Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 51 - 2007

 

Hellenic registered fleet shows slight increase in October

---Thursday, 20.12.2007, 12:49am (GMT)
The latest monthly report of the National Statistical Agency has shown a marginal growth of the Hellenic Registry. Data for October shows that the number of ships flying the Hellenic flag has increased to 2,055, against 2,052 in September and 2,050 in August. These statistics are drawn for ships surpassing the 100 ton mark, in terms of deadweight tonnage. Accordingly these 2,055 vessels bear a dwt of 37,164,404 tons against 37,084,319 dwt in the last month.
All individual ship categories have shown marginal increases on a monthly basis. Dry bulk carriers stood at 625 (14.2 million dwt), versus 624 (14.1 million dwt) in September, while tankers under the Hellenic Registry were 505 (21.28 million dwt), against 502 (21.2 million dwt).
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News
Source: Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News


Seacrest in pink after bulker sale
---A UK-based operator has struck gold on the sale of a capesize.
Seacrest Shipping of London appears to have hit the jackpot on its investment in a 13-year-old capesize.
The company is said to be in the process of selling the 149,000-dwt bulker Montego 2 (built 1993) to a South Korean buyer for $50m. Seacrest bought the ship as the Donau Ore in March 2003 for only $20.1m.
Seacrest has also made a handsome profit on operating the vessel. In February, the ship comes off a two-year time charter at $45,000 per day, yielding revenues of $32.4m during the period.
A Seacrest director confirms that talks are ongoing for the ship but insists it has not yet been sold. The vessel was built at China Shipbuilding Corp and is said to be due for drydocking.
The last directly comparable deal was the sale of the sistership Silver Clipper (built 1993) in September for $48m.
The sale of the Montego 2 would signal at least a temporary depature for Seacrest from the bulker market. In May, the company sold its only other bulker, the 146,000-dwt Monalisa (built 1986), for $21m.
Last month, Seacrest, which is traditionally a buyer of secondhand tonnage, made its newbuilding debut with an order for six 17,000-dwt chemical tankers at Samho Heavy Industries of Korea. The contract, worth potentially close to $350m, includes options for a further six vessels. Besides the newbuildings, Seacreast is listed as having three aframax tankers, one built in 1980, one in 1990 and one in 1993. This year, the company sold the 95,000-dwt double-hull tanker Mangelo (built 1993) for $44.5m.
Trond Lillestolen Oslo, published: 22 December 2006
Source: www.tradewinds.no


TOP Ships Announces the Results of Its Special Shareholders Meeting
---ATHENS, Greece, Dec 17, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- TOP Ships Inc. (Nasdaq: TOPT) (the "Company") today announced the results of its special shareholders meeting. At the meeting, the amendment to Section A of the Company's Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation to change the name of the Company to "TOP SHIPS INC." was approved by holders of approximately 70% of the Company's outstanding common shares. While a majority of those voting supported the proposal to reduce the quorum requirement for shareholders meetings, that proposal did not garner the requisite affirmative majority of the Company's total outstanding common shares.
About TOP Ships Inc.
TOP Ships Inc., formerly known as TOP Tankers Inc., is an international provider of worldwide seaborne crude oil and petroleum products and of drybulk transportation services. The Company operates a fleet of 20 tankers, consisting of 12 double-hull Suezmax tankers and 8 double-hull Handymax tankers, with a total carrying capacity of approximately 2.2 million dwt, of which 87% are sister ships, and one drybulk vessel. It expects delivery of five more drybulk vessels between December 2007 and March 2008. Thirteen of the Company's 20 tankers will be on time charter contracts with an average initial term of over three years with all but three of the time charters including profit sharing agreements. Three of the Company's drybulk vessels will have period charter contracts for an average period of 18 months.
Forward-Looking Statement
Certain statements and information included in this release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and may include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.
The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "will," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, our management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.
In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, failure of a seller to deliver one or more vessels or of a buyer to accept delivery of one or more vessels, inability to procure acquisition financing, default by one or more charterers of our ships, changes in the demand for crude oil and petroleum products, changes in demand for dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.
Contact: Michael Mason (investors), Allen & Caron Inc., michaelm@allencaron.com
Stamatis Tsantanis, CFO, TOP Ships Inc. ,snt@toptankers.com
Source: TOP Ships Inc. http://www.toptankers.com/


Ionia US$4.9M
---Tuesday, 18 December 2007
GREEK-based tanke operator Ionia Management has been fined US$4.9m by a US court for its role in falsifying records to conceal the overboard dumping of waste oil from the the 1991-built, 44,999 dwt, Bahamas-flagged products tanker Kriton into international waters and its efforts to impede the investigation of the US Coast Guard.
Accoroding to the prosecution, from at least 1 January 2006 to 20 March 2007, crew members made false entries in the ship's oil record book indicating that they had regularly used the ship's oil pollution prevention equipment. Evidence at trial proved that the equipment was rarely, if ever, used and, instead, crew members pumped the ship's oil-contaminated wastes and sludge directly from the ship into the ocean using a rubber hose. At least 968 tons of oil-contaminated waste was unaccounted for in the Kriton's oil record books. In addition to falsifying oil record books, Ionia Management submitted false statements in environmental compliance checklists that it was required to submit to the US Coast Guard as part of its probation from the 2004 conviction in the Eastern District of New York. After the Coast Guard investigation of the Kriton began in March 2007, the ship's Chief Engineer and Second Engineer are said by the Department of Justice to have destroyed the rubber hose used to pump waste to the ocean.
Source: www.mgn.com


Greek ports to strike again
Source: Fairplay Daily News 20 Dec 2007


Difficult for Greek Club in face of shift in claims exposure
---A leading Lloyd's broker and P&I specialist believes efforts to form a Greek P&I club will fail. "Unless sufficient support can be secured from larger shipping companies, in order to achieve the necessary economies of scale, like previous similar efforts this one is likely to fail," says HSBC Insurance Brokers.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, Issue 48 (21 December 2007) of Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence newsletter.


Ness Marine Brokers Norway join forces with DeWitt Stern, Imperatore, Ltd.
---Ness Marine Brokers Norway AS is proud to announce that we will join forces with DeWitt Stern, Imperatore, Ltd. (DSI) with effect from 1st January 2008.
As a member of New York based DeWitt Stern Group DSI is part of a major player in the US insurance market that has, for years, been active in both the US and international marine markets. DSI, will be the parent company of the new operation, DSI Norway AS. The company will be regulated by The Norwegian Financial Services Authority.
For DSI the acquisition of Ness also represents one of what we trust will be several steps in expanding its business in Europe. DSI already operates in Greece as DSI Hellas LLC. It looks now to establish operations in other major European markets as part of a strategy to bring the highest level of competence to bear on behalf its clients.
We trust you will approve of this new development, which we are confident will add value to the service we provide to you, our clients, and our other business partners.
If you have any questions or require further information then please do not hesitate to contact
Terje Bodin Larsen, Managing Director, Tel + 47 22 00 70 90 e-mail terje.bodin.larsen@ness.no
Source: Press Release


P&I Conference - Piraeus Marine Club: 24 January 2008
The Piraeus Marine Club has great pleasure in announcing to its members that the 8th International P&I Conference will take place at its premises on the 24th January 2008.
The topics will be as follows:
1. What is the future of mutuality in light of the pool claims experience in 2006?
2. Crew scarcity & employment of inexperienced labour: Is this a time bomb waiting to explode and what will its impact be on the P&I Clubs and the Pool?
3. Hydra:
a) Does it require two tranches of recapitalisation? Was it sufficiently capitalised at the outset and has the risk been priced correctly hitherto?
b) Was it wise of the Group to increase the Pool retention from $30m to $50m and is it resulting in the benefits of collective reinsurance being lost and substituted with individually purchased reinsurance.
4. Principles of P&I Underwriting: Are they fair?
a) Are new buildings too cheaply rated?
b) Are Greek Shipowners subsidising foreign Shipowners?
5. Competition in and fragmentation of the ship management industry means that investment in crew recruitment and training is insufficiently rewarded. Given that Clubs represent important shipowner collectives and benefit from strong crew recruitment and training, would it be appropriate for them or the International Group to contribute to the funding of initiatives in this area?
6. International Group Managers are proposing to assume responsibility for insuring War P&I risks. Given that a terrorism act could readily cause a catastrophic claim, what measures have been taken to assess the risks presented by different ship types, particularly, for example, quick turnaround ferries, and how do Managers propose to price the risk.
7. Is there a danger of criminal investigations hampering the learning of lessons from shipping accidents such as the Cosco Busan pollution?
8. Comparing apples with apples - choice considerations about sharing risk and picking Clubs - a buyer's view.
A detailed program will follow shortly.
We are also pleased to advise that Mr. Lou Kollakis of Chartworld Shipping Corp. has once again, kindly accepted our invitation to preside over the panel of speakers as Chairman.
Please note there is an attendance fee of Euro 85 per person (including lunch), to be paid in advance.
In view of the great anticipated turnout and limited number of places, we strongly recommend that attendance be confirmed soonest to Ms K. Vienna of the Piraeus Marine Club, Tel.: 210 4293 606, as strict priority will be observed.
Yours sincerely,
On behalf of the Chairman and the Board of Directors of the Piraeus Marine Club, Maria S. Prevezanou, Treasurer/ Organiser of the Seminar
Source: Piraeus marine Club