said that it would enter into a new USD1.6 billion 10-year revolving credit, to be led by its long-time banker Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), replacing the current USD500 million facility with RBS, which priced at between 75bp and 80bp depending on loan-to-value (LTV) calculations.
Sophocles Zoullas, Eagle's chief executive officer (CEO), is a financial markets veteran. In his remarks to equity analysts after the 26-vessel acquisition was announced, he stresses that Eagle will be looking to use a "portfolio approach" in managing charter lengths, but he indicated interest in medium- to longer-term contracts.
Source: http://www.janes.com/news/transport/jtf/jtf070904_1_n.shtml


Greeks back stong frightmarket to invest $5.6bn in newbuilds
---Greek shipowners continue to brush off rising ship newbuilding prices and in August some $4.74bn was committed to contracts involving 58 ships. In the first week of September, orders for another 16 ships worth almost $900m emerged as fleet renewal gains even more momentum.
In the first six months of 2007, some $16.7bn was invested in 307 ships, mostly bulk carriers and this trend continues.
Shipbuilding broker George Moundreas & Co reports that of ships ordered in August, only eight were tankers worth $580m. Nine 12,000teu container ships were booked at STX Shipbuilding by the Niki Group in the largest contract, worth $1.5bn. In all 16 companies ordered ships in August, 12 of them going for bulkers ranging in size from 180,000dwt down to 57,000dwt. All are slated for delivery in 2010 and 2011. Moundreas reports that "with new yards coming on stream and productivity improving as modern methods are introduced" the delivery dates for 2009 and 2010 will be achieved "if the buyer can secure a main engine for his ship".
South Korea's STX continues to win orders, with four 81,000dwt ships reportedly booked by Aegean Bulk, the bulker arm of Arcadia Shipmanagement, which is also taking delivery of newbuildings. The contract is worth $232m and delivery is slated for 2010. The Constantine Angelopoulos-owned Arcadia in August took delivery of tankers Aegean Horizon, 159,000dwt from Hyundai HI and the 115,000dwt Aegean Nobility from Samsung HI, the fifth and sixth newbuildings of seven. In November the last of the seven, an aframax, will be commissioned from Samsung.
China's Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard and its Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) have secured orders for 10 bulkers in recent days. Dynacom has booked six 76,000-tonners at the former, delivery from the first half of 2009 to early 2010, while US-listed Diana Shipping has contracted four similar ships for delivery in 2010. Around $58m is being paid for each unit.
SWS has also secured an order from London-based Greek owner Achilleas Kallakis for two 176,000dwt bulkers. With delivery in June and August 2010, the ships are costing $177.7m. It is understood SWS is negotiating berths at near $100m for capesize bulkers for delivery in the first half of 2009, still some way short of the $110m per ship reportedly being paid by Carras Hellas to build four capers in APMoller-Maersk's Odense Lindo facility with delivery in 2009.
In all, Clarkson reports 14.69m dwt of bulkers were ordered in August. This lifts orderbook for bulkers to 173.29m dwt, up from 100.69m dwt in January, and represents 45% of the current fleet.
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And the orders just contiunue to roll in. No sooner had newbuilding specialist broker George Moundreas & Co reported some $4.74bn was committed by Greek interests to newbuilding projects involving 60 ships in August, than orders for another 16 ships worth $880m surfaced.
Aegean Bulk, the bulker arm of Arcadia Shipmanagement/Constantine Angelopoulos has reportedly ordered four 81,000dwt kamsarmax bulk carriers from South Korea's STX Shipbuilding. Aegean, which would not comment, is reportedly paying $58m each for the ships slated for delivery in 2010.
The 10 ships are said to be priced at around $48m each.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 7 September 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 33


Dahlman Rose Bullish on News from Genco, Aegean Marine
Meanwhile Aegean Marine Petroleum announced this week that it
plans to launch a new service center located on the Gulf of Guinea
in West Africa during the fourth quarter of 2007, expanding the company's global network of marine fuel service centers. The company also announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase a 1985-built 83,890 dwt double-hull Aframax tanker from an unaffiliated third party that it intends to use as floating storage in the its new service center. In response to the news Dahlman Rose maintained its 11x 2009 P/E target on Aegean, leading the firm to raise its target price to $31 per share.
Marine Money Freshly Minted
Source: http://www.marinemoney.com/freshlyminted/PDFFiles/2007/FreshlyMinted-Current.pdf


Odense Steel Shipyard to build bulk carriers for Carras Hellas Group
---Odense Steel Shipyard Ltd. (Odense Staalskibsv?rft A/S) has concluded contracts with Carras Hellas Group, Greece, for a series of newbuilding Capesize bulk carriers. This new 180.000 dwt design has been developed between Odense and Carras with deliveries commencing in 2009.
These orders, which will be built in the largest dock at the Shipyard will, together with existing orders, fill up the capacity of Odense Steel Shipyard into 2010.
"This marks a significant move into the bulk sector of the market by Odense and we are delighted to be developing a relationship with this leading Capesize operator." says Managing Director Finn Buus Nielsen.
Contact person: Managing Director Finn Buus Nielsen, Odense Steel Shipyard Ltd., telephone +45 6397 1000.
Source: Odense, 30th August 2007, http://www.oss.dk/ press release


Stealthgas seeking to service Qatari market
---(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha ? Stealthgas Inc of Greece, owners of the world's biggest fleet of Handysize Liquefied Petroleum carriers is seeking to service the Qatari LPG market, according to the company's Oil and Gas broker.
"We are looking forward to do business with Qatar and the Middle East in general. We will be glad to service the Qatari market. We are looking for someone to charter our vessels to carry their products," said Christos Triantafyllidis of Stealthgas.
He said that with some 40 vessels ranging between 3,000 and 7,500 cbm representing 14 per cent of market share the company is able to transport various LPG and petrochemical gases in its modern fleet.
He was in Doha to take part in the Middle Eastern LPG in the Global Marketplace conference where he gave an overview of the pressurised LPG market.
The two-day conference concluded here yesterday with focus put mainly on pricing, trading and shipping.
Triantafyllidis said in his presentation that since LNG market has been steadily increasing, the LPG market will be next, depending on production.
He said that currently there is no balance between production and newbuildings ? vessels that are on order but yet to be delivered ? coming into market.
With the newbuildings coming in and the production reaching the expected level the LPG market will have its pick by 2009-2010, he said.
He added that with increased LPG supplies, driven by increased LNG production and crude oil refining, freight rates are bound to rise, pointing out that LPG supplies are expected to increase by 50 per cent from the present 50 million tones by 2010.
He noted that increased LPG supplies have already had a beneficial impact on freight rates and this trend is expected to continue.
He also pointed out referring LPG macro consumption trend, that increasing urbanisation and rising living standards will fuel rapid increase in consumption.
The other speaker in yesterday's session was Peter Caddy, Business Development Director of UK-based Argus Media who highlighted trends in international LPG pricing.
He noted in his presentation that looking at LPG pricing trend in very general terms LPG prices are going to follow the prices of crude.
He added that in the past 10-15 years, LPG prices have very strong correlation with crude prices, but over the past five to six years the prices of crude have gone up substantially.
There is a very good reason for the rise in prices of crude oil, among the main ones being a very strong growth in Chinese oil demand as well as sustained oil demand growth in the US and a movement towards high environmental standards, particularly as the use of diesel is concerned, he said.
He added that these factors combined have resulted in refining system having problem meeting requirements for diesel and as a result product prices have gone up with crude prices following the trend.
Alan Wyatt, Vice-president of International Liquefied Gas LDH Energy from Switzerland spoke of the new LPG production and the likely outlets and changes on world LPG market, while the topic discussed by Abbas Bilgrami, Managing Director of Progas Pakistan dealt with Pakistan as an untapped LPG market for imports from the Middle East.
Source: The Peninsula - 06/09/2007 http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=1093165501


AMPNI announces plan to open new service center in West Africa
---Company Agrees to Purchase Double-Hull Aframax Storage Tanker to be Deployed in New Market
PIRAEUS, Greece, Sept 04, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE: ANW), an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea, today announced that it plans to launch a new service center located on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa during the fourth quarter of 2007, expanding the Company's global network of marine fuel service centers.
The Company also announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase a 1985-built 83,890 dwt double-hull Aframax tanker from an unaffiliated third party that it intends to use as floating storage in the Company's new service center in West Africa. The vessel is expected to be delivered on or about the first week of October 2007, when it will be renamed the Leader.
E. Nikolas Tavlarios, President, commented, "We are pleased to announce the first of two new service centers for 2007 as per our plan. Our strategic decision to launch our latest service center in West Africa provides important benefits to the Company and its shareholders as we continue to expand our international marine fuel logistics infrastructure. First, we expect to take advantage of the considerable commercial ship traffic in West Africa by establishing a presence in our new service center, which is ideally located on the Gulf of Guinea and enables the delivery of refined marine fuel to customers extending from the Ivory Coast to Namibia. Second, we believe Aegean's full-service solution for the procurement and delivery of marine fuel, including permanent floating storage, dedicated bunker delivery tankers and a local supporting office, in this underserved region will significantly enhance our global brand recognition as we capitalize on the strong growth potential for West African seaborne trade. For example, we believe the application of our integrated supply model will complement the services we provide to our VLCC customers, which have traditionally bypassed West Africa due to a lack of supplies and port delays."
Mr. Tavlarios added, "We have been granted the necessary trading, bunkering and environmental licenses and expect to commence operations in our new service center during the fourth quarter of 2007. In addition to our latest floating storage facility, the Leader, we plan to deploy three existing bunkering tankers in West Africa during the fourth quarter, positioning our new center to be a top performer in our global network of service centers. Consistent with our goal to enhance our leading reputation in the marine fuel logistics industry, we remain on track to open another service center in the fourth quarter of 2007, during a time in which we will be further expanding our delivery capabilities."
About Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. is an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea. As a physical supplier, the Company purchases marine fuel from refineries, major oil producers and other sources. Through its service centers in Greece, Gibraltar, Singapore, Jamaica and the United Arab Emirates, the Company sells and delivers these fuels to a diverse group of ocean-going and coastal ship operators and marine fuel traders, brokers and other users.
Source: Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. http://www.ampni.com/


Euroseas Ltd. to Purchase a Container Ship Expanding Fleet to 14 Vessels
---08/30/07 Maroussi, Athens, Greece, Euroseas Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESEA), an owner and operator of drybulk carriers, container ship and multipurpose vessels and provider of seaborne transportation for dry bulk and containerized cargoes, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to purchase the M/V Tiger Bridge (ex City of Hamburg), an intermediate container ship of 30,400 dwt and 2,228 twenty-foot equivalent units (teu) built in 1990 in Korea. The M/V Tiger Bridge, was acquired for approximately $ 24.0 million and comes with a period charter attached until July 2009 at a rate of $16,500 per day.
Following the delivery of the Tiger Bridge to our fleet between September 15 and October 10, 2007 at the sellers option, approximately 92% of Euroseas total fleet days in 2007 and approximately 37% in 2008 will be fixed under period charters, already concluded spot charters, or, otherwise protected from market fluctuations.
Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas commented: "We are pleased to announce that we have acquired the M/V Tiger Bridge, our 14th vessel and our third acquisition since we completed our second follow-on common stock offering in June 2007, which raised net proceeds of approximately $73.0 million. Although we continue to focus on optimizing our presence in all segments of dry cargo shipping, including drybulk, container and multipurpose markets, we have been adding container vessels because we continue to believe that containerships have the higher upside potential. Furthermore, consistent with our fleet deployment strategy of mixing short term with profitable long term employment, the period charter already attached to the M/V Tiger Bridge until July 2009 will assist us to generate stable and predictable cash flows securing our earnings and shareholder return."
Source: http://www.euroseas.gr/press_releases.html?irp=pr2&relid=47383


FreeSeas Inc. Announces Delivery of the Handymax Free Jupiter
---September 7, 2007 Piraeus, Greece - FreeSeas Inc. (NASDAQ: FREE, FREEW, FREEZ) ("FreeSeas" or "the Company"), a provider of seaborne transportation for drybulk cargoes, announced today that it has taken delivery of the 2002-built, 47,777 dwt Handymax M/V Free Jupiter on September 5, 2007. The vessel was then placed on a spot time charter for approximately 30 days at a rate of US$43,000 per day.
After the completion of this spot time charter, the vessel will be time chartered for three-years at annually adjusting rates of US$32,000/$28,000/$24,000 per day, respectively.
Mr. Ion Varouxakis, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FreeSeas, stated, "With four vessels now operating in the Company's fleet and one still to be delivered, FreeSeas is continuing to grow its fleet in a favorable drybulk rate environment. FreeSeas will continue to opportunistically seek additional tonnage to expand in the Handysize/Handymax segments. The Company will use its existing credit facilities and additional resources to make any future near term acquisitions."
With the delivery of the Free Jupiter, FreeSeas' fleet of owned vessels and the vessel for which delivery is pending are as follows:
Current Fleet:
Vessel Name Dwt / Vessel Type / Built / Employment
Free Destiny / 25,240 / Handysize / 1982 / Presently undergoing Dry/docking and Special Survey
Free Envoy / 26,318 / Handysize / 1984 / One-year TC through Apr 2008 at $17,000 p/d
Free Hero / 24,318 / Handysize / 1995 / TC through Dec 2008/Feb 2009 at $14,500 p/d
Free Jupiter / 47,777 / Handymax / 2002 / Initial 30-day TC at $43,000 p/d followed by three-year TC through Sep 2010 at $32,000/28,000/24,000 p/d
Free Goddess / 22,501 / Handysize / 1995 / Expected delivery September/October 2007. Two-month TC at $13,000 p/d followed by two-year TC at $19,250 p/d
About FreeSeas Inc.
FreeSeas Inc. is a Marshall Islands corporation with principal offices in Piraeus, Greece. FreeSeas is engaged in the transportation of dry bulk cargoes through the ownership and operation of dry bulk carriers. Currently, it has a fleet of three Handysize vessels and one Handymax vessel. FreeSeas' common stock and warrants trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbols FREE, FREEW and FREEZ, respectively. Risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by FreeSeas Inc. with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be obtained free of charge on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. For more information about FreeSeas Inc. please go to our corporate website www.freeseas.gr.
Source: www.freeseas.gr


Dushas hatching new dry projects
---The architect of the $1.1bn-plus Anemi deal says this is just the beginning.
It is rare for an unknown company to pop out of the woodwork with an orderbook for 27 supramax bulkers totalling more than 1.5 million dwt, fix most of the ships on long-term charters and within six months sell them off in a $1.1bn-plus deal that leaves it with close to $200m in profit.
But this is exactly what Anemi Maritime Services has done.
And now two companies represented by the same young executive that headed Anemi are building equally impressive fleets in the capesize and panamax sectors.
Anemi, named after a beach in Chios, was formed in 2006, a few months after some members of the long-established Tsangaris shipping family split, taking under their control three 1980s-built panamax bulkers. The ships were rapidly sold off and the investors bought a quartet of modern handysize bulkers from Turkish operator Aktif Denizcilik. These ships were also sold at a profit.
Sotiris Dushas, the grandson of Captain George Tsangaris, has become the public face for the investors and has engineered the deals that are growing in size and value.
When US-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping bought 26 of the 27 ships Anemi had ordered, it also bought the company. Dushas explains that this was to avoid the need of negotiating each individual newbuilding contract.
Today, under the umbrella of a holding company called Kyrinis, Anemi's replacement, Alba Maritime Services, acts as agent for two companies, Avra Maritime Services, which has booked a dozen capesize bulkers, and Avgi Maritime Services which, as reported last week, has firmed up 12 panamax bulkers with India's Pipavav Shipyard and plans to declare options on a further four.
Dushas is somewhat vague about who the investors in Avra and Avgi are but explains that different combinations of family members and, presumably, some outside investors are involved in each company.
"Avra is one group of investors who felt it would be interesting to get into capesizes, take that capesize risk and the big play. Whereas the other group are more traditional and liked the panamax play, especially the geared panamaxes that have been something my family has been doing for years and years," he explained.
Avra has nine 180,000-dwt capesizes on order at Sungdong Shipyard with delivery in 2010 and three similar-size units at STX Shipbuilding for delivery in 2011. Dushas says the prices on the ships range from $82m to $87m depending on the extras, the time they were ordered and the payment terms. The deals are estimated to be worth in excess of $1bn.
Avgi's panamax-bulker orders will be worth about $750m once options are declared.
In a similar fashion to the supramax deals, Dushas has been lining up time charters for the ships while negotiating the newbuilding orders.
Korea Line, which was the charterer of a number of the supramaxes ordered by Anemi, will take six of the Avgi panamaxes on 10-year charters and an unspecified number of the six capesizes Avra has already fixed.
Hanjin Shipping and Glory Wealth have also fixed capesizes, while Dushas says the intention is to charter out 10 of the 12 units and "leave two to play on the market".
The question that immediately springs to mind is how did such a little-known group under the guidance of a 39-year-old manage to put the deals together?
Dushas is disarmingly simple in his explanation.
"I attribute it to very good charterers who are friends, very good bankers who are friends and an office that has stepped up and handled it," he said.
Dushas believes that a lot of the success of his efforts has been built on rapport with yards and relations with banks, including Bank of Tokyo (Mitsubishi), Royal Bank of Scotland, HSH Nordbank and Bank of Scotland.
"They've all been phenomenal. They've all gone above and beyond the call of duty and helped us through this whole thing," he said.
On the other hand, Dushas points out that through the Anemi deal the banks made a lot of money on a very short transaction. "That was the intention. We wanted them to do very well. We wanted them to feel very good about talking to us again and about a deal. This is what has brought us to the next level," he said.
Despite the strong support from banks, Dushas admits that he did at one point consider looking to the public markets with an initial public offering (IPO).
"I don't think [going public is] something that suits us or our investors. It's more complication than we need at this point," he said.
Alba's Piraeus office has just 15 staff and there are a few based in New York but Dushas said: "We don't really want to get much bigger than this."
Anemi controlled the handymaxes but V Ships handled the technical management. Dushas says he would like to continue this relationship. Commercial management on all the vessels is handled out of New York by International Chartering Services (ICS).
Dushas is fulsome in his praise and says Jim Hammond at ICS is "just as good as they get". Hammond has handled all of the chartering and chartering strategies for the various interests and will handle all the commercial management.
Will Avra or Avgi repeat the asset-flipping that Anemi so successfully did?
Dushas says the ships are being built to high standards with money that usually would not be spent on ships unless the owner wanted to keep them but in the case of the supramaxes he admits it was hard not to take the money. Now, he says, the companies are trying to do something for themselves.
"But if it comes to the point that it is attractive enough to somebody that they will want to offer us such a huge profit that we'd be enticed to sell, we would sell, of course," he said. "At the end of the day these are just pieces of steel, nothing more than that."
With so much achieved in so little time it is unlikely that Dushas and his team are planning to sit on their laurels.
One of the existing investment groups, or possibly a new one, will be ordering again at Dayang, where the Anemi supramaxes were booked. Dushas says he does not yet know how big the vessels will be.
Dushas, before setting up Anemi, worked with Teekay Shipping and he also hints that in future he might want to take advantage of his own background in tankers.
"We see opportunities coming up in tankers and the relationships that we have with yards in South Korea are also something we'd like to use to build some tankers. I don't see it happening this year but I think that when the market looks right we'll do something," he said.
"Who could be happier than us? Everything is going in our favour," Dushas said. But with a touch of Greek superstition he added: "We hang a mati (evil eye bead) over every door."
Gillian Whittaker Athens
published: 07 September 2007
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Ionia found guilty on oil record charges
After a trial of two weeks in New Haven, Connecticut, the company was convicted on 13 counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, three counts of falsifying records in a federal investigation, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of conspiracy. The maximum fine on each count is $500,000, for a total maximum fine of $9 million. Sentencing is scheduled for 28 November 28.
The company, which was already on probation in the Eastern District of New York, was convicted of falsifying records to conceal the illegal discharge of oil-contaminated waste and of using and presenting false oil record books and other documents to the Coast Guard in port calls in the District of Connecticut, Southern District of Florida, Eastern District of New York and the Virgin Islands. It was also convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice by destroying the flexible rubber bypass hose used to dump waste overboard, while the Coast Guard was onboard the Kriton conducting its investigation.
Source: http://www.mgn.com/newsletter.cfm?#story8063


KKR denies joint bid with MIG for Turkish shipping UN Ro Ro
---Leading private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) has denied that it is involved in a joint bid with Greece's Marfin Investment Group (MIG) seeking control of Turkish shipping company UN Ro Ro.
MIG officials had earlier claimed that KKR and MIG would submit a joint bid for an 87% stake in the shipping company.UN Ro Ro is considered one of the worlds top-ten short sea operators.
An unnamed KKR official told Bloomberg that KKR is acting alone and is not participating in any joint bid with MIG, quashing the Thomson Financial newsreport.
UN Ro-Ro Group is the largest shipping group in the Mediterranean and seventh largest in the world. The Group, established since 1994 has investments amounting to USD 600 mln and is made up of 5 companies with 177 shareholders-companies.
Source: 02/09/2007, http://www.financialmirror.com/more_news.php?id=8113&type=st&nt=Business


MARFIN I.G.: Commentary on Press Reports
---In response to various reports in the electronic and written economic press, MARFIN INVESTMENT GROUP (MIG) can now confirm that it does not participate in the auction of the Turkish shipping company UN Ro-Ro Isletmeleri A.S. either in conjunction with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) or in any other way.
Source: 4 Sep. 07, http://www.marfininvestmentgroup.com


Modern-era Greek tragedies
Vessels were usually acquired second-hand from US or European owners, and greatly rebuilt to serve the new cruise market and blossoming migrant trade from Europe to Australia and New Zealand.
In 1965, the former America was unveiled as the reborn 2,200-passenger Australis. At 33,500gt, it became the largest liner ever to fly the Greek colours.
Its owner, Chandris, was said to be the greatest training ground in the entire Greek merchant marine. However, in the 1960s and 1970s Sun Line was the leading Greek company for employment, followed by Epirotiki and Chandris. William H Miller does an excellent job in describing the story of Greek passenger ships over 28 well-illustrated chapters, with each chapter devoted to one owner.
Although the ships take obvious centre stage, major owners are covered in better detail along, with the inclusion of some company history. The remainder are dealt with in the form of extended captions, which concentrate on the vessels themselves and sometimes leave something to be desired.
Indeed, the 35-year period after 1955 was the heyday of Greek passenger shipping. While many companies prospered, others failed or were taken over by larger concerns.
Names still in evidence today include Chandris (now called Celebrity Cruises) and Louis Cruise Lines.
This book provides an impressive overview of passenger ships employed during such a golden period, but could be improved with further information about the rise and fall of their owners.
Nick Hall
Source: Fairplay International Shipping Weekly, 06 Sep 2007


Greek shipowners & foreign ship finance executives to meet in Athens
Greek and foreign shipping industry executives are preparring for dicussions on ship finance today at the 9th Annual Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forum, October 18 at the Athens Ledra Marriott.
In conjunction with the conference on the evening of October 18, Marine Money will celebrate its 20th Anniversary at a late evening party at the "Villa Mercedes" Club in Athens, co-hosted by Capital Maritime & Trading Corp.
Event Agenda (Details per 4 Sep. 2007)
09:00 Registration & Welcome Coffee
10:00 Opening Remarks
10:10 Selected Top Performing Listed Shipping companies: Strategy and Outlook
Mr. Evangelos M. Marinakis, Chairman, Capital Product Partners L.P.
Mr. Nikolas Tsakos, CEO, Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited
Mr. Stamatis Molaris, President & CEO, Quintana Maritime Ltd.
Mr. Stamatis N. Tsantanis, CFO, TOP Tankers Inc.
Mr. Akis Tsirigakis, CEO & President, Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
Mr. George Karageorgiou, CEO & Co-Founder, Globus Maritime Limited
Mr. George Achniotis, CFO, Navios Maritime Holdings Inc.
Moderator: Mr. David E.K .Frischkorn, Jr., Vice Chairman-Corporate Finance, Dahlman Rose & Co. LLC
10:50 Economic Outlook
Mr. Guy Verberne, Head of Economic Research, Fortis Bank
11:20 Coffee Break
11:50 Market Outlook
12:30 Bank of America - Global Capital Markets Capabilities with Local Coverage of the Greek Shipping Industry
Mr. Marios Koliopoulos, MD & Head of Greece & Cyprus, Bank of America N.A
12:40 Asset Risk Mitigation in the Greek Shipping Sector: Residual Value Guarantees and Operating Leases
Mr. Laurent Magloire, MD & Head of Banc of America Leasing Capital Markets International Originations
12:50 Debt Finance Discussion
13:30 Lunch Party co- hosted by TEN Limited
15:00 What safety measures can players in the shipping industry use to be where we want to be in 2010?
Mr. Stamatis Molaris, President & CEO, Quintana Maritime Ltd.
Mr. Theo Xenakoudis, Managing Director, International Registries, Inc. / Marshall Islands Registry
Mr. Anthony C. Argyropoulos, Managing Director, Cantor Fitzgerald & Company
Mr. Ronald Dal Bello, Senior Vice President, First Ship Lease (Switzerland) AG.
Mr. George Cambanis, Senior Partner, Deloitte. Hadjipavlou Sofianos & Cambanis S.A
Mr. Michael Bodouroglou, CEO, Paragon Shipping Inc.
Moderator: TBA, Credit Suisse
15:40 Capital Markets
Ms. Ismini E. Panayotides, Business Development, Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.
Mr. Andrew Wilson, Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets, Banc of America Securities
Mr. Mark K. Friedman, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Mr. Antonios C. Backos, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Mr. Larry Rutkowski, Head of Maritime and Shipping Finance Practice Group, Seward & Kissel
Mr. Peter Wallace, Partner, Pareto Private Equity ASA
Mr. Michael Tartsinis, CEO, Global Oceanic Carriers Ltd
Moderator: Mr. Loli Wu, Managing Director-Global Transportation-Investment Banking, Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
16:30 Coffee Break
Can the good times last?
Mr. Cees Kamphof, Executive Director, Principal Finance Shipping, Fortis Bank
Mr. Nikolas Tsakos, CEO, Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited
Mr. Hamish Norton, Jefferies & Company, Inc.
Speaker TBA, BNP Paribas
Speaker TBA, Ernst & Young S.A
Moderator: Robert E. Lustrin, Partner, Capital Markets Group, Seward & Kissel LLP
17:45 Closing Remarks
18:00 Cocktail Closing Reception co-hosted by International Registries, Inc.
List with Participants 2006 is available at > http://www.marine-marketing.gr/marinemoney/pdf/GSF06_participants_registred_final.pdf
The Event Agenda, the Registration Form and other practical information are available on the Marine Money website at: http://www.marinemoney.com/forums/GR07/index.htm
Source: mia@marine-marketing.gr,