Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 31 - 2009

 

Remi newbuilding tankers up for resale

---Two products/chemical tankers ordered by companies connected with Remi Maritime of Greece were put up for sale by public tender this week after the buyer failed to take delivery.
The 20,000-dwt, ice-class 1A newbuildings were built at Soli Shipyard in Kocaeli, Turkey, and are the last two of the four ships bought by Remi for a reported $40m each in March last year.
The Malmo, the first of the four, was delivered in August 2008 and then the Madeiro in November.
According to previous statements made by Soli's strategic-planning manager, Timur Nakkas, Hulls No 6 and No 7 were due to be delivered to respective owners Nikaia Navigation and Chalkidon Maritime in February and May.
Leonidas Polemis of Remi concedes that there is a dispute between his company and Soli but claims the ships were not finished by their scheduled delivery dates, including one that is not going to be ready until September.
"It's not as clear-cut as they say," Polemis commented. "There are a number of issues and, as in any dispute, each side will think that they are right," he added.
He indicates that the disagreement could go to arbitration but also says there may be the possibility of an amicable conclusion.
Published : July 31, 2009
Source: http://asiasis.com


Oceanstar clears out more MPPs
---A Greek owner is left with just four MPP units from a total of 15.
Oceanstar Management of Greece continues its wholesale clear-out of tonnage that has seen its fleet drastically reduced this year but has firm plans to buy replacement tonnage in the near future.
The company has now sold the 12,600-dwt multipurpose (MPP) cargoships Crimmitschau (built 1979) and Captain P (built 1980). Oceanstar's sale-and-purchase (S&P) manager George Ringos confirms the sales and says deliveries will be made within August. But because of confidentiality clauses he is unable to reveal the identity of the buyers or the price. It is being said that the ships have gone to a previous buyer of Oceanstar tonnage.
At the beginning of the year, Oceanstar was managing a 17-strong fleet comprising 15 MPP units and two bulkers. After the latest sales, it will be left with just four MPPs, two built in the 1970s and two in 1987.
Time-charter commitments for the 18,000-dwt Safmarine Angloa and Safmarine Texas (both built 1987) were recently renewed for a further year, while the other two ships are also chartered out for another six to seven months.
Ringos says the company has been inspecting ships with a view to buying soon and is looking at ships of 15 years of age or less in the handymax and panamax sectors.
"Definitely, we are going to buy vessels," he said. After disposing of 13 ships in a relatively short time and with around 40 personnel, Oceanstar needs to bring in some tonnage, he adds.
Oceanstar is willing to pay current asset prices for at least a couple of ships and will then see where the market goes. It is targeting several more vessel purchases by the end of the year.
"If you are doing this business as we do; if you are traditional shipowners, you have to stay in the market," Ringos said.
He comments that interest in younger vessels is high and some six to eight parties are turning up for inspections. Ringos believes that the big difference in today's market is that owners are sitting on a lot of cash and waiting for the right opportunities.
He believes post-2000-built tonnage is attractive because owners are afraid there may still be bad market for a few more years. Buying a ship that is already 15 years old would mean that after another two years of poor rates there would be a limited time in which the vessel could work profitably.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 23:00 GMT, 30 Jul 2009 | last updated: 12:54 GMT, 30 Jul 2009
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Frangou 'working on' more deals for Navios
---Nigel Lowry, Athens - Wednesday 29 July 2009
NAVIOS boss Angeliki Frangou has said there will be plenty of opportunities for strong dry bulk companies to repeat the success of a widely hailed deal for four capesizes that her principal listed company, Navios Maritime Holdings, unveiled last month.
Ms Frangou said that interest currently centred on distressed assets and led to newbuildings in which the equity had been wiped out, rather than secondhand deals.
Navios Partners, which is almost 47% owned by Navios Holdings, could also do such deals, she said.
Navios Partners had just posted increased operating surpluses, saying it foresaw steadier dry bulk demand ahead.
At the same time, not all companies would be able to avail themselves of growth opportunities, she said.
Piraeus-based Navios Partners almost doubled second quarter operating profits in comparison with the same period last year, reaching $11.4m.
Net income, however, was battered by the second quarter issue of 1m subordinated units to Navios Holdings to be relieved of its $130m obligation to purchase the newly built capesize Navios Bonavis.
Under US GAAP accounting this had to be recognised as a $6.1m non-cash expense bringing net earnings down to $3.6m, a 50% drop from the second quarter of 2008.
Adjusted net income for the quarter was $9.7m and net income for the first half was $12.6m compared with $11m in the first six months of 2008.
The additions have brought the fleet to 10 owned and long-term chartered ships, comprising nine panamaxes and one capesize, which are chartered out with an average remaining term of 4.4 years across the fleet.
Navios Partners has declared a distribution to shareholders of $0.40 per unit for the second quarter.
Source: http://lloydslist.com


FreeSeas Announces Extension and Re-Pricing of FREEW Warrants
---PIRAEUS, Greece, July 29, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FreeSeas Inc. (Nasdaq:FREE) (Nasdaq:FREEW) (Nasdaq:FREEZ) ("FreeSeas" or the "Company"), a transporter of drybulk cargoes through the ownership and operation of a fleet of seven Handysize vessels and two Handymax vessels, announced today that it is extending the expiration date and reducing the exercise price for its 786,265 outstanding Class W warrants currently listed under the ticker FREEW.
The expiration date of the Class W warrants is extended to December 31, 2009 and the exercise price per share is reduced to $2.50. The original expiration date of the Class W warrants was July 29, 2009 and the original exercise price per share was $5.00. Each Class W warrant entitles the holder to purchase one share of FreeSeas' common stock. All other terms of the Class W warrants remain unchanged.
About FreeSeas Inc.
FreeSeas Inc. is a Marshall Islands corporation with principal offices in Piraeus, Greece. FreeSeas is engaged in the transportation of drybulk cargoes through the ownership and operation of drybulk carriers. Currently, it has a fleet of seven Handysize vessels and two Handymax vessels. FreeSeas' common stock and warrants trade on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbols FREE, FREEW and FREEZ, respectively. Risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by FreeSeas Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be obtained free of charge on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov. For more information about FreeSeas Inc., please visit the corporate website, http://www.freeseas.gr.
Source: http://www.freeseas.gr/index-6.html


Danaos Corporation Reports Q2 and Half Year Results for the Period Ended June 30, 2009
---Athens, Greece, July 27, 2009 - Danaos Corporation ("Danaos") (NYSE: DAC), a leading international owner of containerships, today reported unaudited results for the period ended June 30, 2009.
Highlights for the Second Quarter and Half Year Ended June 30, 2009:
* Net earnings of $15.9 million or $0.29 per share and $35.9 million or $0.66 per share for the quarter and the half year ended June 30, 2009, respectively.
* Operating revenues of $79.1 million and $154.4 million for the quarter and the half year ended June 30, 2009, respectively.
* EBITDA of $49.0 million and $96.9 million for the quarter and the half year ended June 30, 2009, respectively.
Danaos' CEO Dr. John Coustas commented:
The second quarter results of 2009 came to net income of $15.9 million, or $0.29 per share. We managed to increase our fleet by adding one more newly built 4,253 TEU vessel, which immediately commenced its 12 year charter as planned. During this quarter, we secured waivers or amendments running through at least January 2010, for all the covenant breaches we had in relation to certain of our loan facilities and we are currently in the process of securing extensions for up to a full year ahead of such waivers, wherever this may be required.
On the operating cost side, we have again managed to prove very effective. We reduced our average daily operating cost per vessel by 2.5% on a quarterly basis compared to that in the second quarter of 2008.
During this quarter, we have also advanced our efforts to secure further bank financing in relation to our new building program and we believe we will be able to announce further details in the near future.
On the broader market front, we are still getting signals of a visible recovery based on volumes traded. Indeed, today there are certain routes where the vessels are once again running at capacity. This is a necessary preceding sign for any broader recovery in the sector. We believe that during the upcoming August - September peak season liner companies should be able to restore some pricing power on box rates, which will be important for both their financial outlook and the reduction of the risk premium that markets seem to assign to our industry today.
In closing, would like to stress our commitment as management and majority shareholders to doing everything necessary to achieve our corporate goals and safeguard our investments and their returns in the near and long term horizon.
Source: www.danaos.com


Aries Maritime Transport Limited Amends Previously Announced Letter of Intent
---ATHENS, Greece, Jul 27, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Aries Maritime Transport Limited (Nasdaq:RAMS) announced today that it has entered into an amendment to the previously announced letter of intent with Grandunion, Inc., a company controlled by Michael Zolotas and Nicholas Fistes. The letter of intent provides for a binding 60-day exclusivity period, presently expiring on August 23, 2009. The letter of intent also included a 30-day period for Grandunion, Inc. to procure an agreement with the Company's syndicate of lenders to make certain amendments to the Company's existing credit facility, which ended on July 24, 2009. The Company has waived this provision to permit negotiations with the syndicate of lenders to continue through the remainder of the 60-day exclusivity period.
About Aries Maritime Transport Limited
Aries Maritime Transport Limited is an international shipping company that owns and operates products tankers and container vessels. The Company's products tanker fleet consists of five MR tankers and four Panamax tankers, all of which are double-hulled. The Company also owns a fleet of two container vessels with a capacity of 2,917 TEU per vessel. Five of the Company's 11 vessels are secured on period charters. Charters for two of the Company's products tanker vessels currently have profit-sharing components.
Source: http://www.ariesmaritime.com/pop_news.php?news_id=107


Capital Product Partners L.P. Announces Q2 Financial Results and Amendment of Certain Loan Terms
---ATHENS, Greece, Jul 31, 2009 (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 second quarter ended June 30, 2009.
The Partnership's net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 was $8.0 million, or $0.32 per limited partnership unit, which is $0.03 less than the $0.35 per unit from the previous quarter ended March 31, 2009, and $0.19 lower than the second quarter last year. This drop compared to last year is primarily due to the absence of profit sharing revenues and higher interest expenses.
Operating surplus for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 was $11.5 million, less than the $11.9 million from the first quarter of 2009 and lower than the $15.7 million from the second quarter of 2008. Operating surplus is a non-GAAP financial measure used by certain investors to measure the financial performance of the Partnership and other master limited partnerships. (Please see Appendix A for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to net income.)
Revenues for the second quarter of 2009 were $31.2 million compared to $32.0 million of revenues in the second quarter of 2008. There were no profit sharing revenues in the second quarter of 2009 due to the very challenging spot market for both product and crude tankers throughout this period. In the second quarter of 2008 the profit sharing revenues amounted to $4.5 million.
Total operating expenses for the second quarter of 2009 were $16.0 million, including $8.0 million paid to a subsidiary of Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. (Capital Maritime), the Partnership's sponsor, for the commercial and technical management of the fleet, $7.0 million in depreciation and $0.6 million in general and administrative expenses, compared to $13.7 million for the second quarter of 2008. The increase is partly due to certain additional fees and costs incurred in relation to the technical management of our vessels. Interest expense and finance cost for the second quarter of 2009 totaled $7.5 million compared to $5.9 million for the second quarter of 2008. The increase in interest expense is due to the increased debt of the Partnership compared to a year ago, as well as an additional cost of $0.4 million, which is due to the increased funding costs of the banks, incurred in accordance with the terms of our existing loan agreements.
The product tanker spot market remained under severe pressure throughout the second quarter of 2009, as oil product demand continues to appear weak in each of the major OECD regions. U.S. refiners are increasingly able to satisfy domestic demand, the demand for imports of seaborne products globally has diminished and arbitrage opportunities are limited. The Suezmax spot market showed some resistance to the overall tanker market weakness due to increased demand for crude oil from Chinese and Indian refiners out of West Africa as well as from U.S. refiners in May in anticipation of the driving season. However, expectations for any substantial improvement in both the crude and product spot markets are currently low, which are increasingly reflected in the period and sales & purchase market.
Ioannis Lazaridis, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Capital Product Partners' general partner, said: "Against the backdrop of the most depressed tanker spot market of the last ten years, our performance in the second quarter has been solid. The stability of our revenues is the result of our chartering strategy and the excellent operational performance of our vessels is evidenced by the absence of any material off hire for another quarter. As has been previously announced, we further lengthened the duration of our charters by swapping two of our vessels, Assos and Atrotos, for two of Capital Maritime's vessels, the Agamemnon II and Ayrton II."
As of June 30, 2009, the Partnership's long-term debt remained unchanged compared to the end of 2008 at $474.0 million and partners' equity was $164.1 million. The remaining undrawn amounts under the terms of our debt facilities currently stand at $246.0 million.
Mr. Lazaridis highlighted: "Due to a significant deterioration in the tanker market, the Partnership obtained an amendment to certain terms in its loan agreements effective until end June 2012. The lenders under both facilities have agreed to increase the fleet loan-to-value covenant to 80% from 72.5%. It was also agreed to amend the manner in which market valuations of our vessels are conducted. In exchange, the interest margin for both of our credit facilities will increase to 135-145 bps over LIBOR subject to the level of the asset covenants. Currently the margin on our $370.0 million credit facility is 75bps over LIBOR and on our $350.0 million credit facility it is 110bps over LIBOR. All other terms in both of our facilities remain unchanged."
On July 23, 2009 the Partnership held its Annual General Meeting in Piraeus at which Abel Rasterhoff was re-elected as a Class II Director until the 2012 Annual Meeting of Limited Partners. In addition, a proposal to amend the Company's First Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership so that, in the case of any meeting of Limited Partners of the Company which has been adjourned for a second time due to absence of a quorum during the first two meetings, the holders of any Outstanding Units of the class or classes for which such meeting has been called represented either in person or by proxy shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of such meeting, provided that such votes present at the third convened meeting represent at least 25% of the outstanding units of the Company, was approved by the majority of the outstanding common units of the Partnership. No other actions were taken at the meeting.
On July 27, 2009, the Board of Directors of the Partnership declared a cash distribution for the second quarter of 2009 of $0.41 per unit, which is equal to the distribution for the first quarter of 2009. The second quarter cash distribution will be paid on August 14, 2009 to unit holders on record on August 6, 2009.
Mr. Lazaridis concluded: "The global economic and credit environment has seen little change over the last quarter and there are no visible prospects for a recovery. We continue to face a severe deterioration in the banking and credit world as well as a major global economic slowdown, whose duration is very difficult to forecast. The continuing weakness in the product and crude tanker market is widely acknowledged to have taken a substantial toll on both the period rates and asset prices but the limited transactions and fixtures taking place do not allow for a proper assessment of current market levels. The continuing poor state of the spot tanker market, the potential vessel deliveries for 2009 and the outlook for global oil demand in 2009, which remains weak (according to IEA -2.9% or -2.5 mb/d versus 2008), are all factors likely to have a further adverse effect on tanker vessel prices and period rates in the short- to medium- term. We have zero capital commitments to purchase or build vessels, we have amended a number of the terms in our loan facilities and our fleet's charter coverage for 2009 and 2010 stands at approximately 100% and 67%, respectively. However, the uncertain prospects for the rest of the year and the lack of tangible recovery signs for 2010 are all likely to have an adverse impact on our results and financial condition over time, particularly as vessels come up for rechartering."
Capital Product Partners will host a conference call to discuss its results today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (U.S.). The public is invited to listen to the conference call by dialing +1 888 935 4577 (U.S. and Canada, toll free), or +1 718 354 1389 (international); reference number 3529343#. 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 and to access or request a copy of its Annual Report, please visit our website: www.capitalpplp.com
Source: http://www.capitalpplp.com/investors/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=400223


Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. Reports Financial Results for 2Q and Six Months Ended June 30, 2009
---(NASDAQ: SHIP; SHIP.W) announced today its operating results for the second quarter and six month period ended June 30, 2009.
Six Months 2009 Financial Highlights:
Second Quarter 2009 Financial Highlights:
We also achieved our objective to grow our fleet within our first year of operations.
We believe that opportunities to acquire distressed assets will continue to present themselves and Seanergy is well placed to take advantage of them.
We have entered into long term charter agreements for our handy and our panamax vessels securing stable and visible cash flows with the added incentive of sharing into the potential market upside which can further enhance our revenues and profitability.
The Hamburg Max and African Zebra completed their scheduled drydockings on June 23, 2009 and July 20, 2009.
Acquisition of Bulk Energy Transport (Holdings) Limited:
Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. announced on July 15, 2009 that it had entered into an agreement with Constellation Bulk Energy Holdings, Inc. to purchase a 50% ownership interest in Bulk Energy Transport (Holdings) Limited ("BET") for nominal cash consideration.
As a result of the acquisition, the size of the Company's controlled fleet will increase to 11 dry bulk vessels with a carry capacity of approximately 1,043,296 dwt and an average fleet age of 13 years comprising of four Capesize, three Panamax, two Supramax and two Handysize dry bulk carriers.
Other Matters:
We are presently under active negotiations with our lender on an extension to be granted on our market value to loan covenant waiver, subject to the review of new charterparty agreements. Our lender has indicated its willingness to extend this waiver, which recently expired, until July 1, 2010.
We expect the extension of this waiver to be granted, thus the presentation of our long term debt in the attached financial statements assumes that the extension of this waiver will be granted and accordingly, substantially all of our long-term debt continues to be classified as non-current as of June 30, 2009.
Source: http://www.seanergymaritime.com/press/seanergy073009.pdf


Montenegro rejects Greek bid for stake in EPCG power monopoly, opts for Italys A2A
---Kalliope Gourntis - 31.07.2009
Montenegro rejected a bid submitted by Greek state-controlled Public Power Corporation (DEI) for a minority holding in the country's EPCG power monopoly as incompatible with tender rules.
"The Greeks have not said that they would sign all the transaction documents required," Deputy Prime Minister Vujica Lazovic told TV Vijesti. DEI has eight days to appeal the decision.
DEI offered 11.1 euros per share for an 18.3% stake in EPCG, or roughly 127 million euros, against 8.4 euros per share bid by A2A.
Montenegro had given DEI a deadline to drop all conditions attached to its bid. Senior sources familiar with the tender told Reuters that the Greek firm wanted an independent pricing policy; and did not wish to buy the stake its Italian rival bought in May.
A2A obtained a seat on EPCG's board in June, a month after buying a 15% holding through block trade transactions on the Montenegro bourse from local institutional shareholders for 122.7 million euros, or 7.1 euros per share.
Also in June, Italian investors pledged to invest up to 5.0 billion euros in energy projects and infrastructure in Montenegro, including construction of a 100-kilometre undersea power cable between the two countries with an initial capacity of 1,000MW. Montenegro will get a 20% share in the cable, Reuters said.
Vertically-integrated EPCG (www.epcg.co.me) has installed capacity of 868MW at its thermal and hydroelectric plants and more than 320,000 customers. Annual net generation is 2,045GWh.
Source: http://www.balkans.com/open-news.php?uniquenumber=17180869


Restis To Invest In Montenegro Resort
After running far behind schedule in reopening the island, the elite boutique hotel chain Amanresorts has turned to Victor Restis of the Restis Group to help fund a 30-million-euro reconstruction investment, said Livio Ranza, general manager of Aman Sveti Stefan, Reuters reports.
"With our Greek partner now we have all the papers to start and we have to resolve a few things with the Montenegrin government," Ranza said to Reuters.
Source: http://english.capital.gr/news.asp?id=784856


OW grows in Greece -
Source: www.mgn.com


Strike causes problems on Corfu-Igoumenitsa ferry route
---Serious traffic problems were reported on Saturday at the extreme northwest port of Igoumenitsa, as thousands of vehicles carrying tourists and vacationers for Corfu and the small isle of Paxos were lined up for several kilometres outside the port area, awaiting to board ferryboats.
The traffic jam stems from a two-day strike by crews on ferryboats servicing the Igoumenitsa-Corfu route. Backed up vehicles have also more-or-less choked off traffic in the town of Igoumenitsa.
Source: http://www.hri.org/news/greek/ana/2009/09-07-27.ana.html#05


Greece-Russia agree to extend shipping cooperation
---Greece has signed a bilateral agreement with the Russian Register of Shipping which promotes the two countries shipping relations. Under the agreement the Russian classification society, a member of IACS, is authorised to conduct inspections and issue certificates for ships under the Greek flag.
After the signing at the Marine, Aegean and Island Policy ministry, the minister, Anastasis Papaligouras, said the agreement "is in line with our desire for the development of free and healthy competition". The Russian Register's director general, Nikolay Alex Resetov, has confirmed the classification society is to open an office in Greece as part of its effort to get "closer to the Greek shipping community". At present there are almost 100 Greek-controlled ships of just in excess of 2m dwt class by the society.
Papaligouras noted that Greek/Russian shipping ties go back into the 18th Century and that the presence of the society in Greece "adds further to the Greek shipping cluster".
The agreement also extends to Greek companies in the context of international treaties, as well as European and national legislation on ship safety and the protection of the marine environment. With regard to the latter, the Russians are said to be considering joining the band of MEPAs -- marine environment protection associations -- insitagted by Greece and actively promoted by Helmepa -- Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association.
-- Filed: 2009-07-28
Source: www.newsfront.gr