Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 48 - 2007

 

Greeks buy tanker for conversion

---For the first time, instead of being on the selling side, Greek interests are said to have joined the ranks purchasing tankers for conversion into dry-bulk carriers.
Brokers report that Baltic Navigation of Riga has sold the 40,000-dwt, double-bottomed handymax tankers Banga (built 1988) and Balva (built 1990) to undisclosed Greek interests for conversion purposes for $31m en bloc.
Demand for non-double-hull tankers for conversion has burgeoned and sales have covered the whole range of sizes from VLCC to handysize.
There is no indication of where the conversions will take place.
Brokers note that with the price of a secondhand bulker of this age and size in the region of $50m, even taking into account the cost of conversion the owners are getting a good deal.
The deal means that Baltic Navigation is selling half of its fleet. The Latvian company was set up in 2003 by Reds Krusts, the former head of the tanker department of Latvian Shipping.
Andris Klavins, former head of Latvian Shipping, acted as advisor to Baltic Navigation, which had built up a fleet of four sisterships built at the Mosor Shipyard in Croatia.
The company is set to log a profit on the sale. The Banga was purchased from Primorsk Shipping as the Azija for $12m in 2004 and the Balva as the Confidence from TransPetrol in 2003 for the same price.
The two other sisterships, the Brasa (built 1991) and Balta (built 1990), were bought from TransPetrol as the Luctor and Perseverance for $13.35m and $12m, respectively, in 2004 and 2003.
By Gillian Whittaker and Trond Lillestolen, Athens and Oslo
Source: http://www.tradewinds.no/weekly/w2007-11-30/article497889.ece


Police seizes massive cocaine haul at Greek port
---A massive cocaine haul was seized by Greek police. Cocaine was found on ship carrying lumber from Ecuador.
The 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of cocaine were found stashed in the frame of a freight container at the port of Piraeus, the Finance Ministry's fraud agency said.
One suspect was arrested in Greece, while six others were arrested in Bosnia and Croatia.
The ship had originally been bound for Rijeka, Croatia, was but was diverted to Greece, police said.
Source: http://newsfromrussia.com/news/world/28-11-2007/101876-cocaine-011/28/2007 12:48


Greek Ship May Sail To New York
---A replica of the Greek "ship that saved democracy" could be headed for dry dock in Astoria next spring.
Local historians are working to bring the Olympias to the Big Apple in early 2008 for exhibition at metropolitan area parks and waterways and to show off the 120-foot vessel in the annual Greek Independence Day Parade along Fifth Avenue.
The trireme is an exact replica of a ship the Greeks used to defeat the Persians in 480 B.C., said Astoria activist Thomas Dellis.
Dellis, who is spearheading a local movement to bring the trireme to New York City, said the ship was built in Greece in 1987. The replica vessel, currently docked in Athens, boasts the same three tiers of rowers as its namesake, which is credited with saving Greek democracy from annihilation by the Persians.
Organizers at Trireme Trust USA have received support from Congressmember Joseph Crowley for the project.
S. Ford Weiskittel, head of Trireme Trust USA, said the group is seeking endorsement from local lawmakers, as well as financial contributions needed to fund the ship's voyage to New York City.
Weiskittel said the group hopes to put the trireme on display in Central Park and Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria. "We hope to bring the trireme, in all its glory, to a place where people can appreciate its beauty and its importance to democracy," Dellis said.- Liz Goff
Source: http://www.qgazette.com/news/2007/1128/features/028.html


Petraia fined in magic pipe case
---Thursday, 29 November 2007
"This case sends a clear message to vessel operators and mariners that dumping waste at sea and covering up pollution are serious crimes that will be prosecuted. We take our stewardship of our oceans very seriously and will continue to pursue cases like this," said Rear Admiral Timothy Sullivan, Commander of the First Coast Guard District.
Source: http://www.mgn.com/news/dailystorydetails.cfm?storyid=8328


Court snubs prosecutors in oil case
Source: Fairplay Daily News, 28 Nov 2007


Feds urge $9M fine for Greek shipping company convicted of dumping oil
Ionia Management, which was convicted in September after a two-week trial and faces sentencing on Dec. 13, was the latest in a growing number of pollution cover-up cases at sea, authorities say.
"Similar violations have reached epidemic proportions with new cases being referred to the Department of Justice nationally on a regular basis," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum last week. "A decade's long initiative by the United States to root out vessel pollution has failed to stem the tide of deliberate vessel pollution, despite increasing penalties and punishment imposed."
Routine and deliberate oily waste discharges, such as those involving Ionia, each year cause eight times the amount of oil pollution as that caused by catastrophic spills such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill, prosecutors said. A Canadian study estimated that 300,000 seabirds are killed annually in Atlantic Canada from such discharges, authorities said.
Prosecutors say Ionia dumped waste oil several times between January 2006 and March 2007 in international waters. The crew of its ship Kriton routinely dumped sludge and bilge water into the sea without recording the discharges, prosecutors said. The company was accused of presenting false discharge records to the Coast Guard in ports in Connecticut, Florida, New York and the Virgin Islands.
The company was convicted on 13 counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, two counts of falsifying records in a federal investigation, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of conspiracy.
Senior company officials were not aware of and would not condone intentional oil discharges into the sea, the company said.
"Ionia accepts the jury's verdict and fully appreciates the serious nature of both the offenses it has been convicted of and the underlying illegal conduct of shipboard staff," the company's attorneys wrote.
Ionia has had "a near perfect track record," of operating vessels without incident, the company said.
Ionia pleaded guilty to an earlier case in New York, authorities said.
Source: The Associated Press, Published: November 26, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/26/business/NA-FIN-US-Oil-Dumping.php


Polemis calls for continued communication on EU plans
---Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Source: http://www.mgn.com


University of the Aegean joins Microsoft alliance
---The alliance offers educational licenses for educational and academic research purpose to the University of the Aegean at no cost.
The educational licenses for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Fortune Maritime Add on provide students with hands-on learning experience and privileges including access to E-Learning, news, information, invitations to conferences, product downloads, training material downloads, and service packs.
The organisation believes Graduates of University of the Aegean participating in the alliance have a competitive advantage when seeking employment in the shipping industry.
The program gives students opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems and exposes them to software solutions commonly used in maritime businesses.
Source: (Nov 29 2007) http://www.thedigitalship.com


Aries gives tankers out to specialist managers
---Nasdaq-listed Aries Maritime Transport has given technical and crew management of six product tankers to Dubai-based specialist shipmanager, International Tanker Management. ITM will take over management of the tankers within the month.
The move comes as Aries, backed by Glyfada-based Magnus Carriers, owned by Gabriel Petridis and Mols Bolin, concedes it is becoming more difficult for small- and medium-sized operators to compete in today's market. "These ship managers have a great reputation and they should be able to obtain a lot of approvals from oil majors," said Aries ceo Bolin.
Aries cfo Richard Coxall said: "There's an evolution going on, particularly in relation to crew. You need good crew to secure the assets but smaller-to-mid-size managers are struggling with issues like control systems regulations and crew."
November 23 the owners said in a statement its choice of ITM is part of a general strategy to provide shareholders with stable revenues and quarterly dividends. ITM will supply crew from its own pool and manage the Aries product tanker fleet from Dubai. The tankers are the 83,970dwt Arius, 73,400dwt Altius and Fortius, the 41,500dwt High Land and High Rider and the 38,701dwt Ostria.
Since Aries was floated June, 2005, raising around $152m, it has struggled as ships have suffered unscheduled downtime and more recently it has been hit by the downturn in the market.
ITM, headquartered in Dubai and registered in Bermuda, has 50 product and crude oil tankers under full technical management and 18 ships under commercial management.
Source: Issue 45 (30 November 2007) of Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence newsletter.


Goldenport Holdings: Conclusion of Four New-Build Bulk-Carrier Contracts
---Athens, 29th November 2007
Goldenport Holdings Inc., (LSE:GPRT) ('Goldenport' or the 'Company') announces that as of today the Cosco Conditional Contracts for the construction of the four new-build bulk-carrier vessels of 57,000 DWT capacity each, with a total value of US$ 151.0 million, as described in the circular dated 5th October 2007 and approved at the EGM held on 24th October 2007, have become unconditional.
The initial deposit of US$ 30.2 million has also been paid with US$ 10.2 million being paid from existing cash reserves and US$ 20.0 million being paid through the drawdown of an existing credit facility.
Captain Paris Dragnis, Chief Executive Officer of Goldenport, commented: 'As a result of these Cosco contracts becoming unconditional, a major part of our new-build program is now in place. The contracts for the eight new-build vessels that have been entered into since March, which include six dry-bulk carriers and two container vessels, reinforce our position in our preferred sub-segments of the dry-bulk and container shipping markets, enhance the earning potential of our company for the longer term and are in line with our prudent expansion strategy of acquiring vessels reasonably priced compared to the market conditions. Of the six dry-bulk carriers, all of which have delivery dates during 2008 and 2009, three have already been fixed under period employment with high quality charterers in line with our current client portfolio.'
- ENDS -
Source: Goldenport Holdings Inc. News Release


Hellenic Carriers Ld - First Day of Dealings
RNS Number:8503I
Hellenic Carriers Limited 30 November 2007
This announcement has been prepared by Hellenic Carriers Limited ("Hellenic" orthe "Company") in connection with the application for admission of the entireissued ordinary share capital of the Company (the "Ordinary Shares") to AIM andto trading on AIM of the London Stock Exchange for listed securities (the"Admission") and a placing of the ordinary shares of the Company (the"Placing"). This announcement does not constitute a prospectus or an admissiondocument relating to the Company, nor does it constitute or form part of anyoffer or invitation to purchase, sell or subscribe for, or any solicitation ofany such offer to purchase, sell or subscribe for, any securities in the Companynor shall this announcement or any part of it, or the fact of its distribution,form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.
First Day of Dealings on AIM Press Release 30 November 2007:
Hellenic Carriers Limited ("Hellenic" or the "Company") today announces the first day of trading of its ordinary shares on AIM, the market owned and operated by London Stock Exchange plc ("AIM"). Jefferies International Limited ("Jefferies") is acting as Nominated Adviser and broker to the Company. Theticker (trading symbol) is HCL.
Hellenic owns and operates a fleet of dry bulk vessels that transport iron ore,coal, grain, steel products, cement, alumina, and other dry bulk cargoesworldwide. Its current fleet consists of four vessels, comprising threepanamaxes and one handymax. The Company has also contracted to acquire asupramax (a larger handymax vessel) which is scheduled for delivery between 1 March and 30 April 2008. Including the new supramax vessel to be delivered, Hellenic's fleet has an aggregate carrying capacity of 298,761 dwt and aweighted average age of 13.2 years as at 1 November 2007.
Admission to trading follows a placing of the Company's ordinary shares (the "Placing"), which raised approximately #29.0 million (US$60.0 million) before expenses at the Placing price of 212 pence per ordinary share. The Company will have a market capitalisation of #96.7 million (approximately US$200.0 million) based on the Placing price.
Placing statistics* Placing price 212 pence* Number of new ordinary shares placed on behalf of the Company 13,684,970* Number of ordinary shares in issue after the Placing and Admission 45,616,851* Market capitalisation of the Company at the Placing price #96.7 million* New ordinary shares as a percentage of enlarged issued share capital 30.0%* Gross proceeds of the Placing available to the Company #29.0 million* Estimated net proceeds of the Placing available to the Company #26.8 million* AIM symbol HCL* ISIN for the ordinary shares JE00B2904G88
All U.S. dollar amounts are based on the noon-buying exchange as published by Federal Reserve Bank of New York for Pounds Sterling on 26 November 2007 of US$2.0681 for each #1.00.
Fotini Karamanlis, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "I am very happy with the admission of the company's shares on AIM today and view this as an importantstep in the company's strategy. Our shipping business was founded by the late Konstantine Diamantis over 50 years ago, and is now about to enter a new era."The listing of our shares will provide us with the resources for prudent growth through fleet expansion. In addition our flexible chartering strategy, which balances medium to long term charters with reputable customers is structured to benefit from the favourable market conditions in the dry bulk sector whilst generating visible and stable cash flows during the shipping cycle."I would like to thank our new institutional investors for their very positive reception, acknowledging our track record of efficiency and profitability, especially during volatile times for the capital markets and welcome them onboard as shareholders of Hellenic."
For further information please contact:
Hellenic Carriers Limited, Fotini Karamanlis, Chief Executive Officer: +30 210 455 8900, info@helleniccarriers.com
Jefferies International Limited, Nick Davies +44 20 7618 3500
Capital Link, Rob Newman +44 20 7614 2900, helleniccarriers@capitallink.com
------ends------
Source: Date Posted: 2007-11-30 07:34, http://www.allipo.com/articles/33607/ipo-hellenic-carriers-ld-first-day-of-dealings


Star Bulk Carriers Announces the Completion of the Redomiciliation Merger
---Star Bulk to Commence Trading on the NASDAQ Global Market Under the Symbols "SBLK" and "SBLKW"; Star Maritime Acquisition Corp. Has Ceased Trading on the American Stock Exchange
November 30, 2007: 04:45 PM EST
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ: SBLK), or Star Bulk, announced today the completion of the Redomiciliation Merger by which Star Maritime has merged with and into Star Bulk with Star Bulk as the surviving entity. Star Bulk's common stock and warrants have been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbols "SBLK" and "SBLKW" respectively. Trading under said symbols is expected to commence on Monday, December 3, 2007. The Company expects to take delivery of its first vessel early next week.
Each outstanding share of Star Maritime common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, has been converted into the right to receive one share of Star Bulk common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and each outstanding warrant of Star Maritime has been assumed by Star Bulk with the same terms and restrictions except that each warrant will be exercisable for common stock of Star Bulk.
The Company also announced that as a result of the Redomiciliation Merger, Star Maritime Acquisition Corp. will be delisted and will no longer trade on the American Stock Exchange.
About Star Bulk
Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 with no history of operations, and is headquartered in Athens, Greece. Star Bulk has definitive agreements to acquire a fleet of eight drybulk carriers from subsidiaries of TMT Co, Ltd., Taiwan (TMT). Star Bulk is scheduled to take delivery of eight dry bulk carriers, consisting of two Capesize, one Panamax and five Supramax dry bulk carriers with an average age of approximately 10 years and a combined cargo carrying capacity of 691,213 deadweight tons from certain wholly owned subsidiaries of TMT Co., Ltd. ("TMT") a global shipping company with management headquarters in Taiwan. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks such as bauxite, phosphate and steel products.
Source: http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0334600.htm


Top Tankers Inc.: A top value play
Jennifer Schonberger | Nov 29, 2007 4:06pm EST
TOP Tankers Inc. (Nasdaq: TOPT)
Maroussi, Greece
52-week low / high: $3.15/$8.40
Shares Outstanding: 37.38 million
Market Capitalization: $159 million
Calling all value investors. You might be interested in a little Greek international shipping company called Top Tankers Inc. (Nasdaq: TOPT). Aside from operating in what could be the most promising sector for 2008 (drybulk), the company is deeply undervalued.
The transporter of refined petroleum products, crude oil and other commodities trades at a discount to the industry. On a trailing price-to-earnings basis the company trades at 6.58 times, compared with 14.38 for the industry group. On a forward P/E basis, the small cap currently trades at a cheap 8.8 times.
Voyage revenues for the first nine months also trailed, down $200.47 million, compared with $242.25 million recorded in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.
Cash from operating activities was $5.83 million, down from $44.7 million in the same period last year. Cash on the balance sheet fell to $15.8 million from $29.99 million for the same nine month period in 2006.
Although the past nine months have been short of smooth sailing, the outlook is more sanguine. The company recently diversified into the drybulk business in addition to its tanker business, rendering it one of the few public shipping companies to offer a multi-sector presence. Top Tankers bought three panamax drybulk ships this summer for $222 million, which should begin contributing to earnings in 2008, according to the company. (A panamax ship is the largest vessel that can fit through the Panama Canal's locks.) Diversification into the drybulk business should offset weakness that may occur on the tanker side and will better position the company.
The supply and demand conditions for the drybulk sector remain favorable in 2008, as emerging markets, such as China, continue to quench their thirst for oil and other commodities as their economies flourish.
*Reporter Jennifer Schonberger is based in SmallCapInvestor.com's Washington, D.C. bureau.*
Source: http://www.smallcapinvestor.com/articles/11292007-top_tankers_inc_a_top_value_play


Clarkson's, Goldenport, Globus Maritime, GO Carriers, D'Amico Intl to Present in London on 4 Dec. 2007
---LONDON--(Marketwire - November 28, 2007) - Clarkson's (LSE: CKN), Goldenport Holdings (LSE: GPRT), Globus Maritime (AIM: GLBS), Global Oceanic Carriers (AIM: GOC) and D'Amico International (BTI: DIS) will present at Capital Link's "Invest in International Shipping" Forum in London.
VENUE AND TIME:
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at the London Stock Exchange, 10 Paternoster Square, EC4M 7LS. Registration at 12:30 p.m.; presentations at 1:30 p.m. to end at 6:00 p.m.
The Forum is organized by Capital Link, an Investor Relations and Financial Communications firm with strategic focus on shipping, in cooperation with the London Stock Exchange and the AIM market.
OBJECTIVE:
To provide investors with a comprehensive review and outlook of the various shipping markets and to raise the profile of shipping among the UK investment community.
The Forum's target audience includes institutional investors and analysts; financial media; financial advisors, financial planners and stock brokers.
FORUM STRUCTURE:
The Forum will start at 1:30 p.m. with a presentation by Mr. David Pitman, Director of Marketing of the London Stock Exchange, to be followed by four panels.
In the first panel, "Shipping and the Capital Markets," investment bankers from Clarkson's Investment Services, Jefferies International and NBG International, will discuss the listing advantages for shipping companies and what investors typically look for today.
Subsequently, shipping market experts from Howe Robinson, Drewry Shipping Consultants and Galbraith's will present the developments and outlook of the container, dry bulk, and tanker markets.
This will be followed by presentations by the live listed companies and the Forum will close with a panel discussion among shipping analysts from HSBC, Jefferies International and NBG International.
Clarkson's, Jefferies International, NBG International, Goldenport Holdings, Global Oceanic Carriers, D'Amico International and the law firm ReedSmith are the Forum's sponsors. Media Partners include Investors Chronicle, Lloyds List, Tradewinds and ELNAVI.
For more information and to register, please go to www.capitallinkshipping.com or email at londonforum@capitallink.com.
ABOUT CAPITAL LINK
Capital Link is a New York-based Investor Relations and Financial Communications firm with a presence in London and Athens. Among other activities, the firm has a strategic focus on shipping, working with 20 listed shipping companies listed on Exchanges in Europe and the United States.
Source: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=797032


Leading Greek Banks Deploy SuperDerivatives for Interest Rates Derivatives and Structured Products
---www.superderivatives.com - SuperDerivatives(R), the benchmark for options and the leading multi-asset derivatives platform, has announced that major Greek financial institutions including leading banks such as Eurobank EFG and Marfin Popular Bank are deploying its interest rates derivatives and structured products platform, SD-IR.
SD-IR provides real-time, accurate market prices, risk management and analytics for all interest rate
derivatives, inflation derivatives and structured products in 40 global currencies. The online 24-hour system delivers real-time accurate market prices for a wide range of interest rate derivatives, from vanilla products to the most exotics, including a full suite of callable structured investments, structured swaps and all CMS-based products. A full database of market rates is included, supported by analysis and charting tools for maximum control and flexibility.
Founded in 1990, Eurobank EFG Group is an international banking organization with total assets of over EUR 63.3 bn that employs over 21,000 people in ten countries around Europe and offers its products and services both through its network of 1,500 branches and points of sale and through alternative distribution channels.
"We needed a real-time interest rates derivatives platform that would consistently provide true market prices for even the most complex structures with sophisticated risk management functionality and accurate derivatives data. SuperDerivatives proved to be best match for Eurobank," said Yannis Seimenis, Head of Treasury Corporate Sales, Eurobank EFG. "Our sales desk productivity has been enhanced by the platform's easy to understand user interface and the embedded structuring tools while the marketing tools contribute to better customer service."
The rapid adoption of SD-IR in Greece follows a similar pattern across European derivatives markets and stems from a growing importance of interest rates derivatives for both investors and hedging professionals. The recent Greek pension fund crisis, which further emphasized the importance of timely and accurate measurement and analysis of interest rate risk, accelerated local SuperDerivatives' expansion. Additionally, SuperDerivatives enables the proactive ongoing management of mortgage financing risks required by the world leading Greek shipping industry.
"We are very pleased that many leading Greek banks are quickly adopting the SuperDerivatives real-time pricing and analytics platform SD-IR, joining banks and buy side institutions from Europe and all over the world. Both global and regional banks are using SuperDerivatives interest rates derivatives platform to help their customers leverage investment opportunities, manage risk and hedge exposure. With SD-IR, they can price all the structures very accurately, sometimes even more accurately than experienced traders in large investment houses," said Robert Emerson, Product Manager Interest Rates, SuperDerivatives.
Source: Business Wire 2007-11-27 16:51:16 -http://www.pr-inside.com/leading-greek-banks-deploy-superderivatives-for-r319624.htm