Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 45 - 2010
---The Piraeus Port Authority is to conduct an international tender for the sale and removal of seven ships of defunct ropax operator GA Ferries. The seven ships are among the best known among Aegean island residents and more recently among passengers using the port of Piraeus as they have laid moored at the port's entrance for over a year.
Announcing the decision to call for a tender, PPA chairman and md, George Anomeritis said: "These ships sit abandoned in the main port and are creating problems in the operation of coastal shipping."
Immediate opposition to the sale came from the Panhellenic Seamens Pension Fund (NAT) which claims it alone through three associated funds is owed a total of Euro 28m, or three times what the PPA expects to re-coup.
Creditors arrested eight ships run by the Gerassimos Agoudimos-controlled GA Ferries group in September 2009 after the ferry operator had fallen behind on accumulated debt said to be in the region of Euro 19m ($28m). Plight of the Akti Miaouli-based company cost some 600 jobs while a number of Aegean islands were left without any connections.
Seizure notices reported in Newsfront reveal money is owed to banks, bunker suppliers and the PPA. GA's all Greek-flag fleet, made up of seven ropaxes -- Anthi Marina, Daliana, Dimitroula, Marina, Milena, Rodanthi and Romilda, all built in 1970-80 and the 1995-built smaller, Jet Ferry I -- primarily operated in the subsidised lines to remote islands.
The PPA is now hopping to sell the seven older ropaxes. With the prices ranging from Euro 957,000 for the Daliana and Milena up to Euro 2.1m for the Anthi Marina, the PPA hopes to raise some Euro 8.95m. Over the past 12 months Newsfront has reported the ships up for auction 13 times with creditors seeking over Euro 12m in total.
Since 2007 competition in the Aegean marketplace has seen more modern ferries force the Agoudimos-run GA out of some lucrative routes and into the subsidised network, with Agoudimos blaming the non-payment of the subsidies for the company's position.
Along with the PPA other creditors have included French bank, Natixis, Greece's Emporiki Bank, outfitting firm Sanco and bunker/lube suppliers Mamidoil-Jetoil and Eko.
Agoudimos, 70, at one stage claimed the state owned the company almost Euro 7m in subsidies and maintained GA's ships could not sail because of the unpaid subsidies and subsequently wages were owed to seafarers, contributions were owned to the Seamen's Pension Fund (NAT) and commercial debts had been run-up. As financiers and suppliers began moves to seize the floating assets in the spring of 2009 seafarers had staged sit-ins on a number of the ships.
The company's impressive Akti Miaouli waterfront headquarters building is also up for sale.
-- Filed: 2010-11-08
Sea cruise passenger fees to boost state revenues
IPO window shutting
---Rate weakness has cast anxious IPO plotters adrift. It now appears that most offerings will be pushed back until 2011, reports Greg Miller
There are just as many private owners hoping to go public today as there were this summer. But the reality is that 4Q10 is a poor time for a Wall Street debut.
Last week, Greek container ship lessor Costamare did push through its IPO, the first pure shipping listing in New York since 1Q10. But Costamare paid a steep price. The Konstantakopoulos family firm was forced to accept a 25% discount on its shares, slashing proceeds.
In the secondary offering arena, evidence is mixed on whether US investors are still hungry for follow-ons, after public shipping companies besieged them with fresh shares in 2009.
Bulk operator Paragon is pursuing an ATM of up to 15M shares, suggesting potential proceeds of over $50M.
Last month, GenMar amended its credit facility to delay a deadline for a $52.4M secondary offering until September 2011.
# Company: Costamare Inc
# Fleet: 41 container ships totaling 211,882teu; plus seven Contracted acquisitions: four 3,351teu second-hand box ships and three 9,000teu newbuildings
# Listing: New York Stock Exchange under ticker CMRE
# IPO performance: 13.3M shares initially targeted at $15-$17/share for expected gross proceeds of $212.8M ($244.7M including underwriter overallotment). Actual pricing 4 Nov. at 25% discount, or $12/share, for gross proceeds of $159.6M ($183.5M including underwriter overallotment)
Source: Fairplay - Story of the Week 11 Nov 2010
Asset play name of the game
---A Greek player has broken with family tradition with its fleet management based heavily on sale and purchase.
Nicholas G Papalios, who established Primal 11 years ago, is the grandson of Greek shipping legend, the late Nicholas D Papalios.
He adds that the vessel earned as much as $90,000 per day during the boom years and scored a threefold return on capital.
The Assimina is one of a number of ships belonging to investors who entered the shipping sector during the boom, Papalios says. Primal facilitated these investments by providing commercial and third-party management.
Asset play with its own tonnage has been the name of the game ever since Primal bought its first ship in 1999, the 26,800-dwt Blade Runner (built 1977), for a reported $2.11m, selling it two years later. But the buying and selling is not something Papalios picked up from his family.
The shipping crisis of the mid-1980s, however, saw Aegis and the Papalios fortune go up in smoke. The fleet was largely exposed to its lenders and when banks withdrew their support, the company went under.
Young Papalios started his career in Piraeus as a chartering broker and recalls paying for the Blade Runner with every cent he had and no family fortune to back him up.
That deal was the first of many acquisitions to follow for Primal, which has chosen to name its owned ships after movies. The Easy Rider, Great Gatsby, Shine and Big Fish are examples.
The most notable and representative include the sale of the 26,000-dwt bulker Paris Texas (built 1985), purchased in April 2004 for a reported $9.4m. It went in the same month of 2008 for a reported $25m.
The company has also taken on three 29,000-dwt bulker newbuildings from Nantong Nikka Shipbuilding in off-market deals in the past year. The Catch 22 (built 2009) was delivered last year, the Wrestler in early 2010 and the Sleuth is about to arrive.
Papalios says the company has been fortunate with the way the newbuilding orders have worked out. Not willing to talk about numbers, he says only that one of the Nantong vessels was priced at boom-market levels.
The timing of the newbuilding deals coincides with a change at management level with Papalios bringing in former shipping banker Vassilis Hatzigiannis as a partner. Papalios says the move happened after they worked together on a number of deals. Both men are in their late 30s.
Meanwhile, no further fleet growth is planned for the immediate future.
Solym charters in between eight to 10 handysize bulkers at any given time and operates around 75 ships annually.
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 23:01 GMT, 11 Nov 10 | updated: 20:03 GMT, 10 Nov 10
Safe Bulkers eyes early newbuilding slots
--- * Wednesday 10 November 2010 * by Nigel Lowry
Owner keeping close tabs on shipbuilders in the Far East
GREECE-based Safe Bulkers is keeping close tabs on shipbuilders in the Far East in a hunt for early berths for its next newbuilding orders.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed owner said that at the same time it is looking at longer term expansion through orders with a more common delivery horizon of two or three years from now.
Safe Bulkers had a policy of contacting its preferred builders at very regular intervals.
Safe Bulkers has already emerged as one of the more recognised owners of post-panamax bulkers, with a fleet of seven vessels of 87,000 dwt to 92,000 dwt delivered since 2006, out of its total existing fleet of 15 bulkers.
Another three post-panamaxes are among the vessels on order.
He said the difference in cargo intake could be close to 8,000 t in 92,000 dwt ships.
Greek shipping group Goldenport eyes container ship acquisitions
---Greek shipping group Goldenport Holdings will look at container ship acquisitions in the coming months, helped by an improving market and a war chest of over $150 million, its commercial director said on Thursday.
Global turmoil in 2008 battered the container market, especially on key routes from Asia to consumers in the West carrying finished goods from electronics to toys. But trade volumes have been picking up in recent months with the growth of emerging economies such as those in India and Brazil.
Athens-headquartered Goldenport, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2006, owns and operates a fleet of container and dry bulk ships.
"We have a lot of room in the balance sheet for more acquisitions ... we have the ability to grow," John Dragnis told Reuters in an interview.
"Do we want to do it at this particular moment? Yes, but very selectively and very, very carefully -- most likely I would say in the medium-sized container market," he said, adding the group's war chest was between $150 million and $200 million.
Goldenport said it was on track with its programme to take delivery of three vessels in 2010 and a further four in early 2011, which had been previously ordered, taking its total fleet to 26 container and dry bulk vessels.
Dragnis said conditions in the container sector had improved in recent months, helped by the scrapping of vessels and a rebound in demand on intra-Asia trade routes and on others such as North America to South America and Europe to West Africa.
"The West is still suffering. More localised, niche trades are doing much better than the long haul in terms of growth."
Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipper, said on Thursday it was optimistic for next year on strong demand growth from emerging markets and stable freight rates. South Korea's Hanjin Shipping said this week container demand was expected to outpace ship supply.
Dragnis said it was unlikely that Goldenport would "grow substantially on the dry (bulk) side".
He said the Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index was expected to be a "little bit softer" on average next year compared with the current average. The index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, fell 3.59 percent to 2,366 points on Thursday.
"The order book is not good for the supply-demand equation. However, (dry bulk) demand remains and will remain robust," he said.
Chief Financial Officer Christos Varsos said analyst consensus estimates of $120 million to $130 million for Goldenport's full-year revenue in 2011 were "reasonable". Revenue estimates for 2010 were around $90 million, he added.
"What the analysts think about the numbers for next year are pretty much realisable," Varsos said. Its shares were 0.39 percent lower at 130.4 pence at 1404 GMT.
Source: Balkans.com Business News - Jonathan Saul, LONDON - 12.11.2010
Globus Maritime Delisting Update and Trading Update for the Period Ended September 30,2010
---Globus Maritime Update on the Intended Cancellation of the AIM Listing
Update on the intended cancellation of the AIM Listing and potential U.S. Listing
The press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the shares described above, nor shall there be any sale of such shares in a state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale will be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
Trading Update for the Three and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010., please go to > http://www.globusmaritime.gr/pdf/globus_2010-11-12_1289545479.pdf
Panos G. Moraitis: Piracy nowadays and how to get assistance.
---Having proof of pirate activity even during the 13th century b.C. , it is safe to consider that piracy as an activity appeared when shipping itself did.
Piracy specifically flourished from the middle ages to the 19th century with increased activity throughout the world, from Europe to Africa, and from Asia to the Americas.
Piracy declined in subsequent centuries, thanks to the sustained efforts of the naval powers of the era and the severe penalties that convicted pirates faced. In the early 20th Century there have only been rare incidents, but as the end of the Cold war resulted in a decrease of patrolling the seas and an increase in international trade, this resulted to another upsurge of Piracy. Modern day piracy is again spread globally but particularly the South China Sea, the Malacca Straits, the Niger Delta, and of course the surrounding areas off the coast of Somalia; the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea.
But what is piracy?
In the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, "maritime piracy" is defined as:
(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:
(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;
Piracy has been steadily on the rise during the past twenty years. Until 2005 the Malacca Straits "led the charts" as the most pirate infested area in terms of attempted attacks. But the coordinated efforts between Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and some assistance from Thailand almost eradicated the problem in 2008. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) which keeps piracy statistics since 1992, reports that while in the first quarter of 2009 the number of pirate attacks around the world nearly doubled, to 102 incidents, compared to the previous year; only one of them occurred in the Strait of Malacca.
But despite the continuous decline of piracy incidents in the Malacca Straits and the South China sea, overall there has been an increase in Piracy because of the attacks on the African coasts and especially because of the activities of Somali Pirates.
If one were to look at historical data of piracy from the last 2 decades he would notice that the attacks in the Somali basin are not something new, as pirate attacks have been taking place there throughout the last twenty years but in a much smaller scale. Initially Somalis were fishermen turned pirates in order to defend their catch from foreign fishing fleets. We need to consider that Somalia has been plagued by civil war and there has been no stable and universally accepted government since 1991. The warfare among rival clans caused famine on a biblical scale as hundreds of thousands have perished from famine, and the life expectancy is 44 years for men and 47 years for women. The Gross National Income is US$140 well below the UN defined poverty limit of US$1 per day.
So we shouldn't be surprised that Somali men turn to piracy as a lucrative professional direction. They seize the opportunities given to them, the law enforcement vacuum, the big rewards, even the lack of prosecution if they are caught. Chewing khat leaves (plant with similar effects to amphetamines) and heavily armed, they sail from ports such as Eyl, Kismayo and Harardhere - once fishing villages but now pirate havens, searching for easy pray, slow vessels, vessels with low freeboard, unprotected vessels.
Despite the coordinated effort of many countries and the increased naval presence policing the area, the area is vast and the available naval assets too few to be able to be everywhere at any given time. the Somali pirates are continuing to demonstrate an ability to attack vessels, even within the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) and in unprotected areas, some attacks of which, occur more than 1,000 nautical miles from the Somali coast well into the Indian Ocean.
In the last 10 days of october 2010 alone, there have been 13 reported attacks. In 7 of those, pirates managed to board the vessel while the remaining 6 vessels managed to evade the attack. Of the ships boarded, 4 were abandoned by pirates as crews mustered in citadels and pirates could not sail the vessels. Out of the 6 vessels evading the attacks at least 3 had a security team onboard while the rest employed best management practices during the attack.
What is also alarming is the adaptability that Pirates show. Recently we have seen pirates attacking in swarms, where in some cases more than 8 skiffs attacked a vessel simultaneously. We have also seen the first nightly attack - contrary to popular belief that pirates prefer to attack at dusk or dawn, this attack took place after midnight.
Thankfully choosing a reliable partner to assist you with the security of your vessels, can mitigate the extreme risk of transiting highly volatile areas like the Gulf of Aden.
At Aspida we can assist you by offering a comprehensive suite of products and services ranging from training and consultancy services, to onboard security, escort vessels and countermeasures. In each case we adapt to the specific requirements of each mission while offering flexibility for your company's needs. Whether it's onboard security in the Gulf of Aden, the Niger Delta, an anti-drug smuggling operation in Venezuela or crew training onboard one of your vessels, you can rest assured that you will be receiving the best service available, balancing security, safety and cost efficiency.
* Managing Director, Aspida Maritime Security
Source: Thursday, 11 November 2010 18:13 nafsgreen
7th Annual Greek Shipping Awards and Gala Dinner
Friday, December 10, 2010 - Athenaeum InterContinental
18.45 - Welcome Cocktail Reception - 20.00 - Awards Dinner Commences
Hundreds of key personalities are expected to attend this year's annual presentation dinner that pays tribute to the world's largest shipowning community, their service partners and some of the industry's outstanding achievements in 15 specific award categories during the preceding year.
Based on nominations from the wider shipping community that are then assessed by a distinguished panel of industry judges, the Greek Shipping Awards offer the chance to highlight some of the year's top performers and finest moments.
Dry Cargo Company of the Year
Greek companies owning or operating bulk carriers, containerships, freight ro-ros and any other category of dry cargo vessel.
Award Sponsor: Hellenic Exchanges Website: www.ase.gr
Tanker Company of the Year
Greek companies owning or operating ships carrying any type of liquid and energy cargoes, including oil tankers, product tankers and gas carriers.
Award Sponsor: Jetoil Bunkering Website: www.jetoil.gr
Passenger Line of the Year
Greek companies owning or operating passenger ferries or cruise vessels.
Award Sponsor: Marine Plus S.A. Website: marineplussa.com
Shipbroker of the Year
Greek or non-Greek shipbroking firms active in the Greek marketplace, including companies undertaking S&P, chartering, newbuild contracting, demolition, FFAs or other types of brokerage.
Shipping Financier of the Year
Greek or non-Greek banks or other financial institutions active in financing Greek shipping.
Award Sponsor: Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Website: www.starbulk.com
Technical Achievement Award
Meritorious technical achievement by Greek companies or individuals in any aspect of maritime activity, including but not limited to ship management, shipbuilding, safety, commerce, product or system development, design, studies.
Award Sponsor: The American Club Website: www.american-club.com
Piraeus International Centre Award
Greek or non-Greek companies or other entities that have demonstrated outstanding service to Greek shipping clients or members, and/or have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Greece as a shipping business and service centre.
International Personality of the Year
Any NON Greek personality (individual) involved in any aspect of shipping or the wider maritime world who has stood out during the previous 12 months in terms of contribution to Greek shipping or the maritime industries generally.
Award Sponsor: Capital Ship Management Corp. Website: www.capitalship.gr
Award for Achievement in Safety or Environmental Protection
Any Greek individual, crew, company or organisation whose act, initiative or product has contributed to either safety or protecting the environment, or both.
Award Sponsor: Lloyd's Register Website: www.lr.org
Ship of the Year
New vessels of more than 1,000 gt, either built in Greece or delivered to Greek ownership, that are noteworthy in terms of design, innovation, investment or efficiency.
Award Sponsor: carbonpositive Website: http://www.carbonpositive.net/
Award for Achievement in Education or Training
Institutions, companies or programmes that have delivered high value professional or academic training or education benefiting Greek shipping.
Award Sponsor: GL Website: http://www.gl-group.com/en/index.php
Seafarer of the Year
Award Sponsor: Tsavliris Salvage Group Website: www.tsavliris.com
Greek Shipping Newsmaker of the Year
Award Sponsor: XRTC Business Consultants Website: www.xrtc.gr
Lloyd's List / Propeller Club Lifetime Achievement Award
Any Greek individual or entity of Greek character with a record of achievement or contribution to Greek shipping during a substantial career.
Award Sponsor: Alpha Bank Website: www.alpha.gr
Greek Shipping Personality of the Year
Any Greek personality (individual) involved in any aspect of shipping or the wider maritime world, who has stood out during the previous 12 months.
Award Sponsor: Royal Bank of Scotland Website: www.rbs.com
GALA DINNER BOOKINGS
Tables of 10 places
For priority dinner reservations:Please complete the table booking form and fax to Fax +220.127.116.11.196