Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 19 - 2009

 

Akti Miaouli / People & Places

* Directors of V.Ships Shipmanagement led by V.Ships Monaco president, and trade association InterManager president, Roberto Giorgi and Captain Mauro Renaldi, md, V.Ships Greece Ltd hosted a luncheon reception at the Yacht Club of Greece, Microlimano, May 7, for clients and friends of the world's largest shipmanager. In a short address Lars Modin, md, ITM (International Tanker Management Holding Ltd) Dubai referred to V.Ships ambitions of expanding its presence in the tanker management sector following the acquisition through tender by V.Ships of Wilhelmsen Ship Management's 45-vessel operation ITM. V.Ships won this tender against at least four other bidders and emerged with a fleet of approx 1,100 vessels under crewing and technical management. Hercules Efstratiadis, gm ITM Greece, underlined its keenness to expand its tanker management presence in Greece and revealed that in recent months four new tanker clients had turned to V.Ships, though he did not identify them.
* Bimco president, Philip Embiricos and Torben Skaanild, secretary general of Bimco, hosted a luncheon at the Yacht Club of Greece, Microlimano, May 6, attended by some 40 shipowners and senior shipping company executives. A short presentation on Bimco was given in connection with Bimco's forthcoming general meeting to be held in Athens, June 1-4.
* The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has named Dimitrios Kostaras, vp of engineering for Europe and relocated the position from London to the classification society's Piraeus office. The appointment is part of a strengthening by ABS of its global engineering organisation which is designed to further improve services offered to clients. Announcing the appointment, ABS president and coo Chris Wiernicki, said: "This appointment and relocation reflects the wider geographical spread of ABS engineering activities within Europe and of the particular importance of Greece, and Greek shipowners as a focus of the current ABS newbuilding orderbook."
* Professor Costas Grammenos, Pro vice-Chancellor of City University London, was conferred the title of Commander of the British Empire (CBE), during an imposing ceremony May 5 at Lancaster House in London. Grammenos was one of the personalities to whom Queen Elizabeth of England conferred titles and honourable distinctions in her Birthday Honours List for 2009, in recognition of his contribution to research and education in the sectors of shipping, commerce and the economy. The medal was presented by British secretary of state for business, enterprise and regulatory reform, Lord Peter Mandelson, who commented on the Greek professor's academic work, stressing his studies have influenced the practices in the City of London's economic environment. In addition to being Pro Vice-Chancellor of City University, Grammenos, is deputy dean of the Cass Business School Undergraduate Programme, is founder of the London-based Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, as well as chairing the steering committee of the International University of Thessaloniki.
* The regional office of Norwegian P&I club, Skuld Hellas, has recruited Clas Ryden to manage its expanded Piraeus office. Ryden, expected to take-up his post in June, has for many years been gm of the Piraeus office of rival, the Swedish Club responsible for the club's Greek, Italian and Middle East markets. Skuld's present gm, Johan Gjernes is returning to Oslo to take charge of premium pricing. The Swedish Club has also lost claims manager James Greene who is returning to average adjusting. Greene is re-joining Richards Hogg Lindley (Hellas) Ltd, in June, a company he worked with for many years prior to switching to the P&I sector.
* Kristen Navigation Inc Greece's largest ship operator is no more, in name that is. The Angelicoussis group's tanker management arm has been rebranded Maran Tankers Management Inc and has relocated into new premises at: 8 Achilleos & Labrou Katsoni Street, 176 74 Athens Tel: 2130 174 500 Fax: 2130 174 800 - 802 Tlx: 210 4342 MAR GR E-mail: mail@marantankers.gr. The new office is only a short distance from the Angelicoussis group's headquarters where the gas carrier shipping operation, Maran Gas Maritime Inc and the group's dry bulk company, Anangel Maritime Services continue to be located. For both the address remains: 354 Syngrou Avenue, 176 74 Athens. MGM' contact numbers remain: Tel : 210 9483 750 Fax: 21 9480 023 E-mail: mail@marangas.com. Contact numbers for AMS are still: Tel: 210 9467 200 Fax: 210 9408 820 E-mail: mail@anangelmar.com -- See 'From the Marketplace'.
* The 147th agm of US classification society ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) elected a new board, council and committee members. Among the five elected to the ABS Council were: Morten Arntzen, OSG Ship Holding Group and Jeppe Jensen, GasLog Ltd. Among those elected to five year terms as ABS members by the council were: Captain Ian T. Blackley, head of International Shipping Operations and md and coo, OSG Ship Management; Richard A. Gilmore, director LNG fleet, Maran Gas Maritime, Inc; and Nikolaos Paraschis, Ancora Investment Trust Inc. Commenting, ABS chairman and ceo Robert D. Somerville said: "Classification is the principal self regulating mechanism for the marine and offshore industries." He said: "ABS' strength is drawn from its membership and from the members of its many regional, national and technical committees all of whom contribute enormously to the process of developing practical, impartial and authoritative standards that promote the safety of life, property and the environment."
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Vote on new probe for Pavlidis
---A main opposition PASOK party proposal for a second special parliamentary investigation committee to probe the actions of ruling New Democracy (ND) MP Aristotelis Pavlidis when he was Aegean minister, relating to the allocation of a subsidized route to the remote island of Tilos, will be discussed in Parliament on Thursday night.
PASOK wants the second Parliamentary probe to determine if there is evidence to indict Pavlidis on charges of breach of duty.
After the proposal was initially tabled on April 28, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros had stated that this is an "orchestrated effort to ridicule justice and politics in the country," adding that "the government will not take part." The spokesman repeated this statement on Tuesday, when asked about the government's stance on the second case involving the former minister.
Caption: New Democracy MP and former Aegean minister Aristotelis Pavlidis addressing Parliament on Monday night, just before a vote that failed to obtain the required majority needed to indict him on charges of bribery and extortion. ANA-MPA - Katerina Mavrona
Source: http://www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc=7570227&maindocimg=7567595&service=96


Papachristidis Jr rises to the challenge
---Phrixos Papachristidis, son of tanker-industry veteran Basil, has not had an easy ride as he works his way through the ranks of the family business.
Recently given the title of business-development co-ordinator by his father and company chief executive Christian von Oldershausen, he is responsible for developing a pool for Hellespont's brand-new chemical tankers in a market that has crashed.
Papachristidis explains he is no novice and has the experience, working in the family business as both a man and boy. "I've always been involved in the family shipping business since I was young. I went on ships when I was just eight and always spent my summer jobs around the company," he said.
"I was brought up in the UK and think of myself as the only 'true Brit' of the family but I have always been proud of my Greek roots and I still identify with being Greek in the industry.
"My father encouraged me to follow a different discipline at university and I studied music and history in New York before joining Poten & Partners in the project group where I got my feet wet. That was a great experience and really got me exposed to all sides of the shipping industry.
"At Hellespont, I've made every effort to get involved in all the departments in the group from the operation department to purchasing and administration. And then Dad and Christian were confident enough to give me a position." Hellespont took the plunge into KG (limited partnership)-funded chemical tankers because of the low prices, the prospect of a growing vegoil market and a potential shortage of tonnage. The market has since slumped because too many other players had the same idea, leading to today's oversupply of ships.
The formation of the Seatramp Intermediate Pool, focussing on post-2000-built IMO-II tankers of between 10,000 dwt and 20,000 dwt, came in a bid to mitigate the market downturn.
Papachristidis is aware of the difficulties in the market but says he is up to it. "The job requires a lot of responsibility and it is a challenge but I have a great team to support me and all I can do is go at it head first." Talks with partners are ongoing with many waiting to see the pool in operation before committing to it.
Papachristidis has taken on an experienced chemical-tanker team to back him up by employing former chartering managers from Brostrom and Iverships. Hellespont Hammonia has also brought in its own technical specialists to manage the company's chemical tankers. Hellespont is no stranger to the pooling business, having previously operated the Seatramp and Probulk pools. Talks have been held with other partners about joining but they are waiting until it is up and running.
Papachristidis is keen to emphasise the intention to keep a high level of transparency in the management of the pool to demonstrate there is no favouritism toward Hellespont ships. He says the pool management under Hellespont Tankers will be entirely separate and independent.
He promises there will be equitable dealings with all participants and timely reporting to owners.
The idea is to work the global market and traditional trades such as the Asia-to-Europe vegoil trades but also to develop into more niche markets in South America.
Von Oldershausen believes he is on the right track. "In the end, the market is the market and we can't pull a rabbit out of a hat and produce income that no one else is. But if the job is done properly and niche markets are developed, that will be a big help." Papachristidis says the pool is not an attempt to shelter the company from the recession. He adds that the idea has been on the cards since the initial investment.
Although the company has deferred two chemical-tanker deliveries from 2010 to 2011, it has had the confidence not to follow some owners and cancel orders.
Papachristidis still believes that the positive fundamentals that persuaded the company to order in the first place will be realised.
"The demand-and-supply imbalance is expected to run through 2009 and 2010 but in the long term, we believe the opportunities will be there," he said.
By Adam Corbett London
Published: 23:00 GMT, 07 May 2009 | last updated: 13:56 GMT, 07 May 2009
Source: http://www.tradewinds.no/weekly/w2009-05-08/article536547.ece


Greek Professor Grammenos conferred title of CBE in London ceremony
---Athens News Agency - ?May 6, 2009?. London (ANA-MPA/L. Tsirigotakis) -- Professor Costas Grammenos, Pro vice-Chancellor of City University London, was conferred the title of "Commander" of the British Empire (CBE), during an imposing ceremony on Tuesday night at Lancaster House.
The medal was presented to Grammenos by British secretary of state for business, enterprise and regulatory reform Lord Peter Mandelson, who presented the Greek professor's academic work, stressing that his studies have influenced the practices in the City of London's economic environment.
Professor Grammenos, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of City University London, Deputy Dean of the Cass Business School Undergraduate Programme, and founder of the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, as well as chairman of the steering committee of the International University of Thessaloniki, was one of the personalities to whom Queen Elizabeth of England conferred titles and honourable distinctions in her Birthday Honours List for 2009, in recognition of his contribution to research and education in the sectors of Shipping, Commerce and the Economy.
He founded the International Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance in 1983 - renamed the Costas Grammenos International Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance.
Source: http://www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc=7572329&service=142


EU slaps 17-month block on Hellenic Register
---The European Union has confirmed that the Hellenic Register of Shipping is banned from classing new ships for 17 months while it attempts to save its status as a recognised organisation.
Following a meeting of EU member states, the European Commission decided to give Hellenic limited recognition while the company seeks to remedy problems with training and monitoring of surveyors; the respect for statutory requirements; the use of non-exclusive surveyors; and the certificates it delivers.
Greece will conduct unscheduled inspections on all Greece-flagged ships every three months while Hellenic management and surveyors are retrained.
Reports for both the Greek authorities and the commission on progress are expected every two months.
The 17-month ban and trial period started on March 30.
Details of the decision also reveal that ships classed by Hellenic were much more likely to be detained for certificate-related problems than those classed with other recognised organisations.
Source: http://www.lloydslist.com
Source: 06.05.2009, 14:28. http://en.portnews.ru/news/16506/


Tanker innovations showcased
---A new tanker design was one of the topics under discussion at the annual Hellenic Technical Committee of Germanischer Lloyd (GL) meeting in April.
The main objective is to develop innovative tanker designs that have the best possible cargo transport efficiency and environmental safety. The study focuses on optimising only the main cargo area of an Aframax-class tanker so as to identify the best performing designs. Sames and Papanikolaou presented several promising Aframax designs that have been developed to improve competitiveness and environmental protection from accidental oil outflow.
Source: Solutions and Newbuildings - Magazine - News 07 May 2009. http://www.fairplay.co.uk


Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. Announces 1Q 2009 Conference Call & Webcast
---PIRAEUS, Greece, May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE: ANW) today announced that it plans to hold a conference call to discuss the Company's results for the first quarter of 2009 on Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The Company plans to issue financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2009 on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 after the close of market trading.
What: First Quarter 2009 Conference Call and Webcast
When: Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time
Where: There are two ways to access the conference call:
Dial-in: (877) 879-6184 or (719) 325-4805; Passcode: 7461928
Please dial in at least 10 minutes prior to 8:30 a.m. Eastern
Time to ensure a prompt start to the call.
Live Internet webcast and slide presentation:
http://www.ampni.com
If you are unable to participate at this time, a replay of the call will be available through Thursday, May 28, 2009 at (888) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820. Enter the code 7461928 to access the audio replay. The webcast will also be archived on the Company's website: http://www.ampni.com.
About Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. is an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel to ships in port and at sea. The Company procures product from various sources (such as refineries, oil producers, and traders) and resells it to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors and leading cruise lines. Currently, Aegean has a global presence in 14 markets, including Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico, Jamaica, West Africa, Gibraltar, U.K., Northern Europe, Piraeus and Patras (Greece), the United Arab Emirates as well as Singapore, and plans to commence operations in Tangiers, Morocco and Trinidad and Tobago.
Source: http://www.ampni.com


Diana Also Taps the Equity Markets. But Why?
Although arguably, with the equity markets open, one should never let an opportnity pass in these uncertain times. From what we hear, the bank debt market remains virtually closed with availability limited to existing commitments and run-off, despite government intervention. In a world of scarcity, get your capital where you can, no matter what the price.
Source: Freshly Minted online by www.marinemoney.com, VOLUME 7, ISSUE 18, May 6, 2009


---(May 5 2009). General Maritime recorded net income of $18.9 mill for the three months ended 31st March, compared to $13.4 mill for 1Q08.
This excluded $500,000 in other income, and another $500,000 in additional costs related to the Genmar Defiance litigation.
Other income for the quarter included a $1 mill unrealised non-cash gain associated with the change in fair value of freight derivatives, as well as a $500,000 loss associated with the monthly cash derivative settlements.
Net income was $18.9 mill compared to net income of $12.9 mill for 1Q08. The increase in net income was principally the result of a rise in net voyage revenue compared with the prior year period, the company said.
John Tavlarios, president of General Maritime Corp, commented, "During the first quarter of 2009, General Maritime posted strong financial results and once again met its quarterly dividend target. The company's success at growing net income, during a challenging time for the oil tanker industry and the economy in general, is directly related to management's proven approach for effectively operating the company through the shipping cycles.
With a significant part of our fleet on timecharters backed by quality counterparties, General Maritime remains in a strong position to achieve stability in results for shareholders," he concluded.
Net voyage revenue, which is gross voyage revenues minus voyage expenses unique to a specific voyage (including port, canal and fuel costs), increased 36% to $82.9 mill for 1Q09 compared with $60.9 mill recorded for 1Q08.
EBITDA for the three months was $48.7 mill compared to $33 mill for 1Q08. Net cash provided by operating activities was $25.7 mill for the three months compared to $14.2 mill for the prior year period.
As of 31st March the company's net debt (calculated as total long term debt less cash) was $892.6 mill.
The average daily timecharter equivalent (TCE) rates obtained by the company's fleet decreased by 12% to $30,724 per day compared to $34,918 for the previous year period. The average daily spot charter rates decreased by 24.8% to $26,445 for 1Q09 compared to $35,155 recorded during the previous period.
Source: http://www.tankeroperator.com/news/todisplaynews.asp?NewsID=1175


Globus Maritime Announces Agreement to Sell Panamax Dry Bulk Carrier
---May 7, 2009. Athens, Greece. Globus Maritime Limited ("Globus" or the "Company") (AIM: GLBS), a marine transportation company that owns and operates a fleet of Handymax and Panamax dry bulk ocean-going vessels, announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with an unaffiliated third party for the sale of the M/V "Island Globe", a 1995-built Panamax dry bulk carrier, for the gross price of US$19.1 million in cash.
Delivery to the new owners is expected to take place between June 1, 2009 and October 20, 2009, at the option of Globus.
Once the sale is concluded and taking depreciation into account, the Company expects to realize a capital loss of approximately US$13.5 million as the vessel had been purchased in July 2007 for US$37.9 million. Globus intends to utilize the proceeds from this sale to repay bank debt and strengthen its liquidity.
For further information please contact:
Globus Maritime Limited +30 210 960 8300
George Karageorgiou, CEO info@globusmaritime.gr
Source: www.globusmaritime.gr


Safe Bulkers, Inc. Declares Quarterly Dividend of $ 0.15 per Share
Dividend Declaration
This is the fourth consecutive cash dividend the Company has declared since its initial public offering on May 28, 2008. The dividend for the first quarter of 2009 was maintained at the same level as that for the previous quarter.
Management Commentary
About Safe Bulkers, Inc.
Source: http://www.safebulkers.com/sbpr050609.pdf


Navios Maritime Partners L.P. announces pricing of follow-on offering
---Piraeus, Greece, May 5, 2009 - Navios Maritime Partners L.P. ("Navios Partners") (NYSE: NMM) announced today that it has priced its follow-on public offering of 3,500,000 common units, which represent limited partnership interests, at $10.32 per unit. Navios Partners has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 525,000 common units to cover over-allotments, if any. Navios Partners expects to use the proceeds from the offering to fund its fleet expansion and/or for general partnership purposes. The offering is expected to close on May 8, 2009.
Navios Maritime Partners L.P. is an international owner and operator of Capesize and Panamax vessels formed by Navios Maritime Holdings Inc., a vertically integrated seaborne shipping and logistics company with over 50 years of operating history in the dry bulk shipping industry.
Navios Partners' common units trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NMM".
The joint book running managers for this offering are Citi, J.P.Morgan and Merrill Lynch & Co. and the co-managers are S. Goldman Advisors LLC and DVB Capital Markets.
When available, copies of the prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus related to this offering may be obtained from: Citi, Brooklyn Army Terminal, 140 58th Street, 8th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220 (tel: 718-765-6732); J.P.Morgan, Attention: Prospectus Department, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., 4 Chase Metrotech Center, CS Level, Brooklyn, NY 11425, Attention: Prospectus Library, (tel: 718-242-8002); Merrill Lynch & Co., c/o Merrill Lynch & Co., Prospectus Department, 4 World Financial Center, New York, New York 10080, (tel: 212-449-1000).
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. This offering may be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus. ABOUT NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS L.P.
Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM), a publicly traded master limited partnership formed by Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NM) is an owner and operator of Capesize and Panamax vessels.
Source: http://navios-mlp.irwebpage.com/news_display.html?relid=2009-05-05


Morgan Stanley fund to invest in shipping
By Jonathan Russell, Last Updated: 6:46PM BST 04 May 2009
The bank is working with two Greek shipping organisations to create the debt fund which will target distressed investments in shipping. The fund is aiming to invest in shipping debt that could be sold off for as much as a 60pc discount.
Although the market for large ships has stagnated in recent months, with buyers demanding far bigger discounts than sellers are prepared to offer, distressed sellers are expected to come to the market shortly under pressure from their lenders.
Industry analysts estimate there is up to $600bn of debt attached to ships and the shipping industry, much of it originated from specialist German banks, although UK banks including RBS have been active in this area.
With the volume of global trade falling sharply, many of these ships have been lying empty, filling up ports such as Singapore.
However, running costs and servicing debt on these ships is significant even when they are empty.
The fall in global trade has led to the price of a standard Cape Ship falling from as much $150m at the peak of the market to closer to $50m, putting significant pressure on debt providers that have backed these purchases.
The Morgan Stanley fund is expected to target investing in up to 40 of these ships, mainly through buying up debt.
The bank is hoping to sign an agreement with its Greek shipping partners this week.
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5273928/Morgan-Stanley-fund-to-invest-in-shipping.html


Spoiling the fun in funds
New investment funds are raising a couple of billion dollars to take advantage of the distressed prices to which many asset classes in shipping are sinking. With leverage, these funds could muster financial firepower of perhaps $5bn or $6bn.
Most of the funds are based on the apparently simple concept of buying low and selling high, with hopefully the bonus of some trading profits between entry and exit.
However, nothing is that straightforward. Timing is crucial for the relative success or failure of each vehicle. They must invest in tonnage not only at the bottom of the market, but also as close to the start of the recovery as possible.
Shipping is now in a state of limbo. Stakeholders such as owners and banks, as well as investment funds and private equity, are waiting to see whether there is a prolonged move into freight rate hell which will also lead to a fire sale of tonnage.
Owners will not want to be panicked into selling their assets too cheaply. The banks appear to be supporting their clients by solving loan covenant problems, and there is no indication they have undertaken repossessions on a significant scale.
The funds may have the financial firepower but owners and banks are not yet ready to let them have all the fun.
Source: By Lloyds List Comment, Wednesday 6 May 2009