Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 49 - 2009


Greek banks arrest Mediterranean Maritime vessel

---Keith Wallis - Friday 4 December 2009
Lawyers acting on behalf of two Greek banks have arrested the 1984-built handymax bulker Med Integrity in Hong Kong over more than $45.4m in unpaid loan payments, interest and expenses.
The 43,381 dwt ship is one of three vessels beneficially owned by Mediterranean Maritime in Piraeus.
The ship was arrested by lawyers working for Richards Butler on behalf of FBB-First Business Bank and Proton Bank.
The move came after the owner of the ship failed to make interest payments in August and September on a $50m loan agreed in July last year to help finance the acquisition of the ship.
The terms of the loan had already been renegotiated in March after the owners were unable to meet the original loan repayment conditions.
The actual loan repayments on the new repayment schedule were not due to start until next month.
The balance of the claim is made up of interest and other expenses up to November 30.
The bank also pointed out that the 1984-built, 41,875 dwt bulker Med Dignity had been arrested in Piraeus due to unpaid debts. The ship has since been renamed Krairatch Dignity.
The 1990-built, 48,320 dwt handymax Med Trust was also held at a ship repair yard in China because that repair bills had gone unpaid.
The owner of Med Integrity has 14 days to respond after being served with the writ.
Med Integrity was arrested just over a month after six general cargo ships were sold for $14m at auction after being seized over outstanding mortgages totalling around $20m owed to DVB Bank. The ships are believed to have been bought by DVB Bank which sold them on to Spanish owners.

Logothetis splashes out $325m on 'acquisition opportunity'
---The Logothetis family has made a dramatic re-entry into major shipowning splashing out $325m for the acquisition of UK-based Allocean Ltd and its fleet of 26 modern ships. Confirmation of the deal came December 3 ending more than a week of speculation in both London and Greece.
The acquisition by Lomar Corp, a subsidiary of the Libra Group, comes after a long period of selling ships by the Logothetis family as a fleet of over 60 had been whittled down to just a handful of units before the Allocean deal.
The fleet acquired comprises bulk carriers, container ships, LPG tankers, platform supply vessels (PSV), anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTS), a chemical tanker and a products tanker. It brings the Logothetis operation to 32 owned and managed vessels including three newbuildings currently on order.
In a statement confirming the deal, Adamantios Tomazos, coo of the Libra Group said the group sold ships between 2004 and 2006 but has been maintaining a small fleet in recent years, while building the Libra Group into a diversified global conglomerate.
"Meanwhile, we have been waiting patiently for a shipping acquisition opportunity such as this," said Tomazos.
According to the announcement, the $325m deal involves the purchase of the shares of Allocean Ltd and the Allocean Charters group of companies, both subsidiaries of Allco Finance Group, which entered administration and receivership in November 2008.
Lomar says the majority of the Allocean team will now join the London-based operation, and the process of integrating Allocean's fleet, team, operations and procedures is in full swing. The Allocean trading name will no longer be used.
Last July, Tufton Oceanic and private investment vehicle SIF, via a "distressed" fund, paid an unconfirmed $250m for a diverse 14-strong fleet managed by Allocean Charters (Singapore), formerly part of the Allco Finance Group, once one of Australia's biggest shipowners. It crashed November 2008 and has entered administration and receivership.
-- Filed: 2009-12-04

Greeks make 2009 a year to remember for ship disposals
---Greek shipowners have been selling older ships at the rate of more than one a day during 2009 as they readjust to the changed markets.
Although the usual emphasis is on the purchasing side of the market, hundreds of ships have been cleared out for both further trading and demolition.
Among the big sellers are some well-known names and some smaller companies.
With a margin of error for unreported or off-market deals, Trade-Winds's research shows that Greek owners had disposed of some 370 vessels by the end of November.
Diamantis Diamantides-controlled Marmaras Navigation has been one of the most active sellers, disposing of 15 bulkers built in the 1980s. Its fleet now stands at 23 vessels.
Marmaras has sold both for demolition and for further trading, with six ships going to the breakers and the remaining nine to new trading owners. The latest two reported sales last month of the 69,000-dwt Paschalis and 66,800-dwt Artaki (both built 1984) have not been confirmed.
Leading containership owner Costamare, which has an existing fleet of close to 50 boxships ranging from 1,000 teu to 9,450 teu, has whittled down its numbers by around a dozen units, all of which have gone for demolition. According to databases, the company still controls about eight 1970s-built containerships.
Thenamaris has also shed a substantial number of vessels this year but all of them have gone for further trading and based on reported prices have brought in some $277m to the company's coffers. Four suezmax tankers have been sold, three to Nordic American Tanker Shipping (NATS) and one to Chinese interests. Five bulkers have also been reported sold with four built in the 1980s.
Last month alone, Thenamaris was said to have sold the 74,000-dwt Seawind (built 1996) to Vietnamese interests for $22.5m and the 41,000-dwt Searider (built 1984) and Seaboxer II (built 1983) for $5.5m each. After delivery of the latest disposals, the owner will be left with just five bulkers but boasts a tanker fleet of 31 comprising two VLCCs, five suezmaxes, 16 aframaxes and eight medium-range (MR) products tankers.
Cyprus Maritime, a company that has been out of the headlines for some time, has emerged as having sold seven ships this year, all for demolition except for two.
Oceanstar Management, a company that started clearing out ships last year, has shed about a dozen vessels so far in 2009, the majority of which have been broken up. After reducing the ships under its control to just four, Oceanstar made its first renewal purchase in October.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 00:00 GMT, 04 Dec 2009 | last updated: 15:02 GMT, 03 Dec 2009

Globus Maritime Announces Agreement to Sell Handymax Dry Bulk Carriers
Delivery of the two vessels to their new owner is expected to take place by early February 2010, at the option of Globus.
Taking depreciation and amortization into account, the Company expects to realize a book loss of approximately US$6.3 million on this sale. Globus intends to utilize the cash proceeds to repay bank debt and further strengthen its liquidity.

TEN Limited: Charter to generate at least $32 million in gross revenue

Katseli's contancts in NY
--- NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli continued her contacts with senior officials of major American monetary organisations on Friday.
Katseli, who addressed the 11th annual forum of the Capital Link company on Thursday on the theme of "Greece: preparing recovery", also had the opportunity to exchange views with many businessmen of Greek descent.
In an interview with the Bloomberg television network on Friday, Katseli said that the new government has three challenges to tackle: to provide an impetus for the economy since a decrease in economic activity and an increase in unemployment are being noted, to decrease the deficit in the next three years and to solve the problem of competitiveness, attracting investments and supporting entrepreneurship.
Referring to competitiveness, she said that Greece is one of the most advanced countries concerning shipping and added that the new government wants the country to become competitive in other sectors as well.
Katseli also said that during her contacts in New York she realised that Americans have a great interest in investments in Greece in the sectors of tourism, culture, new services, infrastructures and telecommunications, adding that the government will do all that it can to turn the country's advantages into opportunities for investments.
Caption: Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli addresses the 11th annual forum of the Capital Link company on Thursday 3 December 2009 in New York. ANA-MPA/DIMITRIS PANAGOS
Source: Athens News Agency - ?Dec 5, 2009?

Private LNG On Its Way
---The import of the first private LNG quantities by Vardinogiannis and Mytilineos Groups seems to be on track.

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Training and crewing: Gods and gulls keep crews informed
Many of these messages are passed on by the towering figure of Poseidon, the Ancient Greek god of the sea, and by a cartoon seagull. The latter features in a memorable advertisement shown on Greek television each summer targeted at the beach-going general public.
Source: Safety At Sea - Magazine - Features 03 Dec 2009