Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 52 - 2010


Greece-China shipping sector cooperation expanding

---Acceleration and further promotion of bilateral cooperation between Greece and China, focusing on the exchange know-how in the shipping sector, were the main points of recent seminars organised at the initiative of the maritime affairs, islands & fisheries ministry.
The signing of a Greece-China cooperation memorandum last June led to the seminars, which were held with the participation of senior executives of leading Chinese shipping companies, and which featured lectures by academicians and senior shipping sector executives. A series of visits to the Piraeus Port Authority S.A., adjacent shipyards, the Merchant Marine Academy and shipping companies' headquarters was also included in the itinerary.
Meanwhile, in a report from Beijing, the largest news agency in China and one of the largest in the world, Xinhua, on Saturday inaugurated a new on-line multimedia applications platform, featuring financial news items and economic data about the Far East economic powerhouse.
The new platform was heralded under the headline "Xinhua officially launches financial information exchange", and launched via gigantic video screens in the Chinese capital.
Scenes from a recent visit by the Chinese prime minister to Greece and his talks with his Greek counterpart, as well as a 20-minute interview with Greece's ambassador to China, Amb. Theodoros Georgakelos, speaking on bilateral relations, investment possibilities and expansion of trade ties were shown.

Chinese banks eye piece of shipping pie
---Chinese banks are looking to secure a chunk of the lending market in global shipping, offering Greek shipowners an additional source of finance.
Lenders from the Asian country, such as Bank of China, the Export-Import Bank of China and China Construction Bank, are aiming to build portfolios in the global shipping market estimated to be worth 500 billion dollars, up 3.1 percent year-on-year in 2010 after dipping 5.7 percent in 2009.
Some 30 lenders, most of whom are based in Europe, fund more than half of the total amount.
European banks have indicated they are not concerned about their aggressive Chinese rivals, which have helped improve lending conditions for Greek shipowners.
On the shipbuilding front, Greek shipowners have ordered the construction of 325 vessels at Chinese shipyards, out of a total of 822 vessels they have on order worldwide.
Print articl

Latsis Group Acquires The Majority Stake Of Hellenic Petroleum
---A major development occurred last week when it went public that Latsis Group now holds a stake of 40.984% of Hellenic Petroleum.
Latsis Group becomes the owner of the majority stake approaching 41%, while the Greek government holds 27.46% directly and 8.02% through DEKA, an overall stake of 35.48%.
Latsis Group entered the ownership structure of Hellenic Petroleum with the agreement of 2003, which provided the appointment of management officials by the state for five years. After five years, this commitment would cease to exist, provided that there is approval by the 50% plus one share of the total share capital and the management can be elected by the general meeting of shareholders.
The announcement of the stake increase, which is currently under control by Poih Holdings and POIH INVESTMENT LIMITED, coincided with the letter of the Minister of Finance G. Papakonstantinou asking for cuts in wages also in listed state-owned firms. In the same letter, Mr. Papaconstantinou said that the Greek government will pursue in this direction exercising its rights as a shareholder in the general meetings of these companies.
Head of Hellenic Petroleum workers P.Ofthalmidis noted that the group is a purely private company and the cut of wages cannot be decided by the state. According to sources, the group does not belong on public utilities, and state authority is exercised in accordance with the provisions relating to limited companies.

Investors wary of DryShips tanker plan
---THE game-changing decision by DryShips to enter the tanker arena has spooked investors, who have initially punished the NASDAQ-listed stock.
On the first day the market re-opened after the holiday, 27 December, DryShips shares fell 7%, closing at $5.55/share. Trading volume was heavy, with 27.8M shares trading hands, 28% higher than the 30-day average.
In a 27 December research note, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Natasha Boyden expressed concern on how DryShips will finance the tanker deal. It has already paid $120M, leaving $650M unfunded.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 28 Dec 2010

Newlead to raise $115m
---Newlead Holdings is looking to raise fresh funds according to a financial disclosure to US regulatory authorities.
The bulker and tanker owner is looking to raise $115m according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Proceeds from the offering will go towards funding existing newbuilding commitments, buying new vessels and general corporate purposes, Newlead said.
Earlier this month the Nasdaq-listed company bought the 34,700-dwt handysize Newlead Prosperity (built 2003) which it has on bareboat charter.
The Michael Zolotas and Nicholas Fistes-led company spent $24.5m on the ship which it expects to cover through a combination of debt and cash.
The diversified owner, which has largely been put back on the rails by Zolotas and Fistes, controls a fleet of eighteen ships.
Newlead has contracted 85%, 66%, 45% and 36% of its available days on a charter-out-basis for the fourth quarter of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. As a result, it has over $200m of contracted revenue through 2013
By Dale Wainwright in Singapore
Published: 05:36 GMT, 31 Dec 10 | updated: 05:53 GMT, 31 Dec 10

Stealthgas Inc. Announces: New Charter Arrangements, Financing of LPG new buildings, Departure of CFO Andrew Simmons
---Stealthgas Inc. Announces New Charter Arrangements For Five Vessels, An Update Regarding The Financing Of The Five New Building Lpg Vessels Being Constructed In Japan And The Departure Of Chief Financial Officer Mr. Andrew Simmons.
ATHENS, GREECE, December 28, 2010. STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS) (the "Company"), a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today the following new charter arrangements for the Gas Arctic, Gas Czar,Gas Icon,Gas Emperor and Gas Moxie.
New Charter Arrangements:
Commencing in December 2010, the Gas Arctic will commence a one year time charter to a chemical company.
Commencing in December the Gas Czar commenced a 30 to 90 days time charter to a Far Eastern trading house.
Commencing in December the Gas Icon commenced a series of short time charters to an international LPG trader. These will run until mid February or mid March 2011.
Commencing in December the Gas Emperor commenced a series of short term time charters to an international LPG trader. These will run until mid February or mid March 2011.
Commencing in December the Gas Moxie commenced a two month time charter to a Far East trading group. The charter has the option to extend for a further month.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above five charters is $249,338 per calendar month or $8,202 per day.
Financing of LPG new buildings.
The Company announced today that it has secured committed financing for the post delivery finance for the first three LPG new buildings to be delivered in February, March and July 2011 from one of its existing lenders. The Company has also signed a term sheet agreeing terms with a new lender for the post delivery financing of the fourth and fifth vessels due for delivery in November 2011 and May 2012. This facility has been approved by the Bank's Credit Committee and is awaiting final ratification by the Bank's Board of Directors which is expected to be received shortly.
Departure of CFO Andrew Simmons.
The Company also announces that following discussions regarding the renewal of our CFO Andrew Simmons' contract in 2011, Mr Simmons has indicated that he will not be renewing his contract next year and as a consequence his contract has been terminated by mutual consent. Mr. Simmons will leave the Company at the end of January 2011. The Company would like to thank Andrew for his contribution to the growth of the Company during his time with us and to wish him continued success in the future.
CEO Harry Vafias commented:
"I am pleased to announce further period charters for five of our vessels and in particular, the one year time charter for the Gas Arctic. Securing this employment for her is I believe a positive sign along with the other charters we have announced today which are at quite attractive levels in terms of income. Following these fixtures I am pleased to announce that we now only have five ships trading in the spot market and currently all of these ships are fully utilized.
I am also pleased to announce that we have secured financing for the first three of the new LPG vessels to be delivered to us next year from one of our existing lenders and that we are very close to securing the financing for the last two. We have seen significant appetite for these financings from a wide group of banks and I am particularly pleased it would seem we have added another lender to the Company's banking profile. I would like to thank both banks for their support as well as the other banks that offered us facilities."

Minoan pulls out of Hellennic Seaways sale
--- * Friday 31 December 2010, 15:14 * by David Osler
Deal fails after Anek Lines allegedly fails to make installation payment due on November 30

Jeppesen aids Greek ECDIS training
---(Dec 30 2010). Jeppesen has donated its C-MAP OceanView office chart and route planning systems to the Merchant Marine Academy of Makedonia (AEN Makedonias) in Greece.
The academy is one of Greece's leading institutions for the training of deck officers, handling more than 100 officers per year.
Today, Jeppesen supplies electronic charts and route planning tools to more than 150 merchant marine training institutions worldwide.
As a result, thousands of seafarers learn annually how to plan a route on a PC, order the appropriate electronic charts and then export the route to an ECDIS simulator, using its technology, the company claimed.
AEN Makedonias was established in 1969 as a merchant marine academy for engineer officers. In 1975, the academy began training bridge officers. It is today the second-largest academy in Greece catering for merchant marine officers.