Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 44 - 2008

 

Exmar shelves joint venture plans with Prime Marine

---Helen Hill, Amsterdam - Wednesday 29 October 2008
BELGIAN gas shipping firm Exmar has called off a joint venture with Greek product tanker specialist Prime Marine for the moment - blaming the financial market.
Prime Marine and Exmar were due to form a joint-venture which would have involved four LPG midsize newbuildings from Prime Marine (with delivery ranging from mid-2009 to early 2010) and five second-hand LPG vessels from Exmar.
But we have to face the market, he added. It is frustrating that external factors have stopped the transaction going through.
Exmar announced the Prime Marine deal in mid-August. The two had aimed to get the venture off the ground by the end of the year or by early 2009.
The Prime Marine vessels were ordered from Hyundai Heavy Industries in May, 2007. Exmar was due to be the commercial manager of the joint venture.
Source: http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/news/exmar-shelves-joint-venture-plans-with-prime-marine/20017585081.htm


Stena Bulk buys into premium Shipping Company
---Stena Bulk today announced the acquisition of a thirty-five percent (35%) equity ownership stake in the privately held Greek shipping company Paradise Tankers Holding Corp. The acquisition, which has total share capital valued at an estimated USD 250 million, provides Stena Bulk with full commercial control of yet another fleet of three newly built Panamax tankers and two dry-cargo bulk carriers.
Source: 27 Oct 2008, http://www.stenabulk.com/en/NewsPress/Pressreleases/2008/Stena-Bulk-buys-into-premium-Shipping-Company/


Exclusive following
---Being the first in Greece to broker clean products has earned Seaside Tankers an exclusive client base.
Greece is home to some of the world's big tanker owners but it has never been highly regarded in the leagues as far as tanker brokers are concerned.
Seaside Tankers was set up six years ago and its founder, Marios Koskinas, says that to the best of his knowledge, it was the first to broker clean products and the second competitive tanker-chartering shop to open its doors in Greece.
"We were definitely the first specialising in vegoils and even now there are only a few shops working exclusively with some owners but most are only doing large tankers, which is basically what the Greek broking scene was built on," he said.
Koskinas brought to Greece his experience from training and working at Eastport Maritime. He trained in Singapore and also worked with them in the US. He says that at the time, Eastport was the leader in palm oil.
"No doubt about it, I had a chance to work with top-notch brokers," Koskinas said. His mentor at the time, Matthias Cher, is today managing director of Eastport.
Cher says that when Koskinas went to Singapore to train under him, "I felt initially it was a bit of a culture shock for him". But Koskinas adapted well and benefitted from Eastport's emphasis on excellent training, rapid exposure to the real marketplace and mentorship guidance, among other things, says Cher.
He thinks that Koskinas was "very adventurous" to start his own company in Athens, "especially since he was so young and because shipbroking activities in liquid cargoes in Athens was quite nascent".
Koskinas says his background in palm oils and vegoils gave him an advantage over other Greek brokers who were unfamiliar with the trade. The company started out representing five vessels that were trading vegoils exclusively and was able to get a further five, also trading vegoils.
"That was my expertise and how I was able to convince owners to work with me in Greece. Because, let's face it, when you're in Greece as a shipbroker you tend to approach the owners, as opposed to the charterers, where the rest of the world is," Koskinas said.
A Greek owner who has worked with Seaside for the past five years says Koskinas is a promising young man.
"I would call him honest, hard working," he said. Although the owner prefers not to be named, he complements Koskinas on how he deals with the differences that can arise between owners and charterers. "I think he handles this very skilfully and professionally without being for or against any one person. I like that and I think it's correct," he said.
Before the more stringent regulations were introduced for ships carrying vegoils, among other things, this ship type was cheap to acquire and Koskinas says owners who were in dry cargo or other sectors, or even new owners, tended to go toward vegoils or palm oils because of this.
"We were very lucky because 2002 was just before the market exploded," he said. The company introduced its niche market to various dry-cargo owners and new owners "and everyone had us pegged as 'the vegoil guys in Greece'".
But after the new regulations came into effect, the scene changed.
Some of the smaller family-controlled shipowning companies with three to seven ships could not splash out $50m to buy a new medium-range (MR) tanker, Koskinas says.
He adds that Seaside has been following its customers, growing with them and can now boast that all its vessels are trading worldwide. The ships carry lube oils, vegoils, clean products and molasses and are working in the Caribbean, West Africa and East Africa.
"We've been able to learn these markets and keep these ships moving because they are not tradable anywhere else," he said.
But Seaside is not working solely with Greeks. One of its clients is Bergen-based Network Chartering/Bryggen Shipping & Trading. Group chairman Hans Solberg says they have known Koskinas from when he was a broker in the US and have continued to do business with him since he opened his shop in Greece.
"We respect him for his skills and capabilities," Solberg said.
Because of the market shift a couple of years ago, Seaside also got involved in sale and purchase (S&P), when a client approached it to see if they could find a buyer for one of his vessels.
"It was completely by coincidence that we sold our first ship. Then, I said to myself, 'this isn't too bad'," Koskinas explained.
This year, the company for the first time has reached about a 50/50 split between chartering and S&P activities.
Although Koskinas says that at the moment he is involved more on the S&P side, he still feels that chartering is more fun.
"You get that little rush more often because you do more deals. With S&P, the rush is big but it doesn't really last that long because you don't do that many deals compared to chartering," he said.
Gillian Whittaker Athens
published: 30 October 2008
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Good news among the gloom as Genco and Genmar ride high
---US-listed Peter Georgiopoulos-founded bulker operator Genco Shipping & Trading and tanker outfit General Maritime have ridden the strong freight market to provide some good news amongst all the gloom presently engulfing the market. Both have registered healthy third quarter results.
Genco's bulk carrier fleet reports net income for the three months to September 30 of $62.9m compared with the $16.3m seen a year earlier. The quarter result included $4.4m in dividends from its investment in Jinhui Shipping and Transportation. Suezmax and aframax operator, Genmar, has seen third quarter profits more than double to $23.4m against the $10.9m seen in the third quarter of 2007.
The latest result sees Genco's profits for the year-to-date quadruple those of a year ago at $197.8m, while revenues were up 153% to $303.8m. Those of the tanker operator are up by just under 5% to $41.3m, while revenues for the nine months increased by 26.6% to $236.8m.
Genco's revenues, helped by a 40% increase in fleet size, reached $107.5m versus the $45.6m achieved in the third quarter of 2007. The bigger fleet saw operating costs up 80% to $36.9m, but operating income jumped 181% to $70.6m.
Genco's fleet of 31 ships had a daily TCE of $39,349 during the third quarter versus a TCE of $24,362 for 22 ships in 2007. Daily vessel operating expenses per ship in the third quarter were $4,187, compared with $3,665 in the same period last year.
Said Genco president Robert Gerald Buchanan: "Genco's success in securing its growing fleet on favorable contracts was once again the main driver of our strong quarterly results. Majority of the vessels in our current fleet are currently on long-term time charters with an average remaining life of about 18 months as of October 29, 2008."
During the quarter three short-term t/cs were signed. "We currently have about 93% of our fleet's available days secured on contracts for the remainder of 2008 and 60% in 2009," he said. The company also took delivery of the aframaxes Genco Thunder and Genco Cavalier, thereby completing the $137m acquisition from Bocimar agreed in May.
Genmar took advantage of the stronger tanker freight rates to see voyage revenues jump 46% to $82.3m, while operating income more than doubled to $28.5m for the period under review. Average daily TCE rates increased 24.8% to $37,651 a day. Genmar's average daily rates for vessels on spot increased 143.5% to $44,425 compared to $18,246 for the third quarter in 2007. Higher crewing, maintenance and repair cost pushed daily direct vessel operating expenses up 14% year-on-year to $8,122.
Georgiopoulos, Genmar's ceo, said: "Our past success increasing the company's time charter coverage enabled us to post strong results for the quarter."
He said: "General Maritime remains in a strong position to create shareholder value and build on its past success of returning over $1bn to shareholders since May 2005. With ample liquidity, following the successful completion of the proposed transaction with Arlington, General Maritime will continue to actively look for opportunities to enter into value creating deals for shareholders. In accomplishing this critical objective, the company will seek to further grow its modern fleet, while targeting an annual dividend of $2 a share and repaying debt."
-- Filed: 2008-10-30
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Capital Product Partners L.P. Announces Strong Third Quarter Financial Results
---ATHENS, Greece, Oct 31, 2008 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Capital Product Partners L.P. (the "Partnership"), (Nasdaq:CPLP), an international owner of modern double-hull tankers, today released its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008.
The Partnership's net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 was $15.7 million, or $0.56 per limited partnership unit, which is up from $0.50 per unit in the previous quarter ended June 30, 2008 and up from $0.35 per unit in the third quarter of 2007. The higher number of vessels in the fleet and growth in profit sharing revenue drove these increases.
Operating surplus for the period was a record $18.7 million, up from $15.7 million in the previous quarter. Operating surplus is a non-GAAP financial measure used by certain investors to measure the financial performance of the Partnership and other master partnerships. (Please see Appendix A for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure to net income.)
Revenues for the third quarter were $36.0 million, consisting of $29.4 million fixed revenue from time charter agreements and $6.6 million in profit sharing revenues. The high level of profit sharing revenue is a result of an especially strong product tanker market as well as a solid crude tanker market during the quarter and illustrates the upside potential of the Partnership's chartering strategy.
Total operating expenses were $13.9 million, including $6.5 million in fees for the commercial and technical management of the fleet paid to a subsidiary of Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. (Capital Maritime), the Partnership's sponsor, $6.5 million in depreciation and $0.7 million in general and administrative expenses. Net interest expense and finance cost for the quarter totaled $6.5 million.
Ioannis Lazaridis, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Capital Product Partners' general partner, said "The record third quarter results enabled us to maintain our unit distribution coverage at high levels."
The clean spot product market strengthened for the second consecutive quarter with rates driven by continued U.S. exports of distillates to Europe as well as the effect of tropical storms and of hurricane Ike at the end of the quarter, which resulted in lower refinery utilization and higher imports to the U.S. The third quarter market for suezmax crude tankers was overall solid with rates softening in August from the record highs of the second quarter, while improving in September. Activity in the product time-charter market increased in the third quarter with rates staying at high levels.
Mr. Lazaridis added, "During the third quarter we took advantage of the strong time-charter market and extended the time charter agreements for the Agisilaos and the Arionas at gross rates of $20,000 (net rates $19,750) per day for an additional 13 months. The new time charter rates are higher than the rates the vessels will be earning at the end of their current time-charters. Both time charter agreements will also continue to be subject to the same profit sharing arrangements they are currently under which allows each party to share additional revenues above the base rate on a 50/50 basis. We are very pleased to note that almost all of our fleet is under charter for 2009."
On August 20, 2008, the Partnership took delivery of its eighteenth tanker, the Aris II. The Aris II is the third of three 51,000 dwt MR chemical/product tanker sister vessels, all of which are under 10-year bareboat charters. The vessel's purchase price was funded with debt through draw-downs on the Partnership's revolving credit facilities and with $2 million in cash. The Partnership has no further contractual obligations for additional vessels, but has a right of first refusal on six MR product tankers from Capital Maritime if medium-to long-term charters are arranged for them.
As of September 30, 2008, the Partnership's long-term debt was $474 million and partners' equity was $199 million. Current undrawn debt facilities amount to $246 million.
On October 24, 2008, the Board of Directors of the Partnership declared a cash distribution for the third quarter of $0.41 per unit, unchanged from the previous cash distribution of $0.41 per unit, and 6.5 percent higher than the 3Q 2007 distribution. The cash distribution will be paid on November 17, 2008, to unit holders of record on November 7, 2008.
Mr. Lazaridis concluded, "Today we face a severe deterioration in the banking and credit world as well as the near certainty of a major global economic slowdown, whose duration is very difficult to forecast and which will significantly impact world trade. At the same time vessels' cost environment continues to be inflationary. In this context we seek to maintain high distribution coverage and a strong balance sheet. Our revolving credit facilities are non-amortizing until June 2012 for the $370 million facility and until March 2013 for the $350 million facility. With $246 million in remaining undrawn credit facilities and access to the sponsor's fleet of modern vessels and newbuildings and relationships with charterers, we believe we are adequately placed to face the upcoming market."
Capital Product Partners will host a conference call to discuss its results today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The public is invited to listen to the conference call by dialing +1 866-793-4279 (U.S. and Canada), or +1 703-621-9126 (international); reference number 631019. Participants should dial in 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. The slide presentation accompanying the conference call will be available on the Partnership's website at www.capitalpplp.com. An audio webcast of the conference call will also be accessible through the website. The relevant links will be found in the Investor Relations section of the website.
About Capital Product Partners L.P.
Capital Product Partners L.P. (Nasdaq:CPLP), a Marshall Islands master limited partnership, is an international owner of modern double-hull tankers. Capital Product Partners L.P. owns 18 modern vessels, including 15 MR tankers, two small product tankers and one Suezmax crude oil tanker. All 18 vessels are under medium to long-term charters to BP Shipping Limited, Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc., Overseas Shipholding Group, Shell International Trading & Shipping Company Ltd., and Trafigura Beheer B.V. For more information about the Partnership, please visit our website: www.capitalpplp.com
Capital GP L.L.C.
Ioannis Lazaridis, Chief Executive Officer and Chief
Financial Officer
+30-210-458-4950
i.lazaridis@capitalpplp.com
Capital Maritime & Trading Corp.
Merete Serck-Hanssen, SVP Finance
+1 (203) 539-6273
m.serckhanssen@capitalpplp.com
Source: Capital Product Partners L.P., www.capitalpplp.com


Danaos Corporation Declares Dividend of $0.465 per Share for the Third Quarter of 2008
Danaos Corporation will release their third quarter results on Friday, October 31, 2008 after the market closes and has scheduled the conference call on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:00 AM EST.
About Danaos Corporation
Danaos Corporation is an international owner of containerships, chartering its vessels to many of the world's largest liner companies. Our current fleet of 39 containerships aggregating 155,123 TEUs ranks Danaos among the largest containership charter owners in the world based on total TEU capacity. Danaos is the largest US listed containership company based on fleet size. Furthermore, the company has a contracted fleet of 32 additional containerships aggregating 234,962 TEU with scheduled deliveries up to 2011. The company's shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DAC".
For more information, contact:
Danaos Corporation
14 Akti Kondyli
Pireus, 18545
Greece
Phone: +30 210 419 6480
Fax: +30 210 419 6489
Source: Press Release, http://www.danaos.com/


Carrier fined $750,000 in 'magic pipe' dumping case
---Updated October 29, 2008 3:48:40 PM
A U.S. District Court judge fined Casilda Shipping, Ltd. $750,000 and ordered the Maltese operator to serve three years' probation after one of its vessels illegally dumped waste at sea.
The operator pleaded guilty last week along with Genesis Seatrading Corp., the Greek operating company, and vessel chief engineer Pantelis Thomas, a citizen of Greece, to charges of conspiring to falsify records related to the intentional disposal of waste oil into the ocean while in international waters.
Casilda was sentenced in Oakland by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken to serve three years' probation and to comply with an extensive three-year Environmental Compliance Plan. Thomas was sentenced to three years' probation and a $5,000 fine.
The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in July.
Source: http://www.joc.com/articles/news.asp?section=ocean&sid=46838


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Source: The Maritime Advocate online--Issue 370


2nd Ann. Greek Shipping Summit - 6 November 2008, Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens
---Money, markets, costs and crew will be the focus of the Greek Shipping Summit to be held November 6 at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens. With today's volatile markets, the credit crunch, high operating costs and the increasing concerns of safety and crewing, leading representatives from Greece and abroad have indicated they plan to attend the third of these annual summits which formally and informally debate the prospects for shipping. Marine, Aegean Island Policy minister, Anastasios Papaligouras, will deliver the opening address, setting the scene for the discussions led by: Ian Adams, secretary general, International Bunkering Industry Association (IBIA); Michael Elwert, manager Business Development, Bimco; Nigel Gardiner, md, HP Drewry; Stavros Hatzigrigoris, md, Kristen Navigation; Ted Petropoulos, md Petrofin SA; Jean Richards, owner/ director, Quantam Shipping Services Ltd; Howard Snaith, marine director, Intertanko; Paul Slater, chairman and ceo, First International Corp and md, Griffin Holding Group; Nicolas Tsavliris, executive director, Tsavliris Salvage Group; Harry Vafias, chairman and ceo, Stealth Shipping; Manolis Vordonis, executive director, Thenamaris (Ships Management) Inc, and Anthony Zolotas, director, Eurofin SA. Co-organised by Seatrade and TradeWinds, further information about the summit is available at: www.greekshipping summit.com or Naftiliaki / Newsfront at: E-mail: amaroid@otenet.gr
Source: www.greekshipping summit.com