Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 44 - 2010
--- * Friday 05 November 2010 * by Nigel Lowry
PEERING into the future for dry bulk shipping, not all Greek shipowners like what they see, although opinions remain divided.
While the Greeks can still point collectively to their pre-eminence in dry bulk shipowning, their longstanding place as the largest national presence in the business could be under threat as never before.
The causes of this vein of concern are the spectre of giant ore-carrying fleets being constructed for themselves by key end-users and the emergence of Chinese owners who, it is supposed, will seize an ever greater share of the carriage of Chinese trade in years to come.
There are, however, some unresolved questions as to how well the gambit will work out for the Brazilian giant.
Looking east, Greek owners have plenty of cause to be grateful to China, whose voracious demand for materials has been the saving grace of the bulk shipping market.
But as Chinese owners show determination in building up their own fleets, many Greeks are resigned to losing their mantle of being the largest nationality in bulk carrier owning sooner or later.
According to Athens-based shipbroking house Allied Shipbroking, up to November 1 Greek owners had been verified as the buyers of 123 bulkers secondhand and as newbuilding resales, compared with a round 100 purchased by Chinese buyers. The total is likely to be larger than this as buyers have not been identified in a significant number of vessel transactions.
The appetite for dry bulk tonnage might have been even higher were it not for a remarkable total of almost $1bn that has been invested by Greeks in containership purchases in the first 10 months of this year. Buyers have included a number of traditional bulk carrier concerns that have diversified in recent months, citing historically lower price levels for boxships than for bulkers.
Most of the buyers make a case for seeing greater upside potential in the container shipping market and calculate that prices for boxships this year have been at a historically lower point in their cycle than the prices for equivalent bulkers. The overhang of newbuildings on order in the sector is also lower than in dry bulk, with an equivalent lower threat of overcapacity.
When Greeks are acquiring dry bulk tonnage, they are conforming to their recent history and focusing on modern, quality vessels, shipbrokers confirm.
According to Cotzias Shipping Consultants, a contrast can be drawn between Greek owners and their Chinese rivals in both their existing fleet profiles and their recent buying habits, with Greeks on average acquiring smaller, younger and costlier ships than their Chinese counterparts.
At present, the average Greek-owned bulk carrier is a 13-year-old panamax, while in the Chinese-controlled fleet the typical vessel is a 16-year-old supramax.
Meanwhile, confirmed Chinese purchases have focused on bigger bulkers, averaging $20m per vessel, with an average age of 16.7 years.
The question of where traditional owners such as Greeks may be left by developments in the ore trades and China was a question posed at the recent Mare Forum-sponsored Ore & Coal Shipping Summit in Athens.
New greek bulk carrier orders in the first half of 2010
Type No of units dwt Total dwt Investment
Ultra cape 5 206,000 1,030,000 $340m
Capesize 7 180,000 1,260,000 $383m
Kamsarmax 55 81,000 4,396,400 $1.96bn
Panamax 2 76,000 152,000 $66m
Supramax 6 56,000 340,000 $176m
Handysize 18 35,000 630,000 $440m
Total 93 634,000 7,807,400 $3.37bn
Source: George Moundreas & Co
Maria Tsakos laid to rest on Chios island
---The shipping community has been stunned by the news of the death of Maria Tsakos.
Maria, the second child of Captain Panayotis Tsakos, died last Friday during a visit to New York after suffering a heart attack, sources close to the family confirm. She was 44.
After completing shipping studies in the UK and Switzerland, Maria began her shipping career at Sedgwick Insurance and shipbroker Gibsons. In 1992, she joined the family company handling a number of special projects.
Maria also sat on a number of industry committees including those of Helmepa and the London Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Club.
A public memorial service will be held this Saturday at 11am at the Church of St Nicholas in Piraeus.
Maria is survived by both her parents, her brother and his wife and their three children.
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 23:01 GMT, 04 Nov 10 | updated: 21:19 GMT, 03 Nov 10
Swift action need to stave-off bankruptcy in ferry sector
---Facing losses of Euro 270m Greek ferry companies have called for swift action on the part of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries minister, Yiannis Diamantidis, to stave off bankruptcy.
As well as facing bankruptcy, president of the Union of Maritime Enterprises (EEN), Apostolos Ventouris, said Diamantidis has to act if ferries services are to remain in Greek hands. Ventouris made his plea during a press conference, November 3, at the Commerce and Industry Chamber of Piraeus, for the presentation of a study by the Piraeus University which probes problems and the financial viability of Greece's ferry sector.
Ventouris said conclusions of the study undertaken by the university's research centre, must be carefully examined. He called on Diamantidis, to "examine seriously and responsibly the conclusions of the study and then move swiftly into law amendments so the Greek ferry industry can operate in a European model".
"This is the last chance to avoid the ferry companies becoming non-Greek, which beyond the transportation problems this will cause, there will be severe consequences to our national sovereignty," said Ventouris.
Ventouris reminded those present that for years EEN has been asking the Greek government to abolish mandatory third party reductions on ferry tickets, and also to abolish mandatory off-season discounts, and to harmonise Greek and European laws. The sector also seeks an end to the 10-month mandatory operation and crewing of ships and amending working codes that penalise ships' captains.
He also pointed out the research of the study shows all indexes in the ferry industry are heading remarkably down.
-- Filed: 2010-11-04
Attica Holdings: Board To Propose A 24.3 MLN Euro Capital Increase
---The Board of Directors of Attica Holdings S.A. convened today and wishes to announce that in an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders which will take place on Monday 29th November 2010, it will ask the shareholders to approve a share capital increase of Euro 24.3mln.
For more information please contact:
Tel.: +30 210 8919500,
Fax: +30 210 8919509
Costamare limps into listing
---GREEK box ship lessor Costamare confirmed today that it has priced its IPO, but at a steep 25% discount.
Costamare had targeted its sale of 13.3M shares at $15-17 per share. But it conceded today that pricing came in at just $12/share.
This equates to gross proceeds of $159.6M, far below the previously projected target of $212.8M.
Costamare owns 41 box ships totaling 211,882teu. APM, MSC and COSCO represent three-quarters of its timecharter counterparties.
It recently contracted four 3,351teu secondhand ships for delivery in December-February and three 9,000teu newbuildings for delivery in 2013-14.
In its road-show presentation, Costamare said it plans to use 21% of net IPO proceeds for the secondhand acquisitions, 29% for deposits on the newbuildings and 50% for future vessel acquisitions.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 04 Nov 2010
Frangou and Ambrosov Join UK P&I Club Board
---Thursday, November 4th, 2010.
Two directors were elected to the Board of the UK P&I Club at the AGM in Shanghai. Angeliki Frangou is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Navios Maritime Holdings Inc, Athens and of its affiliates Navios Maritime Partners LP and Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation which have eleven owned ships in the UK P&I Club with 368,362 gross tonnage entered. Evgeny N. Ambrosov is Senior Executive Vice-President of OAO Sovcomflot, Moscow which has 24 owned ships with the Club, amounting to 639,540 gross tonnage.
From 1990 to 2001, Ms. Frangou (pictured right) was CEO of Franser Shipping in Piraeus, also focusing on managing dry cargo vessels. Prior to that, she was a credit analyst with Republic National Bank of New York.
Ms. Frangou is Chairman of IRF European Finance Investments Ltd and a member of the Mediterranean Committee of the China Classification Society, the Hellenic and Black Sea Committee of Bureau Veritas and the Greek Committee of Nippon Kaiji Kyokai.
Evgeny Ambrasov (pictured right) has been a Senior Executive Vice President of JSC Sovcomflot since 2009 and a Member of its Executive Board. He was President and then Chairman of FESCO Transportation Group from 2008 to 2009 and served as Chairman of FESCO Ltd and of Far Eastern Shipping Company Plc.
After graduating from the navigation faculty of the Far-Eastern Higher Engineering Academy in 1979, Mr. Ambrosov started with Far-Eastern Shipping Company as cargo officer on liners. Following a period as a clerk in the chartering department, he was promoted Head of the Fleet Operation Department from 1980 to 1997 and then Vice President and Director for three years. He was Senior Vice President of OAO Sovcomflot from 2000 to 2002 and President of OAO Far-Eastern Shipping from 2002 to 2007, remaining as a director until the following year.
He has been a Director of BIMCO since 2007 and Novorossiysk Shipping Company since 2009.
Excel Maritime Announces Management Change in Operations
Source: November 5, 2010 http://www.excelmaritime.com/press.php
Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation Announces Adrian Wooldridge as Chief Commercial Officer
---PIRAEUS, Greece, Nov. 5, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation ("Navios Acquisition" or "the Company") (NYSE: NNA) announced today that Mr. Adrian Wooldridge will serve as the Company's Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for all chartering and related commercial activities.
Before joining the Company, Mr. Adrian Wooldridge worked for eight years at various divisions of Shell Oil where he most recently served as Freight Trading Manager for Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd. in Barbados with overall responsibility for crude and refined petroleum products' trading. Mr. Wooldridge holds a Master's in Business Administration from Warwick Business School in the UK and a degree from the Royal College of Music in London. He also is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.
"We are pleased Mr. Wooldridge has joined our management team and believe that his 21 years of experience in the tanker sector will be a significant asset as we grow the company," said Ms. Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and CEO of Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation.
About Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation
Navios Acquisition is an owner and operator of tanker vessels focusing in the transportation of petroleum products (clean and dirty) and bulk liquid chemicals.
For more information about Navios Acquisition, please visit our website: http://www.navios-acquisition.com.
Digital Ship Athens Conference: December 1-2, 2010
---Greek shipping leads the world with well managed fleets, safe and efficient operations, and a disciplined approach to business. Achieving this requires the right approach to digital technology.
Managing the costs of communications and software - getting the right amount of satellite communication bandwidth - managing safety and maintenance procedures and company finances - ensuring everything is reliable.
The best way to do this is always changing. Come and learn about the latest thinking of how to use communications and software to manage your shipping operations at Digital Ship Athens conference.
The event runs December 1-2, 2010 in Athens.
The event features:
Haris Antoniadis, chief information officer, Costamare
Efstratios F. Arvanitidis, IT Manager, Gulf Marine Management S.A.
Stylianos I. Siafakas, QHSE and vetting manager, Navios Tankers Management
John Kanioros, Financial Analyst, Neptune Lines
Tasos Makris, information systems director, Gourdomichalis
There is no admission charge for employees of ship operating companies. The event is sponsored by Inmarsat.
To learn more about the event, or to register, visit http://www.thedigitalship.com/conferences/athens/athens_2010.shtml.
Source: Thursday, November 4th, 2010, http://maritime-executive.com/pressrelease/digital-ship-athens-conference-december-1-2/