Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 25 - 2010
--- * Monday 21 June 2010, * by Nigel Lowry
Political responsibility for ocean-going sector now handed to ministry for Protection of the Citizen
GREECE has transferred political responsibility for its ocean-going shipping industry to the ministry for Protection of the Citizen, headed by Michalis Chrysohoidis.
The sector had been under the aegis of a newly-formed Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping, headed by Louka Katseli, since last October.
Nonetheless, the Union of Greek Shipowners only recently underlined that it hoped for a full restoration of an independent ministry for shipping.
Owners have complained that the economics ministry, struggling to respond to the country's wider economic crisis, has not been devoting sufficient time to the industry.
The move, wrought by a special presidential decree, comes a full two months after the government was widely reported as having made the decision. Reasons for the delay have not so far been offered.
Greece, beleaguered by its severe fiscal crisis and subsequent austerity measures, is being courted by a nation that could never be accused of being slow to spot plum investment opportunities.
Friends like these
As China teams up with Greece, Libya sees opportunities to do business with the Greeks. Libya and Greece have signed an accord that paves the way for strategic co-operation.
The memorandum of understanding between the two countries covers co-operation in investment, energy (oil and gas) tourism, food production, finance and renewable energy.
Greece is in the middle of a severe economic crisis, but with friends like China and oil-rich Libya, the tunnel begins to look less dark.
$615M value of the deals, covering joint ventures, charter agreements and shipbuilding schemes
Source: Fairplay - Trade 24 Jun 2010
Katseli raises possibility of Shanghai listings
---Greek shipping companies are said to be exploring the possibility of listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, as the Chinese consider relaxing some of the stringent conditions covering a listing. Economy, Competitiveness & Shipping minister, Louka Katseli, raised the matter during discussions with Shanghai bourse president, Geng Liang while in China last week.
In her meeting with Geng, the Greek minister sought an explanation of what the Chinese authorities were thinking, as she is aware some Greek owners have expressed an interest in the Shanghai exchange. She noted there are some 22 Greek companies presently established in Shanghai and it is understood some of them would like an introduction to the exchange. Altogether, more than 50 Greek companies are based in China.
The growing importance of China to Greece as a trading partner was underlined during Katseli's visit. She used her June 21 address to the Economic Club of China to woo further investment in Greece. In her meetings with officials generally she emphasised the role of Greek ships in transporting Chinese products and the business Greeks are placing in Shanghai shipyards.
Before returning home with her delegation June 23, Katseli and China's Commerce minister, Chen Deming, signed five agreements covering exports of Greek products to China and Chinese investment in Greece.
With top transportation official, Chen Jun, she discussed the possibilities for further expansion of cooperation. Greece will also take part in a business forum to be held in China on September 8, presenting Greece's investment proposals.
Katseli's visit, which took in Beijing and Shanghai, was a follow-on from talks held in Athens and Piraeus at the middle of this month when a high-profile delegation from China spent four days in Greece and left with a bundle of newbuilding contracts from Greek shipowners, and agreements penned covering shipping, logistics, construction and the export of olive oil. -- See Newsfront, Vol 11, Nr 24
During Katseli's visit it was disclosed that Chinese communications company, Huawei Technologies, is considering moving its handling and distribution centre from Hungary to Greece. The company has been doing business with Greece since 2005 but is keen to expand in the technology sector, especially in maritime communications, a market it believes can be developed.
Meanwhile, Cardiff Marine is set to expand its links with China through a jv planned with Cosco Bulk Carrier (Cosbulk). A LOI was signed by Cosbulk's md, Xu Zunwu, during the visit to Greece by the Chinese business and political delegation, just prior to Katseli's delegation leaving for China. Other than news of the LOI no details about the agreement have been released.
Cardiff, the private company of George Economou, and manager of the Economou-led US-listed DryShips fleet, is already a major charterer to the Chinese. Indeed, the signing of the draft understanding took place just after a London high court ruled Cosbulk, charterers of DryShips' 2004-built 76,000dwt Saldanha, seized by pirates in February 2009 is liable to pay the multimillion dollar freight hire of the vessel which lost almost 10 weeks time as a result of being hijacked. Cosbulk, is yet to decide if it will appeal the landmark decision of Justice Gross who decided a vessel fixed on the widely used NYPE 46 charterparty remained on hire during the period it was under the control of pirates. Justice Gross was upholding the unanimous decision of an arbitration tribunal that the Saldanha remained on hire during the period lost through a pirate detention.
The ruling is seen as an important one for the industry and legal circles believe several other disputes over payment for charter hire during a pirate hijacking may now be resolved.
-- Filed: 2010-06-23
Seamen defy ruling with strike
In a related development, the Piraeus Port Authority warned that nine decommissioned passenger ferries that have been moored at Piraeus for the past 10 months pose a risk to other ferries coming in to dock and should be removed.
Greece is renewing its 20,000 DWT vessels more as the age has fallen to 12.36 years in 2010
---Michael Roberts - 22.06.2010
A newly published report by Petrofin research finds that the Greek fleet is continuing to adapt to external challenges and opportunities as well as evolve. This is evidenced by the 2.3% fall in the number of vessels, through scrapping and disposal of older vessels and their replacement by new or younger vessels. The improvement in age has continued, underlining the commitment of Greeks towards ownership of younger vessels. It is significant that the age of the Greek fleet with over 20,000 DWT vessels has fallen from 19.3 years in 2003 to only 12.36 years in 2010, with the tanker fleet leading the way with an age of only 9.9 years. The trend towards larger vessels has also continued and this has resulted in an ever rising fleet of 242, 802, 092 DWT.
Seeing the increased importance of the Far East region, Greek owners have developed strategies to exploit such opportunities in chartering, ownership, finance, as well as shipyards. The continuous growth and evolution of the Greek fleet shall continue to depend on the state of the shipping markets and the willingness of banks to finance its requirements. What is undoubted, though, is the commitment, liquidity and flexibility of Greek owners, that has kept Greek shipping at the top of shipping nations in the world. Source; Petrofin Research
46 New Orders. Greeks in top gear.
Greek related owners continue to drive the market for new ships giving an enormous boost to Korean and Chinese yards. A number of rumoured contracts have now been confirmed and Greeks are also busy in taking over newbuilding resale ships.
Source: BRL SHIPPING CONSULTANTS, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.brldata.com
Diana Shipping Inc. Subsidiary Agrees to Acquire Containerships
---ATHENS, Greece, June 21, 2010 - Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, today announced that Diana Containerships Inc., its majority-owned subsidiary formed for the purpose of investing in containerships, has entered into agreements to acquire two 3,400 TEU newbuilding containerships built at TKMS Blohm + Voss Nordseewerke GmbH, Emden, Germany from a third-party seller for a purchase price of Euro 37,300,000 each (approximately US$45.5 million based on the Euro/Dollar exchange rate as of June 8, 2010).
The first vessel is scheduled to be delivered to Diana Containerships Inc. by June 25, 2010, and the second is scheduled to be delivered between July 5 and July 15, 2010. Upon delivery, the first vessel is scheduled to be employed on charter with A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S for a period of minimum nine (9) to maximum twelve (12) months at a gross daily rate of US$16,000.
As previously announced, Diana Shipping has made an investment of US$50 million in Diana Containerships Inc., representing approximately 55% of the issued and outstanding shares of the new entity, with the balance of the common shares held by institutional and accredited investors that acquired the shares in a private transaction.
Technomar pays $125m for five Offen ships
---Boxship owner Technomar Shipping of Greece has embarked on a major renovation of its fleet with a $125m purchase from German shipowner Claus-Peter Offen.
George Youroukos-run Technomar has picked up a series of five 10-year-old 2,500-teu ships for a reported $24.5m each.
However, they have been without employment for some time and some have not appeared on fixture lists since late 2008.
There have been relatively few containerships of this size and age sold in the past two years.
But the signs are that the sale of the Samsung-built Santa Alexandra, Santa Annabella, Santa Arabella, Santa Adriana (all built 2000) and Santa Alina (built 2001) points to a continued rise in asset values.
London broker Clarksons puts the indicative value of a 10-year-old boxship in the 2,399-teu to 2,900-teu range at around $20m, which is way up compared with around $13.75m during the past year.
The closest benchmark might be the sale of the 2,008-teu Oder Trader (built 1998) to Greek owner Euroseas for $15.85m, or a couple of 2,500-teu newbuildings that were sold in February to Turkish owner Arkas for EUR 23.75m ($29.1m) each.
The sales will make little difference to the Offen fleet, which continues to expand in the larger post-panamax segment. It took delivery recently of the 14,000-teu MSC Genova (built 2010), which is one of around a dozen vessels of this size that the company has or plans to charter to Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) over the next two years.
The deal marks a return to the market by Technomar, which last bought boxships at the end of 2006.
Since then, it has scrapped several smaller vessels in the 1,810-teu to 2,941-teu range.
The new acquisitions could take its fleet up to 19 boxships of between 1,442 teu and 5,468 teu, although many of its older ships are reaching the end of their lives.
How Technomar plans to employ the latest purchases remains to be seen but it has in the past struck a working relationship with Evergreen, from whom it has acquired more than 22 ships with charters attached.
By Ian Lewis Genoa
Published: 21:59 GMT, 24 Jun 10 | updated: 20:18 GMT, 23 Jun 10
Thenamaris vessels begin AMOS roll-out
SpecTec notes that the number of new software licences implemented during the first five months of 2010 has now reached 315, slightly higher than the corresponding period in 2009. Upgrades to the latest versions of AMOS by existing users has reached 272.
Goldenport Holdings Inc - Proposed Placing and Open Offer to raise US$35m
RNS Number : 2445O
Goldenport Holdings Inc
25 June 2010
This announcement is for information only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, securities of the Company in the United States or in any other jurisdiction. This announcement should not be forwarded, published or distributed directly or indirectly, in or into the United States or any of the other Excluded Territories.
The Issue Price of 127 pence represents a 1.55 per cent. discount to the Closing Price on the London Stock Exchange of 129 pence on 24 June 2010, being the latest date practicable prior to this announcement.
Publication of Prospectus
The Prospectus containing details of the Placing and Open Offer will shortly be approved by the UKLA.
A paper copy of the Prospectus will be posted today to Shareholders and also made available in electronic form on the Company's website at www.goldenport.biz.
Captain Paris Dragnis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Company commented:
"Consistent with our strategy of prudent and properly timed growth, we seek to take advantage of the gradual global economic recovery and the improving fundamentals of the shipping industry. Our objective is to reinforce our Company's ability to continue pursuing accretive acquisitions.
"Our Company has a visible track record of value creation taking advantage of market opportunities. Since our IPO in April 2006, we have transformed our fleet from 17 vessels, 8 container and 9 dry bulk carriers, to 25 vessels, 11 containers and 14 dry bulk carriers, with a much younger age profile and a significant increase in capacity. We achieved this without sacrificing the health of our balance sheet and we maintained a regular dividend rewarding our shareholders even during the most difficult periods.
"Today, Goldenport comprises a large and modern fleet balanced between the container and dry bulk markets providing us with operational flexibility and stability. We enjoy significant cash flow visibility with upside potential, given that as of June 18, 2010, 89% of the combined available fleet days for 2010 and 63% for 2011 are fixed under time charter agreements with reputable counterparties. Finally, Goldenport is in a strong financial condition with adequate access to bank financing.
"Management maintains a significant shareholding in Goldenport, thereby aligning our interest with all other shareholders. Furthermore, we have agreed to take up the majority of our pro-rata entitlement under the Open Offer, thereby tangibly demonstrating our continued support of our Company and our belief in its prospects."
For further information, please contact:
Goldenport Holdings Inc.:
Christos Varsos, Chief Financial Officer, +30 210 8910 500
Globus Maritime to acquire a 2010 built Kamsarmax Carrier
---Globus Maritime Limited, a global shipping transportation company that owns and operates dry bulk carriers, announces that in line with its fleet renewal program it has agreed to purchase for USD 41,112,000 from an unaffiliated third party a 79,800 DWT Kamsarmax Bulk Carrier built in 2010 at an established Chinese yard.
The vessel is expected to be delivered to the company by the end of June 2010. Upon her delivery to the company she will fly the flag of Panama, and continue her deployment under a bareboat charter for a period of 5 years to a Far Eastern shipping entity.
On completion of this acquisition, Globus' fleet will comprise a total of five modern dry bulk carriers with a total carrying capacity of 319,952 DWT and a weighted average age of just 3.4 years, well below the industry average.
Mr George Karageorgiou CEO of Globus Maritime said that "Consistent with our strategy to own modern assets and seek accretive acquisitions at the proper time, we have today agreed to add a new Kamsarmax vessel to our fleet. This acquisition is expected to significantly enhance our revenue and earnings capacity, while further decreasing the weighted average age of our fleet."
NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces $148 Million Acquisition of Five Vessels
- Continues fleet expansion and extends newbuilding program
- Secures right of first refusal for three newbuildings
PIRAEUS, Greece, June 25, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) ("NewLead" or the "Company") today announced it has signed a Letter of Intent for the dropdown of five dry bulk vessels, including two newbuildings, and the right of first refusal for three newbuildings from Grandunion Inc. ("Grandunion"). The transaction is expected to be concluded in the third quarter of 2010.
Total consideration for the dropdown of the five vessels is approximately $148 million, which includes assumed debt and shipyard financing. NewLead also secured the right of first refusal for three 81,000 dwt Kamsarmaxes, being constructed at a first-class shipyard in Korea, scheduled for delivery in 2013 with long-term charters attached. As a result of this transaction, NewLead's fleet, including newbuildings, will consist of 24 vessels-nine product tankers and 15 dry bulk carriers.
Michael Zolotas, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "NewLead continues to expand its fleet in line with its growth strategy. Since NewLead's recapitalization during the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company acquired 17 vessels, including five newbuildings, while divesting inefficient non-core vessels and exiting the container sector. By expanding and diversifying the fleet, NewLead has positioned itself to capture opportunities in the two segments in which it operates. We will continue to pursue our fleet growth strategy as we build the Company's competitive position."
NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international shipping company that owns and operates product tankers, and dry bulk vessels. NewLead's common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market where it trades under the symbol "NEWL". To learn more about NewLead Holdings Ltd., please visit the new website at www.newleadholdings.com.