Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 06 - 2010


Greeks order four Kamsarmaxes

--- THREE Greek shipowners have ordered four Kamsarmax bulk carriers from SPP Plant & Shipbuilding in South Korea.
Target Maine has contracted the other two ships, both of which are due for delivery in 2012.
According to London-based shipbrokers, the vessels have been priced at about $35-36M per ship.
It is understood that the Target Marine order has replaced a failed contract for similar specification tonnage previously ordered at South Korean yard C&Heavy Industries.
These latest contracts brings the total orderbook for Kamsarmax ships at SPP yards up to 14 vessels.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 10 Feb 2010

Another 'big' first for the Angelicoussis group
--- Anangel Maritime Services has become the first Greek company to enter the VLOC market having successfully converted three VLCCs into VLOCs with a fourth due next year. The conversions were undertaken in China and the three vessels in this new market sector have been chartered by steel mills and trade mainly from Brazil to China. The fourth is chartered by a large mining company.
"We have now converted three VLCCs into VLOCs and the fourth will be delivered early next year," said Leonidas Zissimatos, technical director of the John Angelicoussis-controlled Anangel Maritime Services, the dry bulk arm of Greece's largest group, which also operates Greece's largest fleet under the Maran Tankers Management banner.
"The VLCC-VLOC conversion is a rather difficult and demanding exercise which has to be taken very, very seriously. Our group has always taken entering new markets seriously, and we have done exactly the same this time." Indeed, according to DNV, the classification society that worked with the Greek company on the project, Anangel has spared no effort or cost to make absolutely sure the newly converted vessels will be robust, well-equipped and well-organised to ensure the ships achieve optimum performance at sea, good turnaround times in port and guaranteed longevity. "These are all important factors for the economics of the exercise," comments DNV's Magne A. Roe about the conversions.
Undertaken by the Cosco group, cost of the project has never been officially released, but Newsfront understands the first three vessels cost in the region of $36m each, while the fourth around $17m. Athens-based Anangel has a fleet of 24 bulk carriers, mainly capesize and a few panamax ships plus the VLOCs, of about 3.95m dwt. Another 19 bulkers are on order.
Anangel has 12 capesize vessels on order in South Korea, six each with from Daewoo S & ME and STX. It also has six mini-capesize ships (114,500dwt) on order from Shanghai Shipyards. The mini-capesize is a new design with no established market. Such ships can take two 'stems' of a handymax and are shallow drafters. This makes them flexible and well suited for both the grain and coal trade.
Anangel mainly lifts iron ore cargoes going from Brazil to China on long-term contracts. The other main trade route is from Australia to China. For coal, the typical trade routes are Australia to China, South Africa to Indonesia, and Colombia to Europe and China.
"Everybody is an environmentalist," says Zissimatos. "Of course, we are as concerned about global warming as everybody else. Clearly the planet has become warmer over the past 20 years. It is crucial to find solutions to achieve environmental improvements in the long-term perspective. It is equally important to avoid rushing into adopting measures prematurely, before conducting an in-depth study of the effects of their implementation which will confirm and quantify their 'net positive effect' on the environment.
"Shipping should be active in promoting effective environmental improvements, and possibly be more active in ensuring that regulations are not adopted prematurely."
-- Filed: 2010-02-9

Almi adds to suezmax spree with deal for VLCC duo
--- Greek owner follows last year's 10-suezmax series with larger pair
Nigel Lowry - Wednesday 10 February 2010
ALMI Tankers has followed up its surprise pre-Christmas order for 10 suezmaxes with a deal for two very large crude carriers at the same yard, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, writes Nigel Lowry in Athens.
The Athens-based company, the tanker stablemate of dry bulk company Fairsky Shipping & Trading, has inked a letter of intent for two 318,000 dwt VLCCs.
Neither side foresees any obstacle to proceeding with the final contract.
Both shipbuilder and owner are casting a veil over the price of the two ships but reliable sources put the value of the order at close to $200m, with a price per vessel just shy of the $100m mark.
The major South Korean yards are generally quoting about $105m for a VLCC, according to brokers, but the two Almi units are also said to be high specification.
The indications are that similar factors influenced the destination of the VLCC order. Daewoo is said to have been readier than some rivals to face the reality of the sharp dive in VLCC prices.
The new deal closely echoes the philosophy of the suezmax project, which envisages deliveries in 2012-2013.
The VLCC agreement stipulates deliveries in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 and it is understood that the terms once again include a 40% upfront payment.

Almi waits to finance ship orders
--- An ambitious Greek owner still needs $500m to fund its portfolio.
A Greek owner is pursuing a huge newbuilding programme even though it still needs to secure more than $500m of borrowing.
Almi Tankers of Greece says it prefers to wait for lending conditions to improve before it seeks bank finance for its $840m tanker-newbuilding portfolio, which now includes VLCCs.
Company chairman Costas Fostiropoulos says he has a verbal agreement with six banks to fund the projects but says he is "in no rush" to firm up that commitment.
Fostiropoulos is hanging on in the belief that current tough borrowing conditions will ease before he has to secure funds to see the orders through.
Almi, the wet arm of dry-bulk player Fairsky Shipping & Trading, signed up for two 317,000-dwt units this week at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Delivery is slated for the third and fourth quarters of 2013. Fostiropoulos is not willing to disclose the price but TradeWinds understands it is close to $100m per ship.
The order follows a previous 10-ship deal at Daewoo for 158,000-dwt tankers for delivery from the end of 2011 to 2013. That deal is worth a total of $640m and was sealed in late December.
Fostiropoulos says he has placed a cash down payment of 40% on all the vessels at Daewoo. Loans for the outstanding amount will be covered by six banks with HSBC leading the pack. The others are National Bank of Greece, Emporiki Bank, Alpha Bank, DVB Bank and Piraeus Bank.
Fostiropoulos adds that they have not formed a syndicate nor will the loans take the form of mezzanine finance. The banks, he says, have formed a "club" orchestrated by HSBC, which has been looking after the owner's commercial activities over the years.
Fostiropoulos deliberately turned his back on a written commitment by the banks, saying it was "too expensive" to sign for loans at this point. The banks, he says, are offering finance at the London interbank offered rate (Libor) plus a 3% margin. The owner says he has been "spoiled" with loan arrangements in previous years that were achieved at Libor plus 0.75%.
Fostiropoulos hopes margins will decrease and says he will "be happy if they go down to 1% or even 1.5%".
He adds that there is plenty time to conclude the loans before the first five suezmaxes are delivered in 2012. If bank margins remain at current levels, he says he will have no choice but to take them.
The time to order ships is now, Fostiropoulos notes, while the yards are offering competitive prices with good delivery dates.
Meanwhile, the owner is not expecting grim times ahead. The finance world went into turmoil after September 2008 but he says this only interrupted a structural change that was already in the process with the economies of Brazil, China, India and Russia growing rapidly. This is still the case, he adds, and they will need to be serviced by shipping.
Fairsky controls a fleet of 14 bulkers in the water and Almi another two aframax products tankers built in 2007 and 2005. All the vessels, Fostiropoulos says, have zero bank debt and "produce an operating surplus every year".
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 00:00 GMT, 12 Feb 10 | updated: 13:21 GMT, 11 Feb 10

Veniamis calls for reinstatement of shipping ministry
--- Nigel Lowry - Thursday 11 February 2010
But he held out scope for optimism that at least a partial shift in policy by the government could be under consideration.
Reiterating Greek support for a global solution led by the International Maritime Organisation, Mr Veniamis called for all parameters to be taken into proper account so that the eventual measures adopted would guarantee a net environmental benefit.

Dahlman Rose: Safe Bulkers -4Q Earnings Stronger than Expected; Recent Newbuild Orders Highlight Strong Capital Position
>Safe Bulkers reported 4Q09 EPS of $0.45, excluding a derivatives loss and other small non-recurring items.The results beat our $0.41 forecast, but were in line with the consensus estimate. The beat against our estimates stems primarily from lower than expected g&a, interest, and operating expenses. The company declared a $0.15 dividend for the quarter payable February 26th to shareholders of record February 19th.
>The company has been active in its fleet development, acquiring two additional Post-Panamax newbuilds for 2010 and 2012 delivery. Both vessels are 95,000 dwt, and we estimate the cost to be approximately $40-$42 million each. The vessels are to be constructed at Imabari, the same Japanese yard as a third Post-Panamax newbuild previously ordered by the company. Safe Bulkers now has a total of 6 newbuilds on order, three of which are contracted, including both its Capesize newbuilds.
>We maintain our Buy rating and $10 price target on SB shares.Over the next three years, Safe Bulkers time charter coverage stands at 86%, 59%, and 51% respectively, providing investors with strong visibility, built in growth, and a solid yield. Safe Bulkers has highlighted is strong capital position through continued acquisition of vessels over the past several months, and we believe its shares are attractively valued. Our $10 price target is based on a target of 8x 2010 EV/EBITDA.
Source: Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC