Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 33 - 2011


---Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00
Graph of the Week
However, the supply-demand outlook in the bulk sectors is now relatively poor: over-supply has developed as a result of post-boom deliveries. This is now limiting earnings in the freight markets and starting to push asset values down. Limited prospect of upside in values in the short term makes asset play opportunities rarer.
As the Graph of the Month shows, Greek owners have reacted to this. Just 6% of Greek investment in 2011 so far has been in tankers, whilst only 10% has been bulker investment. Given that trade growth for tankers and bulkers is expected to be slower this year than last, and that their fleets are expected to grow by 6.4% and 12.5% respectively, this is unsurprising.
Aligning with Liners
Fortunately for Greek owners, there are other opportunities available. Greek investment in containerships has expanded sharply to 23% of the total in 2011 so far. Eight Greek owners have made their first forays into the containership business in 2011.
Going Back to Gas
Although Greek owners had a brief foray into gas contracting in 2004-05, investment levels in LNG in particular have increased much more markedly in 2011 to 34% of Greek investment (17 vessels). This has been spurred on by the generally bright perception of the prospects for LNG demand, which grew by 21% in 2010, plus the effect of the Japanese earthquake, which has made the country more heavily dependent on imports of the fuel for electricity generation. Meanwhile, offshore is also attracting interest. 2011 has seen the first Greek drillship orders on record (4 vessels), with one owner investing $1.8 billion.
Responsive Reactions
Source : Ms Natalie Burrows , Clarkson Research

Polembros ups China bulk tally
---A Greek owner has signed possibly four more big bulkers at a Shanghai yard.
Senior Polembros manager David Gare confirms the company has inked in a firm pair of the big ships but other sources suggest the order may include two optional units. All of them are said to be for delivery in 2013. No price tag has been disclosed but it is believed Polembros may have found an attractive deal at a significant discount to recent orders.
Sources say the deal was done through Optima Shipbrokers but the Greek broking house declined to comment when approached by TradeWinds for verification.
Other Greek owners have also shown themselves to be keen on this size. Anthony Kandylides-led Oceanfreight booked three similar ships at SWS last March at $68m each, then absorbed two contracts from a private company connected with its owner in March this year, paying less than $60m each for the pair, while the Angelicoussis group was said to have signed up for two vessels at $69m each, although some sources put the price lower.
Meanwhile, last January Polembros booked two 180,000-dwt bulkers at Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering that were reportedly secured for just $50m each, based on a 70% down payment.
The first vessel, the Hydra Warrior, has already been delivered and the second hull is slated to come out of the yard this month, according to database listings.
The family also booked a pair of 81,000-dwt kamsarmaxes at SPP Shipbuilding that have been delivered this year and are operating as the New Venture and New Endeavour in the fleet of affiliated company New Shipping.
In February, Polembros also snapped up an aframax-tanker newbuilding under construction at Sumitomo Heavy Industries of Japan for Cido Shipping. The vessel, now named Green Warrior, reportedly cost $48.5m.
At the time, one broker suggested that rather than being a consistent buyer of new ships Polembros is more likely to snap up tonnage as and when it sees a good deal.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 22:01 GMT, 18 Aug 11 | updated: 08:24 GMT, 19 Aug 11

Bank moves on Newlead
NASDAQ-listed Newlead confirmed today that its 2003-built, 34,682dwt Handysize Newlead Prosperity and 1989-built, 135,070dwt Capesize Newlead Spartounta will be sold.
Newlead failed to pay FBB a $733,158 installment on 5 July on its $21.7M Spartounta facility. FBB declared default on 9 August and arrested the Newlead Prosperity the same day.
It disclosed today that it had $581.9M in total debt as of 31 July.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 15 Aug 2011

NewLead in talks with its lenders to develop capital structure
---(Aug 19 2011)
Struggling tanker and bulker concern NewLead Holdings is to sell two drybulk carriers.
First Business Bank (FBB) and NewLead entered into an immediate sale agreement for the two vessels, one of which will be by auction, or a judicial sale.
In return, FBB has agreed to cancel the corporate guarantees by NewLead of its debt and share pledges in respect to these two loans until the completion of these sales, at which time the guarantees and share pledges shall be unconditionally and irrevocably released and cancelled.
As a result of prolonged challenging market conditions, NewLead has entered into discussions with its lenders to develop an interim plan that will improve liquidity and operating flexibility while developing a sustainable capital structure.
The company has appointed Moelis & Company and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as its advisors to assist with this process.
NewLead is seeking waivers from its lenders to various restrictive covenants and an agreement that they will forbear from exercising remedies under their respective debt arrangements.
Although the company is optimistic that it will reach an agreement with its lenders on the short-term waivers of defaults and on the terms of the restructuring its indebtedness, no assurances can be provided that these agreements will be concluded.
Michael Zolotas, NewLead president, CEO and interim CFO, stated, "While we are facing very difficult market conditions, we are committed to continue working with our lenders and other commercial partners to develop a sustainable capital structure that will ensure the long term prospects of NewLead."

Star Bulk Takes Delivery of Capesize Vessel "Star Mega"
---ATHENS, GREECE, August 18, 2011- Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the "Company" or "Star Bulk") (NASDAQ: SBLK), today announced that it has taken delivery of the Star Mega (formerly, the Megalodon), a 1994-built, 170,631 dwt Capesize vessel. The vessel is time-chartered to a multinational mining company for a remaining period of 3 years at a gross daily rate of $24,500.
About Star Bulk
Star Bulk is a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks such as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 and maintains executive offices in Athens, Greece. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "SBLK". Currently, Star Bulk has an operating fleet of thirteen dry bulk carriers and definitive agreements to build two Capesize vessels. The total fleet consists of fifteen vessels, seven Capesize, and eight Supramax dry bulk vessels with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 1,626,721 deadweight tons. The average age of our current operating fleet is approximately 12 years.