Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 29 - 2010


Draft bill lifting cabotage tabled

--- ANA - ?Jul 21, 2010?.
A draft bill to lift cabotage and allow non-EU flagged cruiseships to call at Greek ports was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. The government anticipates that lifting cabotage rules will help develop maritime tourism in the country and also boost Greek firms linked to the sea cruise market.
The draft bill strives to make it possible for its provisions to apply during the current tourism period, with procedures designed to allow the signature of contracts between the state and shipping companies in just 30 days.
The draft bill regulates issues concerning the employment and insurance of Greek seamen hired on cruise ships, as well as collecting a special levy for each passenger to be paid into a seamen's unemployment and health fund, investments by shipping companies and terms for the extension or early termination of a contract. It also stipulates that the precise content of contracts will be decided through a joint decision of the finance and culture and tourism ministries.
For Greek seamen, it provides that they will work under the terms envisaged by the collective labour agreement for their sector and will continue to be insured with their current social insurance fund, in accordance with Greek legislature.
Early termination of the contract between the state and shipowner can be initiated by the state if a violation of the terms of the contract is observed, while there are also terms that allow the shipowner to initiate termination.
The draft bill stipulates that the ship carrying out cruises must transport more than 49 passengers and that the duration of the cruise must be at least 48 hours, with a minimum 12-hour stay in the port from which the cruise begins. They must also carry out a round trip, beginning and ending the cruise at the same port.
Other conditions for allowing vessels of third countries to call at Greek ports are that the country in question allows EU and EEA-flagged cruise ships to dock at its own ports and that they first sign a three-year contract with the Greek State. Concerning the special levy for each passenger, the bill provides that this will be reduced by 7 percent for every Greek port that the ship calls at during the cruise, with the exception of the port of embarkation.
Article four of the bill provides for the issue of temporary permits from the economy, competitiveness and shipping industry to shipping firms carrying out cruises until the contracts with the state are signed by December 31, 2010 at the latest.

Greek owners stick to orders despite dry bulk slump
* Tuesday 20 July 2010 * by Nigel Lowry
No signs that bulk freight slump has weakened Greek owners commitment to spree of orders
According to Mr Banos, any fears that certain projects might not be seen to conclusion stemmed from problems with issuance of refund guarantees, which pertained mainly to medium-sized South Korean yards, and from a liquidity squeeze at certain Greek banks.
Even though China has been cited by some as matching or even exceeding Korea in gaining shipbuilding contracts during the first half of the year, for the Greek market South Korean builders have so far retained their lead.
Altogether Greek owners ordered almost $5bn worth of newbuildings in the first six months of the year.
Bulk carriers were dominant with Greeks ordering 93 bulkers at a cost of about $3.4bn.

Traditional lending is back
---Michael Bodouroglou says shipping banks are returning to the game but are not willing to take the same risks as seen during the boom.
Syndicated shipping loans reached their lowest level in over six years during the second quarter with only $3.4bn handed out, figures from Dealogic show.
Speaking on the same panel, Akis Tsirigakis of Star Bulk says there is a clear divide between public and private companies.
Joseph Royce, CEO of TBS International, believes there has been an improvement in the availability of loans but banks are still very selective about who they deal with.
By Andy Pierce in London
Published: 13:35 GMT, 23 Jul 10 | updated: 14:01 GMT, 23 Jul 10

Restis group completes '$100m offshore opportunity'
---The Restis group has entered the offshore sector after completing a takeover of Norwegian shipowner, Aries Offshore Services. The Victor Restis-led company bought the controlling interest from Mons Bolin and Gabriel Petridis' Aries Energy Corp for an unconfirmed $100m.
At the end of May it was reported Restis was closing in on the purchase of the Norwegian owner and its fleet of four platform supply vessels (PSVs), with a price of around $100m on the table.
Costas Koutsoubelis, cfo of the Restis Group, said in a statement: "We have been looking for an opportunity to enter the offshore supply shipping industry for some time, and view Aries Offshore as a platform for future growth within this shipping segment."
Per Ivar Fagervoll, ceo of Aries, which will continue to operate from Alesund, Norway, said the takeover will provide fresh capital for fleet expansion. It has been seeking investors for some time.
Petridis had acknowledged the offshore subsidiary was struggling after it became engaged in a costly legal fight when a charterer failed to pay its yard bill for extensive modifications to the 5,300dwt Aries Swan, built 2005, which led to the ship's arrest, and loss of earnings.
-- Filed: 2010-07-20

Navios Maritime Acquisition to acquire seven VLCCs
The money to fund the purchases will be raised by taking on $453 mill in bank debt, another $123 mill will be in the form of cash and $11 mill through a share issue.
The final purchase price is subject to customary working capital adjustments, and consummation of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including third party consents, Navios said. The transaction is anticipated to close in September of 2010.
Angeliki Frangou, chairman and CEO said, "We are pleased to enter into this transformational transaction so shortly after having our original business combination approved. Only 90 days ago, Navios Acquisition was a concept.
Of the seven VLCCs, six are currently operating under long-term timecharters to Asia/Pacific-based shipping and petrochemical groups, including DOSCO (a wholly owned subsidiary of COSCO), a member of the Sinochem group, Formosa Plastics and SK Shipping.
The seventh vessel is currently under construction with delivery scheduled for June 2011.
The VLCCs have an average age of 8.6 and a remaining charter-out term of 8.8 years with an average timecharter rate of $40,440 net per day. Five of the seven charters come with profit sharing agreements.
Following this transaction, the 20 vessels will be contracted for 89.1% and 80.2% of their available days on a charter-out basis for 2010 and 2011, respectively.
S Goldman Advisors is acting as Navios Acquisition's sole financial advisor and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo and V&P Law Firm are acting as legal counsel.

CSAV continues charter-in spree
NYSE-listed Paragon expanded into the container field earlier this month with the purchase of two newly built 3,400teu vessels from German yard HDW for a total of $98M. The vessels, to be named Box Trader and Box Voyager, will start two-year timecharters to CSAV in August and September, Paragon said today.
CSAV, which flirted with bankruptcy at the height of the shipping crisis, has more recently embarked on an aggressive charter-in strategy.
Bodouroglou also announced that Paragon has sold its 1995-built Handymax bulker Clean Seas for an undisclosed price.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 21 Jul 2010

Execution in the Face of a Fed Fire Storm
---Genco prices and upsizes despite Bernanke comments which sent market tumbling
Credit due Genco team and Deutsche led Bookrunners Genco Shipping and Trading priced their concurrent Convertible Senior Notes and Common Stock during a day which at first saw the US equity markets trading up until Fed Chairman Bernanke threw cold water on the prospects of economic growth midday, following which the NYSE and NASDAQ suffered dramatic and swift losses.
It is also testament to the transaction execution accomplished by Deutsche Bank Securities, as left lead, BNP Paribas Securities and Credit Suisse Securities who acted as Joint Book Running managers for the offerings. Credit Agricole Securities, DVB Capital Markets, and Knight Capital Markets acted as co-managers for the offerings.
The convertible bond priced at the mid-point of the premium range at 22.5% and at the wide end of the coupon range at 5.0%. The equity deal priced at $16 a 1.1% discount from the last trade compared to an average discount of 5.3% for all follow-on YTD 2010. There was strong institutional demand for the offering from outright investors. For the equity portion only, institutional investors were 65% to 35% retail.
The net proceeds from these offerings will go to fund a portion of the aggregate purchase price for its previously announced acquisitions of 13 drybulk vessels from affiliates of Bourbon SA and five drybulk vessels from affiliates of Metrostar Management Corporation as well as for general corporate purposes.
The Company also announced yesterday two new loan facilities in the total amount of USD 353m with a tenor of between five and seven years and an interest rate of LIBOR + 3%. As per Q1 GNK had a USD 156.4m cash balance, which means the Company has sufficient resources to meet it's capex commitments.
It completes a winning week for Deutsche Bank Securities where Craig Feuhrer and his team completed 3 enormous capital markets transactions in just 7 days.
For the Peter Georgiopoulos originated Genco and the company team led by Gerry Buchanan and John Wobensmith, the transactions represent 31% of the predeal market cap and pushes forward a sudden burst of acquisition activity with an enormously competitive capital cost structure, modest dilution in a public model that has proven extremely powerful. The company will have a diversified drybulk fleet of 53 vessels representing a total DWT capacity of 3.8 million tons.
Source:, Freshly MInted newsletter, VOLUME 8, ISSUE 29, July 22, 2010

Cyprus to become major oil trading hub
---By Charles Charalambous Published on July 23, 2010
The tanks will be served by four to six jetties to be built one kilometre from the shore, allowing large sea-going tankers with a draught of up to 17 metres to deliver or load products.
Vitol Group Director of Corporate Affairs Mark Ware added that most Middle East countries produce crude oil but are showing an increased demand for refined oil products, so countries like Jordan could go for the cheaper option of importing these from the Vassiliko terminal rather than investing in refinery infrastructure.
Nijst said that the advantages offered by a storage terminal include the capacity for consolidating smaller shipments, blending products to different specifications and targeting demand from particular local markets.