Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 25 - 2011


Akti Miaouli - People & Places

The potential for sea tourism and its significance as a key factor in the development of the economies of Greece, the East Mediterranean and the Black Sea was there for the 400 or so delegates who attended the 1st Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum to see. Gathering together representatives from the world's cruise, sea tourism and media sectors, the June 21 / 22 forum at the Onassis Cultural Centre, the first day was devoted to cruise shipping and the second to yachting and domestic passenger shipping, and most of the mix of 46 speakers from Greece and abroad and the delegates representing 16 countries concluded Greece is squandering a wonderful opportunity to capitalise on its tourist jewels because of a lack in political leadership and subsequently a lack of clear decisionmaking. In the meantime, its near neighbours are developing their infrastructure. But despite this, the forum was a resounding success, and the organisers, Posidonia Exhibitions SA have already assured it will become a regular event with the 2nd edition set for June 2013.
More than 150 participants from 31 countries gathered at The European Conference on Shipping, Intermodalism and Ports - ECONSHIP 2011 on Chios island, June 22 - 24. Organised by the University of the Aegean, the event, held at the newly established Maria Tsakos Foundation, Livanoudion Megaron in the city of Chios, examined the prospects of shipping, shipping finance, human resources management, maritime technology, the environmental challenges, safety and security, intermodalism and ports, maritime education, logistics, and risk, all key issues discussed by leading international academics and practitioners.
Shipowner John P Samartzis was honoured by the Swedish Club at its recent agm in Gothenburg. The owner was one of the P&I club's first Greek members and has been a director of the club since 1982 and is recognised as being a fine recruiter for the club, having over the years introduced many members who believe in one-stop buying of hull with P&I cover. From all accounts the 80-year-old Piraeus-based owner was in fine form, as was John Coustas, head of longstanding member Danaos Shipping, who gave an impromptu recital on the grand piano.
Pireas 2011, the two-day biennial shipbrokers gathering hosted by the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association (HSA) ended June 20 with an estimated 3,000 guests attending a splendid outdoor gala dinner. Though brokers from all over the world had been in Piraeus for most of the week attending the June 19 one-day conference and numerous events hosted by local brokers, the mood at the curtain-fall event was jovial.
At the invitation of Turkish Coast Guard chief, rear admiral Izzet Artunc, chief of the Greek Harbour Corps / Coast Guard, admiral Constantinos Soulis, made an official visit to Turkey, June 20 - 24. The two chiefs held talks in Ankara under the Confidence Building Measures, which include the organisation of mutual visits and consultations between the heads of the Greek Coast Guard and the Turkish Coast Guard, as agreed by the Foreign ministers of both countries. The fight against illegal immigration and areas of cooperation and exchange of information and experiences were issues at the top of the agenda. The visit was seen as being crucial to the development of cooperation between Greece and Turkey, to be built on the principles of mutual respect, understanding and trust.
The growing role of LNG in the energy matrix was the focus of a half-day ABS-run seminar June 21. Recent developments on environmental regulations and related issues were covered through presentations by ABS reps, Christos Nomikos, Sean Bond and Jim Gaughan. Specifically a look at the market, considerations for large LNG carriers, offshore LNG outlook for floating terminals, floating storage and regasification units were presented. In addition, dual fuel engines and re-liquefaction plants designed to re-liquefy boil-off gas and allow for increased delivered volume of cargo were discussed.

Greek tonnage rises
---21 Jun 2011
GREEK tonnage has increased, despite a drop in vessel numbers, new figures have revealed.
There were 2,066 Greek-flagged vessels in April 2011, compared to 2,124 in April the year before, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said yesterday.
In contrast, the Greek-flagged fleet increased by 24 vessels between April 2009 and April 2010.
However, Greek-flagged tonnage rose by 1.6% to 43M dwt between April 2010 and April this year to 43M dwt. During the same period a year earlier, it increased by 4.7%, from 40.4M dwt to 42.3M dwt.
According to IHS Fairplay statistics, on 1 January 2011 there were 3,213 Greek-owned ships, irrespective of flag, totalling 202M dwt; this compares with 3,150 vessels totalling 186M dwt on 1 January 2010.
Source: Fairplay Daily News

Greece tops order tally with $1.7bn investment
---Greece may be in economic turmoil but its shipowners are again opening their wallets.
New figures show they bounced back to the top of the spending league last month with $1.7bn splashed on newbuildings.
It takes Greek investments in new ships to $5.3bn by 1 June.
Some 85% of this total happened during April and May and if the trend continues, Greek owners could spend more this year than in 2010.
The latest statistics from Clarksons Research Services show that during the past couple of months, Greek owners have focussed most of their spending on drillships and containerships instead of their usual choices of tankers and bulkers.
It says that based on current trends, Greek investment in newbuildings is projected to rise 2.7% measured year-on-year.
Previous months had signalled a sharp annual decline in spending versus 2010.
Global investment in new vessels so far is $39.6bn, as compared with $96.2bn in the whole of 2010.
The spending trend overall is only marginally down, although the size of the world orderbook has fallen below 7,000 vessels for the first time since July 2006, says Clarksons.
At 1 June, it stood at 6,914 vessels totalling 421.9 million dwt, some 40.7% lower in numerical terms than the peak of 11,661 at the start of September 2008.
Even more pronounced are LNG carriers, where the number on order has increased from 22 at the end of last year to 41. The 21 booked during 2011 is more than double the total during the previous three years.
Of the six LNG contracts placed in May, two of 159,800 cbm involved Maran Gas Maritime, part of the Angelicoussis Group, converting orders for two VLCCs at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
In May, 139 bulkers of 8.8 million dwt were delivered, as compared with just 14 tankers, a 66.7% month-on-month fall for wet tonnage.
By Geoff Garfield London
Published: 19:42 GMT, 22 Jun 11 | updated: 19:42 GMT, 22 Jun 11

12 Greeks in the Lloyd's List Shipping Top 100
In general 2010 has proved to be successful for the Greek ship-owners who have invested about $ 15 billion in new ships for the whole year. According to recent data from the Association of Greek Ship-owners, the local businessmen in the sector control about 15% of the shipping industry in the world and take the first place in the European Union. So, we decided to find more information about the Greek shipping tycoons, the only businessmen in Greece who can say they have succeeded in the year of the Memorandum.
Fostiropoulos Family led by the father Kostas and the sons Mizhalis, Alexandros and Yannis manage the companies Almi Tankers and Fairsky. They made a stormy sea after signing a deal worth 640 million euros for the building of 10 suezmax tankers with the Korean shipyards Daewoo. Moreover, the family wants to add to its fleet two more VLCC tankers worth more than 200 million euros, which will be submitted at the end of 2013.
Another successful Greek ship boss is Vangelis Marinakis. Last year, he listed his second company on the New York Stock Exchange. Marinakis is well known not only for the shipping business where he manages 44 ships (30 fuel tankers, 12 cargo ships carrying dry cargo and 2 cargo ships), but also as the president of the Olympiakos football club. To take advantage of the lower price of cargo ships Marinakis has ordered two new vessels with a capacity of 1700 TEU.
The president of the Association of Greek Ship-owners Todoros Veniamis, who is also the owner of Golden Union, has ordered the building of four new cargo ships by the Chinese shipyards Jiangsu and Cosco, which are the owners of part of the port of Piraeus since the end of 2009. Golden Union specializes in dry cargo transportation and currently has 16 heavy ships. The great boom of the company comes in the past decade, when there is increasing demand for cement in North Africa and the Middle East, and the constant need to transport cars to these countries.
Dynacom Tankers Management is another successful Greek company. Dynacom is owned by George Prokopios and he agreed last year on the building of 11 ships totaling 600 million euros. Six tankers and two cargo ships will be built in Chinese and Korean shipyards, and its subsidiaries Sea Traders agreed with the Chinese Cosco to build three other cargo ships.
The Retsi family is to make a great comeback by ordering eight new ships to meet the growing transport needs in the world. The first agreement for three cargo ships kamsarmax was made with the Korean Hyundai shipyards, and then three others and two tankers were ordered on behalf of Golden Energy. The company manages the fuel transportation and the family has 66 vessels with a capacity of about five million tons and is currently waiting 24 new vessels to be built.
Source: 20 June 2011 / 10:06:01

China Development Bank Interested In Greek Shipping Bank
---Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - 14:09
Following Cosco and Huawei negotiations for the acquisition of Intracom Telecom, another Chinese group is interesting in expanding its activities in Greece.
A 52% stake of Aegean Baltic Bank belongs to a Greek management under Theodoros Afthonidis, an experienced banker in shipping funding. The bank deals primarily with the financing of Greek shipping companies as an organizer, lender and manager of syndicated loans, and as an individual lender of selective shipping loans.

China steps up lending to Greek owners
--- Thursday 23 June 2011, 16:25 by Tom Leander and Nigel Lowry
Government-related financing rolls ahead as funds from Chinese commercial banks continue to shrink
DESPITE tightening financial conditions in China, lending associated with the $5bn pledge by the Chinese government to finance orders by Greek owners is gaining momentum. At least half a dozen deals are being negotiated, of which two are said to be nearing fruition.
Tying up financing on many of these orders in the Chinese commercial bank market has been slowed by tight US dollar lending conditions at the banks, which are charging 400 basis point above Libor or more for the money.
One or two major Greek owners with orders in China are known to have so far eschewed Chinese funding altogether as they have their pick of cheaper loans elsewhere.
The stories that bankers and lawyers tell of the dispensation of the Chinese lending pledge paint a picture of a real commitment, but one that has been coloured by the tight lending environment that has emerged since and by the complexity of the Chinese financing scene.
According to sources familiar with the workings of the CDB, a dedicated team of six bankers is looking after funding with Greek shipowners.
They are said to work out of the Ningbo branch in Zhejiang province on the central eastern coast of China, one of a limited number of CDB branches able to enact substantial dollar deals.
Another office said to play some role in Greek funding is the Ningxia branch not far from inner Mongolia.
Under the agreement which is being worked out, the loans would be booked by AB Bank in Greece, rather than China, it was emphasised.
Chinese banks are undergoing the most severe credit crunches since 2008, with short term funding, as reflected by the benchmark government bond repurchase rates, at 8.9%, or a three-year high. The banks are hoarding cash to meet their loan-to-deposit ratio.
The liquidity squeeze led to a failure earlier this year in a deal that Greek bankers were arranging for a Greek owner and the China Export and Credit Insurance Corp, or Sinosure, and a commercial Chinese bank. The bank backed out, and Sinosure asked the Greek contingent to find another Chinese financial institution. The owner eventually called the deal off because the lending terms on offer were too tight.

Marine Money has been publishing its rankings for the past 21 years after evaluating about 100 companies from the shipping industry worldwide. The shipping companies are assessed on the basis of Asset Turnover, Profit Margin, Return on Equity, Return on Assets, Market Value of Equity and Book Value of Equity, which are combined to calculate Overall Performance.
About Safe Bulkers, Inc.

DryShips Announces Exercise of Option to Construct 7th Generation UDW Drillship
Capability to drill in 12,000 feet of water depth
a seven ram BOP
a dual mud system
enhanced riser handling and storage system
ballast water treatment system
Total yard cost of this drillship is approximately $608 million, out of which a total amount of about $242 million has already been paid to the yard from cash on hand. The remaining amount of approximately $366 million is payable upon delivery currently scheduled for November 2013.
George Economou, Chairman and CEO commented: