Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 17 - 2008


Shipping industry contributes 3.4 billion euros to Hellenic economy

---Despite the volatility witnessed in the freight rate market from the beginning of the year, shipping as an activity contributed 3.4 billion euros to the Hellenic economy, according to preliminary data on the current account balance published by the Bank of Greece. This sum is referring to the first two months of the year and reflect a sharp increase over the same period of last year, when the total amount had not surpassed the limit of 2.35 billion euros. More specifically, during February, shipping activities contributed a total of 1.64 billion euros, versus 1.13 billion euros in the same month of 2007.
Source: Thursday, 24 April 2008, Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News

Greek Fleet Facts
---The lastest update on the Greek flag fleet underlines the changing profile of the home registry as it benefits from shipowners renewing their fleets. Since the beginning of 2001 the Greek flag fleet has increased in size by 4%, while the tonnage has jumped by 40%, as older smaller ships leave the flag to be replaced by larger newer ships, especially tankers.
Data from the National Statistics Service further underlines that this surge in the Greek flag has
been particularly marked in the past 12 months, when the flag secured a good portion of the new ships coming into Greek ownership. Since the beginning of 2007 the increase in Greek-owned ships is nearly 13%, while the increase in dwt terms is 19.6%. In the 13 months, the Greek-owned fleet of ships over 100gt rose 474 ships from 3,699 ships and by 42.7m dwt, 218,229,552dwt in 2007.
by an impressive 54.6%. In absolute numbers, the growth stands at a mere 0.2% for bulkers and 11.6% for tankers. According to the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee, Greeks also have 1,054 newbuilding contracts, of 49.91m dwt.

Key Developments and Growth in Greek Ship-Finance
By Ted Petropoulos, Petrofin S.A.

Restis sets up German-based bank
---The ever-expanding interests of the Restis group of Greece now include a retail banking operation headquartered in Germany.
The group has received its licence from the German authorities to set up a retail-banking network operating locally and abroad.
NG Bank will be headquartered in Frankfurt and by the end of the year will have branches in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Bonn. Plans also include branches in Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece.
Restis group finance director Kostas Koutsobelis says the choice of Frankfurt was prompted by the closure of the branches of a number of Greek banks there, creating opportunities involving Greeks and Greek businesses in the German city as well as the availability of good personnel.
NG Bank will be in a position to provide a niche service to Greeks living and doing business in Germany or Germans who might wish to do business in Greece.
"A Greek who lives and works in Germany may have a small business there and in addition have some real estate in Greece that he would like to put up as collateral against his loans, which a German bank would not do," Koutsobelis explained.
He is unwilling to get into figures but says the group believes the bank has potential.
NG Bank, short for New Generation, is the Restis group's third banking involvement. Its first was Greece's First Business Bank (FBB), in which it has a 51% stake with the other 49% being held by state-controlled Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE). A capital increase of EUR 50m will go ahead up to 10 June and will allow FBB to continue its growth, Koutsobelis says.
The group also owns the First Financial Bank AD Podgorica in Montenegro.
It was also negotiating to buy what Victor Restis earlier this year called "a substantial portion" of the EuroCredit Bank in Moldova. Koutsobelis says the deal has not gone ahead. He is unwilling to comment on whether negotiations have failed totally or stalled.
Victor Restis has also told TradeWinds that he estimated he was probably the biggest Greek shareholder of Portuguese group Millennium bcp, which owns retail outfit Millennium Bank in Greece as well as banks in Turkey and Romania.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens, published: 25 April 2008

Danaos Corp: 1Q Results In-Line with Consensus; Secures $560M in New Debt Financing
---Danaos (DAC / NYSE) reported 1Q08 earnings of $0.48/share, excluding $5.6 million gains related to vessel sales versus consensus expectations of $0.49/share. Earlier in the month, the company had declared its regular $0.465/share quarterly dividend, payable May 14th to shareholders of record April 30th.
>Thus far this year, Danaos has secured a total of $560 million in new credit agreements with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Emporiki Bank. On average, the interest expense is set at 67 basis points over LIBOR, quite attractive compared to recent bank agreements entered into by other shipping companies.
>The containership market has remained strong even in the face of a US slowdown. Although US container imports were 9% lower y/y during 1Q08, increased demand into Europe has largely supported the market, with throughput at the Port of Rotterdam up 8% y/y during 1Q08. Containership charter rates have been steady for the past six months, and are up significantly y/y, with 1-year Panamax TC rates up 26% since March 2007.
Source: Dahlman Rose & Company

Contracts signed for water import
---Water from Greece could arrive in Cyprus in as little as one month, according to Ocean Tankers president, Michalis Ioannides, whose company has been chosen by the government to import drinking water to offset the effects of the severe drought that has hit the Mediterranean island.
Ocean Tankers and the government of Cyprus signed on Monday the contracts for the import of eight million cubic metres of water from Greece to temporarily alleviate the water crisis.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Minister Michalis Polinikis said Cyprus needs 16 million cubic metres of water by the end of the year, but Greece said it was ready to provide more if necessary.
The aim is for Ocean Tankers to begin the import of water by the end of June. However, Polinikis said that if it is possible, Ocean Tankers could transport the water earlier.
Ioannides said that once the water reaches Limassol port, on the southern coast, it will be conveyed through water pipes leading to Yermasoyia, on the outskirts of Limassol, and from there it can be distributed.
Due to the severe drought the country is facing, restrictions have been imposed in the supply of running water. Water rationing was introduced in late March and households are allocated running water for about 12 hours every two days.
Source: 22/04/2008,