Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 44 - 2007
---London hedge fund Lansdowne Partners now holds a 9.7% stake in the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) after it acquired 2.4m shares. Confirmation of the purchase by the PPA makes the fund the second largest shareholder in the port behind the Greek government.
The state owns 75% of the port, after it floated a 25% stake in the summer of 2003.
In a filing to the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), the PPA said Lansdowne notified it on September 28 that it controls 2.4m shares. The PPA had already informed the ASE that Morgan Stanley had sold 8.5% of the just over 10% stake it held in the port on behalf of a number of investor clients but did not identify the buyer. Morgan Stanley still has a 1.8% holding in the port.
The PPA, which has been actively looking for investors to help fund modernisation works at its major terminals, had been expected by now to have published details of a long-awaited tender for bids for port service concessions. The Chinese have expressed considerable interest in investing in the box terminal, while the market was set buzzing recently when Danish giant Maersk Line was said to be looking at investing in the port. However, Maersk's gm for the Eastern Mediterranean, Claus Garbers has said his remarks October 24 were misquoted.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 2 November 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 41
GO Carriers dismisses newspaper claims
---An article appeared in TradeWinds on 19 October concerning the Chief Executive Officer of Global Oceanic Carriers Ltd, Michael Tartsinis. Reference was made to a matter which concerned a private misunderstanding between Mr. Tartsinis and a former business partner.
When this matter was first raised, in accordance with best corporate governance practice the Board of GOC undertook an internal review, in conjunction with the company's legal advisors, and separately instructed Moore Stephens, a leading firm of shipping accountants, to prepare a report.
The review has concluded that the misunderstanding is unrelated to GOC and there is nothing irregular or improper in the conduct of GOC's Chief Executive.
The Board clarifies also that the resignation of Mr. Theo Phanos from the Board of GOC was not connected in any way to this matter.
GOC's Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to best corporate governance practices, aimed to safeguard and maximize shareholder value.
Source: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com//index.php?mod=article&cat=Hellenicnews&article=4078, Tuesday, 30.10.2007, 12:39am (GMT)
GO Carriers investigation clears chief exec Tartsinis
---London-listed shipping company Global Oceanic (GO) Carriers has cleared chief executive Michael Tartsinis after an internal investigation into alleged financial irregularities.
TradeWinds reported on 19 October that Tartsinis was under investigation by the company's board and financial advisors over allegations he improperly transferred money from the public company to a private bank account.
The GO Carriers announcement from the board of directors on Monday, not released to the London Stock Exchange or available on the company's website, says the internal review found any alleged impropriety to be a "misunderstanding" and adds that "there is nothing irregular or improper in the conduct" of Tartsinis.
On first learning of the issue, GO Carriers had launched the review "in conjunction with the company's legal advisors" while it also instructed accountancy Moore Stephens to prepare a report.
The "misunderstanding" occurred between Tartsinis and former business partner Nicolas Pappadakis after they divided their business interests last spring. Tartsinis used a company called Custodian Shipping Ltd to make two transactions, mistakenly believing that he retained ownership of the company.
The GO Carriers announcement both clears Tartsinis of any misconduct and distances itself from the issue by saying it was a "private misunderstanding" between Tartsinis and Pappadakis.
The board of directors was also at pains to clarify that the departure of Theo Phanos from the board of directors, announced on 4 October, was in no way connected to the investigation.
The Greek outfit says that Phanos's exit "was not connected in any way to this matter". Phanos left the board earlier without any reason given for his departure.
Eoin O'Cinneide London published: 02 November 2007
Louis blames sinking on poor charts
Source: Fairplay, Daily News 05 Nov 2007
---The most common ways used to channel illicit gasoline on to the market include adulteration and false documentation
By Yiannis Souliotis - Kathimerini
Later, they said that the 32-year-old perpetrator was just one link in a chain of illegal fuel traders that included gasoline station owners, tanker truck owners and perhaps even ELPE staff members. They believe it is certain that the stolen petroleum was destined for one of the secret warehouse-refineries around Aspropyrgos before being released on to the market. Three months later, as the investigation is in full swing, no new evidence has been found, not even the identity of the brains behind the operation.
The same conclusion was reached by a panel of experts set up in 2006, who found that the ships in question were not being supplied with the supposed amount of fuel and that suppliers were selling cheap shipping fuel as heating fuel on the domestic market.
Informed sources say that smugglers have filled illegal tanks ahead of the winter months and are preparing to release shipping fuel on to the market in the place of heating oil after changing its color and removing the tracer substance.
A former senior customs official admitted that the supply of fuel to ships, carried out by 50 tanker vessels, is impossible to monitor because the customs service does not possess power boats.
SRH Marine Electronics' management acquires 100% of the company
SRH Marine Electronics will continue to provide communication, navigation products and satellite services to the Greek shipping industry and maintain full service support as presently offered. SRH Marine Electronics will retain their existing offices and staff of 47 full-tPiraeus.
Source: SRH Marine Electronics