Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 35 - 2011


The inheritor. [ Fairplay's interview with Haralambos Fafalios ]

Between 2000 and 2008, an estimated 30 families moved from London to Greece and, following the introduction of non-domicile taxation in 2008, many more are thought to have left.
But Fafalios warns that if the UK government increases non-domicile taxation, it will lose its maritime role and become a shadow of its former self.
In the spotlight
He joined the Baltic Exchange board in 2006 and has worked with his family company as a Baltic shipbroker for 25 years, being actively engaged in chartering on a daily basis. He has worked in marine insurance, banking and all aspects of shipbroking (dry, wet, sale and purchase, research). At present, apart from being chairman of the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, Fafalios sits on various other industry committees.
Known for keeping a low-profile, his main passion outside shipping is aviation.
Source: Fairplay - Profile 01 Sep 2011

Navios under scrutiny on Cosco front
However, a second analyst says Navios Acquisition management has privately downplayed any threat of renegotiations.
Navios does hold government-backed charter insurance for its bulker commitments.
By Joe Brady Stamford
Published: 22:01 GMT, 01 Sep 11 | updated: 18:55 GMT, 31 Aug 11

Star, Euroseas, Seanergy, Globus on course to better days
---Dry cargo shippers Star Bulk Carriers and Euroseas have reported better than expected quarterly results on lower costs, and evidence they are on course to manage debt payments despite a weak market.
Star Bulk's ceo Spyros Capralos said, "Star Bulk is financially sound" with "a healthy balance sheet that allows us to successfully manage our debt payments, focus on our growth strategy and reward shareholders, once more with a quarterly dividend." Capralos added: "Our current compliance with all covenants under our loan facilities supports our financial health."
Posting a net income of $1.7m for the quarter, compared with $6m profit 12 months ago, Star Bulk saw total revenues of $22.7m compared to $30m for the 2010 quarter, the decrease mainly due to lower charter rates.
For the first half of 2011, revenues were $52.2m compared to $59.3m for first half 2010. Net income was $3.4m in the 2011 half compared to $27m for first half of 2010.
Euroseas posted a profit of $300,000 on total net revenues of $15.6m. Adjusted Ebitda was $5m. Operator of 10 container ships, five bulkers and a multi-purpose, average daily TCE rate was $11,302 a ship. A quarterly dividend of $0.07 per share will be paid, the 24th consecutive quarterly dividend.
Aside of a 14% slashing of general and administrative costs, Euroseas also gained from its presence in the healthier container ship business. Euroseas cfo, Tasos Aslidis said: "As of June 30, our scheduled debt repayments over the next 12 months amounted to about $13.7m, a number low enough to provide us with significant operational cash flow comfort. All our debt covenants were satisfied as of June 30, 2011."
Seanergy Maritime saw second quarter net revenues of $27.8m up from $22.6m in the same quarter in 2010, reflecting a larger fleet. Ebitda was $13.6m for the quarter compared to $10.2m in the 2010 quarter resulting in an operating income of $4.7m up on the $4m in the second quarter of 2010. Net result was a second quarter 2011 profit of $650,000 compared to a loss of $300,000 in the 2010 quarter.
For the first six months of 2011 revenues were $53m up from $40.8m in first half 2010 as a larger fleet saw additional operating days offsetting lower TCE rates. Ebitda was $26.5m in 2011 compared to $20.9m in the 2010 period. Operating income was $7.1m for 2011, down from $9.2m in 2010. This resulted in a net loss of $880,000 in 2011 compared with a loss of $200,000 in the same 2010 period. Dale Ploughman, chairman and ceo said Seanergy's significant exposure to the handysize segment helped as it "has experienced less volatility than that of the other vessel classes".
The Nasdaq-listed Restis Group backed company believes "sustained market weakness may lead to lower asset prices and more opportunities for acquisitions at attractive prices" and "our long-standing relationships with several financiers and well-known charterers, combined with our current and expected liquidity, are likely to allow us to grow our company further".
Seanergy ended the 2011 quarter with $373.4m of outstanding debt, cut by $15.1m in the quarter. However, as of June 30, 2011, the company did not comply with the financial covenant relating to the minimum quarterly cash balance requirement it is obliged to maintain under the loan agreement with Marfin Egnatia Bank. As a result it has sought a waiver and is currently in discussions for amendments of certain financial and other covenants.
US-listed Globus Maritime reports revenue in the second quarter increased 34% to $7.8m over the same period in 2010, while latest adjusted Ebitda was 31% better, at $4.2m. Total comprehensive income doubled to $1.2m from $600,000. In the quarter, average daily TCE rate was $15,233 a vessel with an average 5.1 vessels, versus an average daily TCE of $20,724 with an average 2.9 vessels in 2010.
For the first half of 2011 revenue was up 40% to $16.2m from that of the same 2010 period. Adjusted Ebitda increased 42% to $9.1m while income increased 209% to $3.4m in 2011 from $1.1m in the same period in 2010. The average daily TCE was $16,570 a ship versus an average $20,060 in the 2010 half with a smaller fleet.
George Karageorgiou, president and ceo said the company was "pleased to have signed a new loan with DVB Bank, and have completed the public offering of 2.75m new shares, proceeds of which are to finance our latest acquisitions." He believes "scrapping is accelerating" and said Globus is committed to pursue "fleet expansion opportunities".

Eurobank-Alpha Bank merger deal welcomed
---30. August 2011. | 10:38 10:54
Source: ANA
Under the terms of the merger deal, Eurobank biggest share-holders, the Latsis family, and Alpha Bank's major shareholders, the Costopoulos family, will hold 13 percent and 4 percent stakes, respectively, in the new bank, while Qatar's Paramount Services Holding will have a 17-percent stake.
Athens-listed Alpha Bank president Yiannis Costopoulos on Monday welcomed, as a "major step forward", the bank's pending merger with Athens-listed EFG Eurobank, which was officially announced earlier in the day.
Costopoulos told a press conference that "we are creating the biggest Greek bank ... It is a major step forward in the rationalisation of the (banking) system. We always said the (domestic) banking system has too many banks," he said.
Costopoulos added that a "European-size" bank was being created, the 22nd or 23rd in ranking in Europe, due to "the first foreign investment in this country in many years, the investment of Qatar, which comprises a vote of confidence for Greece".
From all aspects, he continued, "it is a very important step".
Eurobank president Timos Christodoulou, in turn, called the new bank to emerge from the merger a "basis for the recovery of the economy when we exit the crisis, and a developmental vehicle for Greece", adding that Qatari participation will serve as an example for other economies.
Christodoulou said the new credit organisation will be a model for other similar initiatives, "so that we can develop with a dynamism that characterises Greece".
Alpha Bank CEO Dimitris Mantzounis said the "key to success" was that the two banks "speak the same language, share the same principles, the same values", adding that the new bank will be top in Greece in all banking activities.
"We have the most desired international shareholder with us, and aspire to synergies of 650 million euros over the next three years," he added.
Bank of Greece Gov. George Provopoulos called the merger deal "the first landmark step in the process of redesigning the Greek banking map".
The Bank of Greece (BOG) chief added that the substantial reinforcement of the capital of the new bank, the friendly agreement between the two partner banks, the participation of a powerful foreign investor and the exploitation of synergies constitute an optimistic prospect for the Greek economy and banking system.
Provopoulos reiterated that such strategic moves contribute decisively to boosting the competitiveness of the banking system and fiscal stability.
Greek government vice president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos welcomed the deal as a "positive development that shows the dynamism and prospects of the Greek banking system", adding that the initiative proves that the current crisis can serve as an opportunity for structural moves that give impetus to the fiscal sphere and also the sphere of the real economy.
He also described as significant the participation in the new banking scheme of Qatar "which is investing in Greece and sending internationally a message of confidence in the potential of the Greek economy".
Earlier, Development, Competitiveness & Shipping minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis said the merger of the two banks, when completed, will give a new mark to the market inside and outside Greece, the mark of confidence that the Greek economy has the prerequisites for recovery and viability.
Replying to a press question, the minister said that in the coming period the country will require a healthy banking system that will provide the necessary liquidity to the market.
Under the terms of the merger deal, Eurobank biggest share-holders, the Latsis family, and Alpha Bank's major shareholders, the Costopoulos family, will hold 13 percent and 4 percent stakes, respectively, in the new bank, while Qatar's Paramount Services Holding will have a 17-percent stake.
Exceptional bourse rally fuelled by banks' merger
Stocks on Monday posted their biggest single-day increase in the history of the Athens Stock Exchange, lifting off on the heels of the Alpha Bank-Eurobank merger deal and erasing most of last week's loses at the bourse, especially in the banking sector.
Alpha Bank's share price posted gains of 30 pct; 29.48 pct for Eurobank.
The general index was up 14.37 pct to shoot past the 1,000-point mark, closing at 1,006.59.
Turnover was an improved 86.77 million euros.
The Big Cap index posted an eyebrow-raising gain of 17.79 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 15.02 pct higher and the Small Cap index was up 12.62 pct.
All of the sector indices moved higher, with banks (29.12 pct), Financial Services (26.17) and Utilities (22.26) posting the biggest percentage gains of the day.
Broadly, advancers outpaced decliners by 171 to 13 with another 22 issues remained unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas:+11.95%
Personal & Household:+8.25%
Raw Materials:+22.15%
Travel & Leisure:+7.70%
Food & Beverages:+2.48%
Financial Services:+26.17%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Bank of Cyprus and OTE.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank:2.47
Public Power Corp (PPC):6.81
HBC Coca Cola:14.94
Hellenic Petroleum:5.80
National Bank of Greece:3.59
EFG Eurobank Ergasias:2.24
Bank of Piraeus:0.72

Qatari Greek bank bailout looks like strategic bet
By Reuters
Thursday, 1 September 2011 12:39 PM
Paramount is relatively unknown - simply described as representing the interests of Qatar's royal family. It looks like just another one of the many entities used by the country to channel its investments. Qatar's stake in British bank Barclays, for example, was split between a special purpose vehicle called Challenger, owned by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, and Qatar Holding, a subsidiary of the country's main sovereign fund which has a broad mandate to diversify the economy.
Distressed Western banks once again look like attractive territory for wealthy sovereign investors that can afford to make investments with a long-term view. The European bank sector trades on price-to-tangible net asset value of around 0.8 times for 2011 and, according to Citi, suggest a slowdown in future earnings beyond that of the bank's own forecasts or a normal economic recession.
Of course, Qatar's small circle of decision makers may also have other objectives in mind. In the last year alone, the emirate signed non-binding agreements to invest over $12b n into the Greek economy, across a range of sectors including energy, banks, real estate and tourism. Whether Qatar also invested in heavily discounted Greek sovereign debt remains unknown.
Qatar has a sizeable interest in shoring up relations with Europe, as it seeks to become the region's preferred provider of gas. Propping up the banking sector is one way of showing it can be relied on when it counts.
(Una Galani is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own)

Deputy development minister and PM's aide resigns
--- , Thursday August 25, 2011 (17:22)
Paboukis cites inability to convince Papandreou about seperate shipping ministry as reason for departure
Haris Paboukis, the alternate regional development minister and a close aide of Prime Minister George Papandreou, has tendered his resignation after failing to convince the premier to re-establish a separate merchant marine ministry.
Paboukis argued that shipping, which accounts for about a fifth of the Greek economy, has a vital role to play in encouraging growth. Greece has been in recession for three years.
Paboukis had earlier served as minister of state, where he was given the task of attracting foreign investment to Greece. He was moved from that post in the summer reshuffle after failing to deliver any significant results.
Paboukis entered politics in 1996 as an adviser to Papandreou, who was then foreign minister. The two became close associates and his departure is seen as a personal blow to Papandreou.
Paboukis appeared to garner less respect within PASOK as a result of not having risen through the party ranks or served as an MP.
In a brief statement, government spokesman Ilias Mosialos said the prime minister accepted Paboukis's resignation and thanked him for his service.

13th Ann Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forum, 12 October 2011
Marine Money Conferences will host its 13th annual Greek Ship Finance Forum on 12 October 2011 at the Ledra Marriott hotel in Athens.
The agenda is again packed with Greek and International experts discussing ship finance challenges and identifying opportunities.
Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forums - always trusted and popular - always big crowds and exciting meeting places - for Shipowners, financiers and shipping professionals - discussing up-to-the-minute information about shipping, finance and equity opportunities.
Registration details and Updated Conference Agenda are available at:
Included in the delegate fee is an invitation to:
Conference Closing Reception on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 18:00pm, Ledra Marriott
Capital Party , Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 22:00pm, venue TBA
For more info please contact Mia Jensen at Marine Money - Greek Office, Tel: (+30) 210 9858 809, Fax: (+1) 866 255 8745 or visit