Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 48 - 2010


Hellenic Shipyards to end the civilian shipbuilding activities for 15 years

---Greece has agreed to end the civilian shipbuilding activities of its main shipbuilding company for 15 years in order to end a court case over illegal aid with the European Union, EU Commission offi cials said. | State aid in the EU is governed by strict rules, but Greece broke them by granting Hellenic Shipyards (HSY) hundreds of millions of euros in aid and guarantees over the last 15 years.
Source: NEW SHIPS NO 49. 6 DECEMBER 2010

Seamen ordered to return to work
Trucks await the chance to board ships at the port of Piraeus yesterday. Seamen who are demanding a new collective contract called a new 48-hour strike yesterday despite the threat of a civil mobilization order.
Sailors who have been on strike for the last week are to be forced back to work after the government issued civil mobilization orders to prevent further disruption to travel and the shipment of goods after the seamen called a new 48-hour strike.
Cretan farmers welcomed the move to force the sailors back to work as they estimate that they have suffered damages of 200 million euros as a result of being unable to ship their fruit and vegetables to the mainland.
Diamantidis had earlier brought PNO and EEN to the negotiating table, suggesting that the strike be suspended for three days so that talks between the two sides could take place. Sources said that EEN was open to the suggestion as long as it could raise several issues of its own with the ministry.

Bridge builder
The relationship between Greek owners and the government in Athens is now apparently on the mend, after a year-long blip caused by the abolition of the separate Ministry of Shipping in October 2009 and its merger with the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Fairplay also asked Diamantidis whether his ministry had any plans to step up its methods to attract more ships to the Greek registry.
6 September 2010 Independent shipping ministry recreated following a cabinet reshuffle, renamed Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries. Ioannis Diamantidis appointed minister; Elpida Tsouri deputy minister
30 September 2010 Diamantidis and Tsouri sworn in
Source: Fairplay - Story of the Week 02 Dec 2010

Piraeus posts $120m third quarter results
--- * Tuesday 30 November 2010, 16:09 * by Roger Hailey

RINA backs strong fleet to help rescue the Greek economy
---Greek shipping will remain strong as its shipowners continue to invest and re-invest in modern ships, and use their unique feel for the markets to trade with the entrepreneurial skills for which they are renowned. Indeed, according to Italian classification society RINA, "it is significant that the Greek merchant marine continues to look very robust, and be regarded by many as one of the potential solutions to help the Greek economy recover".
Greece is the leading shipowning nation in the world, in both historical and contemporary terms, and, says RINA ceo Ugo Salerno, links between Greek shipping and RINA are set to grow much stronger. Further, as has Greece, RINA has identified Asia as the focal point for growth in shipping and world trade.
Speaking to the media, November 30, Salerno said that over 70% of RINA's orderbook is currently placed with Chinese and Korean shipyards, fulfilling orders for both local and international owners, including a number for Greek interests.
He said RINA is committed to maintaining and expanding its global presence in the shipping industry, and that "means staying close to owners and operators, and providing them with the services and the expertise they need, where they need it and when they need it". He said that by doing this, the society is confident it will both strengthen its ties with the Greek shipowning community, and build on its operational network in the Far East. RINA now has 16 exclusive offices in Asia and plan approval centres, in China's Shanghai and Pusan, South Korea and 20 survey stations located close to ? or often directly in ? the region's main shipyards.
RINA understands the dominant role Greece plays in the global shipping sector, and is delighted Greek owners have in recent years turned increasingly to RINA for classification services. Salerno said that in many cases owners started by placing just one or two vessels with RINA and then, "once they had seen the quality of service and expertise on offer, they committed more ships".
The result has been quite spectacular. In the last five years alone, the Greek-owned RINA fleet has doubled in size to roughly 4.5m gt. and now accounts for around 15% of the society's fleet, the largest national group outside of Italy. Spyros Zolotas, country manager for Greece, said 40 Greek-controlled ships are earmarked to enter RINA class in 2011, lifting the Greek fleet to 300 units. Further, Zolotas said RINA is looking to expand its involvement in Greece's yachting sector, as more yachts are being built in Italy.
Salerno said RINA is pleased the Hellenic Register of Shipping, looks to be solving its problems. "Greece is the leading shipping nation and needs a strong classification society. With the help of Lloyd's Register, I hope the Hellenic Register can reorganise."
Salerno said "quality is the basis of development and growth". Even in today's tough market, one "can not compromise of quality... Poor quality will be caught by someone somewhere," he said. He took the opportunity to note, RINA tops the Paris and Tokyo MoUs as well as the vetting body, RightShip.
Noting the world's oil refineries face an investment of $65bn to convert to clear sulphur fuels, "an investment they are unwilling to make" Salenro felt it will be difficult to comply with new regulations on sulphur and air emissions. Indeed, Nicky Pappadakis, Intercargo chairman and chairman of RINA's Hellenic Shipowner Committee, noted "low sulphur fuel is not universally available" and warned "there are already instances of suppliers entering the wrong details on bunker delivery receipts regarding sulphur content". "Shipowners have been caught," he said.
-- Filed: 2010-12-02

Diana Shipping Cruises on Buy Rating
---By Miriam Reimer 11/30/10 - 02:34 PM EST
ATHENS, Greece (TheStreet) -- Diana Shipping (DSX) was among the New York Stock Exchange's biggest gainers Tuesday, thanks to a healthy buy rating from Goldman Sachs (GS).
Diana Shipping shares soared 6.2% in afternoon trading amid heavy volume. More than 2.3 million shares were in play with just over two hours left in the trading session, compared with their average daily trading volume of just 717,000 shares.
Analysts from Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the dry-bulk shipper with a buy rating and $17 price target, which represents a 34.6% upside to Diana's closing price Tuesday of $12.63.
Goldman's bullish rating cited that 60% of Diana's fleet is chartered out through at least the second half of 2012. The firm estimated that Diana has $1 billion in cash and debt capacity to take advantage of expected vessel acquisition opportunities. Goldman also likes Diana's disciplined management team.
Diana recently posted third-quarter net income of $33.8 million earlier this month, up 17.8% from a profit of $28.7 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Target bides its time on US IPO
---Target Marine and Horizon Tankers have unveiled plans to list in New York once Wall Street reopens for business.
Buttressing the effort is Horizon chief financial officer Stamatis Tsantanis, a veteran of the US capital markets who served in a similar role with Top Ships (formerly Top Tankers).
While Poulman did not indicate whether the four suezmaxes slated for delivery in 2011 would be part of the IPO, it is broadly assumed that they would. Thus a sale at this stage would have suggested an entirely different direction.
What may be fuelling the broker reports is that would-be buyers have approached Target about the 158,000-dwt tankers.
The company was rumoured to be seeking around $80m each for the ships at that time.
The suezmaxes will be delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in March, May, June and August. In addition to the newbuildings, Horizon controls six 50,000-dwt medium-range (MR) tankers built in 2008 and 2009 and two 2007-built 73,000-dwt panamax tankers.
Such is the uncertain state of tanker valuations at the moment that two veteran financial sources disagreed over the rumoured $70m pricetag on the suezmaxes. One said it would be a great deal for the sellers, the second a poor one.
By Gillian Whittaker and Joe Brady Athens and Stamford
Published: 12:00 GMT, 03 Dec 10 | updated: 10:30 GMT, 03 Dec 10

Cargo Equipment Experts adds to Greek coverage
Delta Maritime, which serves all major ports in Greece, has joined the CEE in the service category: export packers, heavy haulage, port operator and stevedores.
At each Greek port, the company assists in the landing and stowage of heavy lift and project cargoes, as well as ocean freight to and from points all over the Balkans.
The CEE is a global network for cargo equipment owners such as haulers, crane operators, tug and barge operators, stevedores and export packers, port operators and air cargo handling equipment owners and supporting industry, serving the heavy and outsized cargo industry.

Arab-Greek ties under spotlight
Published: Dec 5, 2010 00:30 Updated: Dec 5, 2010 00:30
RIYADH: Prominent Saudi and Greek institutions have teamed up to organize a major international cultural symposium that will shed new light on the historical ties between the Arabian Peninsula and the Greek world on one hand and on the cultural interaction between the two regions from antiquity to the 10th century AD on the other.
The high-profile event will be formally opened by Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, in Riyadh on Monday.
Saleh Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, Saudi ambassador to Greece, will also attend the symposium besides several Saudi officials, historians and scholars. Al-Ghabban pointed out that the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies and SCTA are organizing the event in cooperation with other Saudi and Greek institutions including the Greek embassy, King Saud University and the Athens-based Institute for Graeco-Oriental and African Studies.