Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 38 - 2007
Not only did it name two of the largest liquefied natural gas carriers in the world last week at Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries, it also took steps to add its first four suezmax vessels to its fleet.
Just which initiative will be prove to be the more propitious will only be seen over time.
Both sectors have certainly seen better days than those under which they now sail.
But, at least in the short-term, itis hoped that this column willbe a brighter place on which to castthe eye as light appears on the suezmax horizon after months of depressedrates that had analysts and owners alike looking to their history books for precedents.
What appeared to be a blip in the radar last week, when rates edged up for trades out of West Africa to the US and Europe from W72.50 to W77.50, may well turn out to be a trend.
Norwegian brokers sounded upbeat when announcing that rates had leapt 15 points to W92.5.
Such ebullience has yet to translate itself to the North Sea, which was still inactive yesterday.
The hope is that, after some quicker tonnage makes its way to the Atlantic, the remaining North Sea tonnage will capitalise on any new cargoes becoming available and follow the trend set out of West Africa.
This certainly seems to be the case for suezmaxes trading cross-Mediterranean and through the Black Sea.
Much to the delight of owners, rates in the Mediterranean and Black Sea area have shown remarkable improvement, if not as much as that experienced out of West Africa.
The Norwegian broker said rates in the Mediterranean had been improving as the week progressed.
There had been even better rates for date-sensitive fixtures.
By yesterday rates hit around W85, with the expectation that they could touch the transatlantic figures by early next week as a number of new cargoes loomed on the horizon.
Inquiries on the Black Sea were low yesterday but were expected to match those experienced on cross-Mediterranean trade.
The Norwegian broker also gave a tentative prediction that there would be some improvement in rates, at least through to next week.
provided by GBI-GENIOS...
Source: Lloyd's List Friday 21 September 2007
Voulgarakis faces challenges as Maritime Portfolio is expanded
---Prime minister Costas Karamanlis named experienced MP Giorgos Voulgarakis, an economist, to headup an enlarged Marine ministry, but could find no place for out-going minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis in the cabinet of the re-elected New Democracy government.
Bowing to calls led by the operators of passenger ships in the domestic network, Karamanlis bound the Aegean and Islands Policy ministry into the Marine ministry and re-named it the Merchant Marine and Island Policy ministry, and appointed Panayiotis Kammenos, a 42-year-old multilingual economist and psychologist, deputy minister responsible for island policy and nonshipping affairs. Former minister for Island Policy, Aristotelis Pavlidis, also misses out on a new ministry.
Born in Crete, Voulgarakis has been in parliament since 1989 and in the last government served as Public Order minister from March 2004 to February 2006, when he moved to the Culture ministry. Kammenos, who was born in Athens, was elected to parliament in the New Democracy sweep of 2004 and this is his first cabinet seat.
Though both men lack experience in shipping the general feeling within the community is the takeover will be a smooth one. Voulgarakis said the policies of Kefaloyiannis will be continued and the shipping portfolio is on the right course. Voulgarakis said the move to combine the two ministries was "a good decision" and should "lead to greater efficiency". He said he believes "in teamwork as it beings results" especially from "people who have targets in their lives".
Observers say Voulgarakis and Kammenos will have to show strong leadership as there are a number of tricky issues up ahead, especially close to home. Indeed one shipowner said to Newsfront "they will have to be careful they do not stand on each other's toes". He made the comment after Kammenos spoke of the need to introduce measures to attract more vessels to the Greek flag and improve the standard of life on the islands, "which have difficult times in the winter months of the year".
Privatisation of the port services remains at the top of the minister's agenda and the minister will have to tackle the issue within the government's overall policy. Kefaloyiannis made significant progress on matters like employment within the port as port ownership status is overhauled.
Kefaloyiannis had several confrontations with the unions which culminated in a 72-day strike which had a big impact on Piraeus port.
In the run-up to the September 17 election, the Union of Coastal Passengership Owners called on the government to combine the Marine and Island Policy ministries into one claiming the two often had contradictory views creating a mountain of bureauracy which often meant little was being achieved towards the proper servicing of the islands. Island issues pending include the call to abolish third-party levies on fares and tariffs - they account for about 30% of the charge - and the call to apply European Union legislation regarding crewing.
The new ministry will also have to make moves aimed at attracting young people into the seagoing profession and upgrading maritime education, while there are a number of issues being promoted by the EU which are contrary to the interests of the Greek and the wider international shipping industry. As the world's major shipping power Greece is expected to play a leading role in the development and the welfare of the industry.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 21 September 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 35
Greek shipping on a high
---Greek tanker operators, so long the leading lights of the Greek industry, have been forced to concede ground to their bulk carrier counterparts, writes David Glass.
Riding the booming freight market, dry ship operators have set about renewing their fleet, just as the tanker people did over the past couple of years. However, in the case of the bulker operators the investing in new tonnage has not been forced upon them by regulators to the same degree as it was on energy shipping.
In 2006, Greeks invested around $17 bill in new ships, the great bulk of it committed to projects involving energycarrying hulls. Impressive as this investment was, it pales in comparison to what has occurred since the beginning of this year.
In the first six months of the year Greek owners ordered just over 300 ships worth $16.83 bill.
In the January/June period, the Greek investment in new ships equalled that made in the whole of 2006. However, this time bulk carriers lead the way with 190 ships of 21.257 mill dwt worth $10.61 bill contracted. Energy carrying ships accounted for 73 units of about 4.15 mill dwt valued at $4.13 bill.
While keeping up with the ordering is not easy, analysing the data reveals that at 30th June, some 700 ships were on order for Greek interests, over 22% of the total world orderbook. Due to the previous ordering spree, tankers account for some 310 ships in the current orderbook, while another 32 are gas carriers - all but a handful are LPGs. Around half of the tankers are chemical/products carriers ranging from 5,000 dwt to 50,000 dwt.
"Newbuilding activity in the first six months compares to that of the whole of 2006, which at the time was a record and if we adopt the method of projection to the end of the year, the 2007 total may finally double that of 2006," said George Banos, of Piraeus shipbrokers George Moundreas.
The broker even believed that the final investment figure, because of the gradual increase in shipbuilding prices, may prove to be even higher.
On closer examination of those investing we see Greek shipping is joining the world trend and consolidation is now the name of the game.
If we look at Greece's largest fleets, we find that at mid-year, 55 Greek operators ran fleets of over 1 mill dwt, five more than a year ago. This is not so surprising as ships are getting larger, though specialist trades involving smaller, often very high specification ships, like the gas and chemical trades are attracting a growing interest on the part of traditional Greek shipowners.
According to research by Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence Greece's 'tonne millionaires' run 133.53 mill dwt, a staggering 85.5% of Greekcontrolled trading tonnage.
John Angelicoussis' energy fleets Kristen Navigation/Maran Gas combine to form Greece's largest operation. Its 36 energy trading ships tip the scales at 8.293 mill dwt. Angelicoussis also runs 24 bulk carriers of 3.25 mill dwt under the Anangel Maritime Services banner.
Angelicoussis leads the ownership league from the Tsakos Group, which under the TEN and Tsakos Shipping & Trading banners, runs 71 ships of 7.188 mill dwt. Tsakos has around 50 tankers and is just ahead of George Procopiou's Dynacom/ Dynagas operation which has 6.377 mill dwt in 45 ships. TEN is Greece's largest listed operation ahead of the fast growing George Economou/DryShips/Cardiff outfits and, since the end of April, OceanFreight, which raised $200 mill in an IPO on Nasdaq. The Economou grouping has a combined fleet of 6.86 mill dwt involving 57 ships including 19 tankers.
Further, Maran Gas, TEN, Dynacom/Dynagas and Cardiff all have ships on order, and in the case of the last three, very large diversified orderbooks. And this is in addition to the flow of newbuildings into these fleets over the last two years.
When it comes to ship numbers rather than capacity the largest orderbook of all belongs to Aegean Marine Petroleum under the aggressive leadership of Dimitris Melissanidis. The US-listed bunker and supply specialist has some 40 highly-specialised ships on order. ( See page 28, Tanker Operator Aug- Sept issue 2007).
Of Greece's 55 largest owners, 23 are exclusively tanker operators, while another nine are primarily engaged in the energy trades. In this latter group we have the Harry Vafias-led StealthGas operation which has quickly built-up a fleet of almost 40 LPG carriers, including ships on order, making it the world leader in the niche market of small gas carriers.
Furthermore, the strength of the bulk markets, both wet and dry has seen some re-thinking among owners who have built their reputations in a certain market sector. Indeed, it is not only the bulker fraternity who are investing in dry ships. Tanker operators are also splashing out on dry ships.
Hellenic Shipping News interviews Mr. Sotiri Dushas, President & CEO of Alba Maritime
---Through his new endeavour Alba Maritime, Sotiri Dushas, the architect behind the recent $1.1 billion deal bringing the newbuilding fleet of Anemi Maritime in the arms of NY-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping, talks to Hellenic Shipping News about the investment opportunities in today's market. He also reveals of a new investment scheme, which will soon invest again in supramax vessels, after completing the contracting arrangements for building 24 bulk carriers, of which 12 are capesizes and 12 are panamaxes, a total investment of $1.5 billion.
Alba Maritime is a relatively recent entity, being founded some months ago. Could you provide us with some details on what activities and investments has the shipping company been engaging into?
We have invested in newbuilding orders with 12 orders for capesizes in Korea (STX Shipbuilding) and further 12 panamax vessels in Indian shipyards. So, our total orderbook in the dry bulk market reaches 24 vessels. The investment cost reaches approximately $1.5 billion.
Are there any vessels under operation currently?
Furthermore, we will soon be ready to launch a third investment scheme, also in the dry bulk market, but this time on the supramax size.
Which shipyard will deal with the new project in the supramax size?
Most probably we will return to China, not so much due to better pricing, but because of the relationship we have developed in the past. We worked together, we've learned together in the previous years, so it's easier for us to return to China and Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
How did you become involved with shipping?
Well, my family was the main reason. My father was the owner of a shipping company and I began working there, until the age of 19 years old, which also involved working on board the ships. Later on I left Hellas and began working as a shipbroker and a few years later in other shipping companies, most notably for Teekay in Vancouver of Canada.
Why did you decide to invest in the dry bulk market?
The answer is easy to that question. This was the market with the most promising investment potential.
Prior to Alba, you had set up Anemi Maritime which was sold recently to Eagle Bulk.
That's right, through Anemi, we ordered 6-7 vessels which we had them all chartered and then decided to sell all of them to NY-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping for a price tag of approximately $1.1 billion. The deal was finalised at late July, which makes it a rather quick transaction. We were lucky, because the market conditions were ideal. But at the end of the day, that's why we're working, to make money isn't it?
Is it safe to say that there is a new trend in the market with private shipping companies, acting as "feeders" of public companies, taking the risks necessary early on and later cashing in by selling entire fleets of newbuildings to listed companies, which often can't afford to take a larger risk? I'm asking that, not only after Anemi's deal, but also noticing Metrostar's deal with Genco of Mr. Peter Georgiopoulos and a few years back with Quintana Maritime?
I wish that this is the case, if indeed we all have found a way of doing business together! But seriously, when the market is that good, everything is possible. This so-called trend is dependent upon the market conditions. If we see a fall in the rates, then these deals won't appear for sometime in the future. Another thing has to do with the difference in prices between the cheaper newbuildings and the much more expensive operating vessels in the second hand market. You have to be able to seize any opportunity, instead of waiting for 2-3 years, until you take delivery of the vessels under construction.
How was it possible for a shipowner without a strong "base" of ships, to begin investing so heavily in the market?
Do you believe that in today's shipping market, characterised by consolidation, leaves room for the survival of small shipowners?
Where can be attributed this record dry market?
First of all, it's a matter of offer and demand, but also a matter of positive sentiment. We noticed a slight downfall during the summer months, when the market traditionally is quieter, but we see now a recovery to record levels, which will continue like that at least until the end of the year, especially in the capesize market, which after all drives the whole market. In this category is where everybody is investing these days, with large numbers appearing, assets growing constantly, thus providing resale opportunities even within one single year. Another important factor is that most big and well-known charterers are present in the capesize market, making it easier to work with them, but also providing extra insurance to the banks that finance the investment.
What about Athens Stock Exchange? Will we see Hellenic shipping companies choosing this market in the future to finance their activities?
My answer to that is undoubtedly yes. In fact, we'll see not only big companies, but also smaller ones, provided that the proper formula is designed.
Source: Monday, 17.09.2007, 12:26am (GMT), www.hellenicshippingnews.com
Greeks richly represented at Jefferies Shipping Conference September 25 - 26, 2007
---NEW YORK, September 18, 2007 -- Jefferies & Company, Inc., the principal operating subsidiary of Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE: JEF), announced today that the Firm will host its 4th Annual Shipping, Logistics & Offshore Services Conference on September 25 - 26, 2007 in New York City. The conference will feature management from leading crude tanker, product tanker and dry bulk shipping companies, as well as leading gas carrier, chemical tanker, inland barge, container, logistics, and offshore services companies. The speakers will provide company and industry overviews during presentations to investors.
Presenting companies currently include:*
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (ANW)
American Commercial Lines Inc. (ACLI)
Aries Maritime Transport Limited (RAMS)
Arlington Tankers Ltd. (ATB)
Bristow Group Inc. (BRS)
Brostrom AB (BROB SS)
BW Gas (GAS NO)
Capital Products Partners L.P. (CPLP)
CHC Helicopter Corporation (FLI)
Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S (DNORD DC)
Danaos Corporation (DAC)
Deep Sea Supply Plc (DESSC NO)
Diana Shipping Inc. (DSX)
Double Hull Tankers, Inc. (DHT)
DryShips Inc. (DRYS)
Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (EGLE)
Eitzen Chemical ASA (ECHEM NO)
Euroseas Ltd. (ESEA)
Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (EXM)
Frontline Ltd. (FRO)
Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (GNK)
General Maritime Corporation (GMR)
Global Oceanic Carriers Limited (GOC LN)
Globus Maritime Ltd. (GLBS LN)
Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL NO)
Goldenport Holdings Inc. (GPRT LN)
GulfMark Offshore, Inc. (GLF)
Horizon Lines, Inc. (HRZ)
Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. (HOS)
Kirby Corporation (KEX)
K-Sea Transportation Partners L.P. (KSP)
Kuehne + Nagel International AG (KNI SW)
Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NM)
NYK Line (9101 JP)
OceanFreight, Inc. (OCNF)
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (ONAV)
Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. (OSG)
Quintana Maritime Limited (QMAR)
Seaspan Corporation (SSW)
Ship Finance International Limited (SFL)
TBS International Limited (TBSI)
Trailer Bridge, Inc. (TRBR)
Trico Marine Services, Inc. (TRMA)
Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. (TNP)
Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) Limited (ULTR)
U-Ming Marine Transport Corp. (2606 TT)
*Subject to change
An audio webcast of each presentation, both live and replay, will be available at the discretion of the presenting companies, and will be accessible at http://www.jefferies.com.
For further information about the 4th Annual Shipping, Logistics & Offshore Services Conference, please contact your sales representative at Jefferies or Susan Sutler (212-284-4658 email@example.com).
Jefferies, a global investment bank and institutional securities firm, has served growing and mid-sized companies and their investors for 45 years. Headquartered in New York, with more than 25 offices around the world, Jefferies provides clients with capital markets and financial advisory services, institutional brokerage, securities research and asset management. The firm is a leading provider of trade execution in equity, high yield, convertible and international securities for institutional investors and high net worth individuals. Jefferies & Company, Inc. is the principal operating subsidiary of Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE: JEF; www.jefferies.com)
CONTACT: Jefferies: Tom Tarrant Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek: Kelsea Michael (203) 708-5989 (212) 279-3115 ext. 231 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Danaos Extends Order for 8,530 TEU Post Panamax Containerships & Secures 12 Year Charters
---Athens, Greece, September 17, 2007 - Danaos Corporation (NYSE: DAC) today announced that it has extended its shipbuilding contracts with China Shipbuilding Trading Company, Limited to include one more 8,530 TEU vessel, bringing the total number to five vessels. All five Post Panamax containerships will be built by the Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry Company Limited and are expected to be delivered to Danaos between August 2010 and February 2011. Danaos has also arranged for a large international liner company to charter all these vessels for 12 years each at accretive rates.
For the first full year of operation, this five vessel block addition to Danaos' fleet of containerships is expected to contribute approximately $65 million of EBITDA. For this purpose, EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, shall mean net earnings before interest, un-drawn credit facility fees, taxes, depreciation and amortization of deferred dry-docking charges and financing fees.
According to schedule, Danaos also delivered back to its charterer, the APL Holland, on August 3, 2007, as a result of the exercising of the purchase option APL had on this vessel. Furthermore, Danaos took delivery of the Hyundai Advance on August 20, 2007, the Hyundai Stride on September 5, 2007, and the new building YM Seatle on September 10, 2007.
"We believe our growth strategy has paid off," said Dr. Coustas, Chief Executive Officer of Danaos. "Danaos' strong balance sheet has made it possible to place new-building orders for which a charter may not be arranged concurrently, allowing us to explore a wider array of opportunities regarding vessel deployment at the proper time. In this context, further to the initial order of four containerships, we have been able to secure an order for an additional 8,530 TEU Post Panamax containership increasing the total number of vessels to be built by Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry Company Limited to five. We have also just arranged 12 year charters at accretive rates with one of the largest liner companies in the world for all five of these vessels scheduled to be delivered to us in 2010 and the beginning of 2011. With this deal we have not only managed to increase our total fleet to 63 containerships, but also secure long term charters for all vessels of our contracted fleet. In conclusion, we have increased our contracted revenue to $5.2 billion."
About Danaos Corporation
Danaos Corporation is an international owner of containerships, chartering its vessels to many of the world's largest liner companies. Its current fleet of 33 containerships aggregating 138,772 TEU ranks Danaos among the largest containership charter owners in the world based on total TEU capacity. Danaos is the largest US listed containership company based on fleet size and market capitalization. Furthermore, the company has on order 30 additional containerships aggregating 163,121 TEU with scheduled deliveries up to 2011. The company's shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DAC".
Excel Maritime Enters into Two-Year Time Charter Agreement at $58,000 per day
---M/V Elinakos is a Panamax dry bulk carrier of 73,751 dwt, built in 1997 in Japan, which the company acquired and took delivery of in May 2005.
First-time duo books STX tankers
---Two outfits with little involvement in the newbuilding market have placed orders at STX Shipbuilding in South Korea.
Brokers say Interglobal Marine Agencies (IMA) of Greece and Diler Holding of Turkey have each booked two post-panamax bulkers for delivery in 2010.
They are believed to have paid close to $58m each for the 81,000-dwt units. Market players say it is the first time STX has secured contracts from either company.
Based in Piraeus, IMA is listed in Clarkson's database as owning five dry cargoships ranging from 16,500 dwt to 47,000 dwt. Its average fleet age is around 25 years. Dry-bulk players say IMA's vessels mainly transport cement and grain in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions.
Istanbul-based Diler owns three vessels - the 34,560-dwt Nazli G (built 1984), 37,700-dwt Diler 4 (built 1985) and 38,900-dwt Surmene 4 (built 1984) - that are managed by Korfez Shipping.
Diler was established more than 50 years ago and has expanded from steel into banking, shipping, tourism, textiles and construction. Its chartering arm, Diler Chartering, handles cargoes traded by group companies. The outfit carries some two million tonnes of scrap and steel using between 150 and 200 chartered-in ships per year.
Newbuilding players say the IMA and Diler contracts add to STX's post-panamax bulker orderbook, which includes ships for clients Trojan Maritime (four), Efploia Shipping (two), National Navigation Co of Egypt (four), STX Pan Ocean (two) and Arcadia Shipmanagement (four).
Irene Ang Singapore published: 21 September 2007
OceanFreight Inc. grows fleet to 9 vessels and $325m credit agreement with Nordea Bank
---September 19, 2007, Athens, Greece. OceanFreight Inc. (NASDAQ: OCNF), a NASDAQ listed bulk shipping company announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a ninth vessel for its fleet, a Panamax drybulk carrier to be renamed Augusta, that will immediately commence a one year time charter upon its delivery to the Company in early January 2008. The purchase price of this vessel is $61.6 Million. The Company also announced that it has entered into a new $325 million loan facility with Nordea Bank.
About OceanFreight Inc.
OceanFreight, Inc. was incorporated on September 11, 2006 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The Company was formed to acquire an initial fleet of seven secondhand drybulk carriers. The Company maintains its headquarters in Athens,Greece, and will also maintain an office in New York.
For more information, contact: OceanFreight, Inc. 80 Kifissias Avenue Athens 15125 Greece Phone: +30-210-6140283 Fax: +30-210-6140284
Source: press release
StealthGas Inc Announces Eleven Charter Renewals at Higher Rates
---September 18, 2007 ATHENS, GREECE, STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS) (the "Company"), a ship-owning company serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today that it has entered into new time charter agreements for M/V "Gas Sophie", M/V "Gas Czar" and M/V "Gas Nemesis". In addition, the Company has entered into a new bareboat charter for M/V "Gas Ice" and extended time charters for M/V "Gas Renovatio", M/V "Gas Zael", M/V "Gas Sincerity", M/V "Gas Shanghai", M/V "Gas Kalogeros", M/V "Gas Legacy", M/V "Gas Icon" and the M/V "Gas Spirit", as described below.
The M/V "Gas Sophie", upon its scheduled delivery to the Company in October 2007 will be deployed on a time charter for 12 months to an international gas trader. The vessel is a 1995 built 3,500 cbm, Fully Pressurized ("F.P.") LPG carrier that the Company agreed to acquire in early April 2007.
The M/V "Gas Czar" and M/V "Gas Nemesis" have entered into new time charters both for 12 months commencing in December 2007 and May 2008, respectively, to an international gas trader.
The M/V "Gas Renovatio" has extended its existing time charter for an additional 12 months, commencing in January 2008, to an international gas trader.
The M/V "Gas Zael" and M/V "Gas Sincerity" have each extended their existing time charters for an additional 12 months to an oil major, commencing in March and July of 2008, respectively.
The M/V "Gas Shanghai" has extended its existing time charter for an additional 12 months, commencing in September 2008, to an international gas trader.
Both the M/V "Gas Kalogeros" and the M/V "Gas Legacy" have extended their existing time charters for an additional two years, both commencing in April 2008, and both to an oil major.
The M/V "Gas Spirit" has extended its existing time charter for an additional two years commencing in June 2008 to an oil major.
The M/V "Gas Icon" has also extended its existing charter for two years commencing in July 2008 to an oil major.
Lastly, the M/V "Gas Ice" upon the expiration of its current bareboat charter in April 2008, has entered into a new bareboat charter for a period of three years commencing in April 2008 to a European ship operator.
The aggregate revenue per calendar month for the above detailed charters is $3,088,000.
CEO Harry Vafias commented, "We are very pleased to announce these fixtures as, excluding the new charter for the M/V "Gas Sophie", eight out of the eleven charters we are announcing today are renewals with existing charterers for the vessels they are currently chartering, which emphasizes the trust and relationships that we have built with these major international operators in the LPG industry. I am also pleased to announce that the renewals represent an overall 15.9% increase over the current prevailing rates being earned by the vessels detailed above. The above-mentioned charters demonstrate our commitment to having a transparent earnings stream and we now have some 82% of our fleet under period contracts for 2008 and 40% for 2009. As we have discussed previously, we believe that the outlook for our sector remains positive over the next two to three years and in this context, many of these renewals have been negotiated in advance of the expiry of their current charter and in our opinion, provides further proof of the improving market conditions for our company, as charterers are seeking to secure quality tonnage on a period basis. However, on a cautionary note, I should also add that we are continuing to face shortages of well qualified crew, and this is leading to further upward pressure on wages required to be paid to secure the availability of crew to man our vessels. Nevertheless, on an overall basis, we believe that the above detailed charters represent a positive outlook for the earnings of our company going into 2008 and beyond".
Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment is available at: http://www.irwebpage.com/stealthgas/index.html?irp=pr2&relid=47687
Major Cases keep TSAVLIRIS busy in productive year
Fortis, RBS and Santander welcome Dutch Minister of Finance consent
---Today, the Dutch Minister of Finance, on the advice of De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. ("DNB"), has granted Fortis, RBS and Santander (collectively, "the Banks") the Declarations of No Objection they require in respect of the proposed acquisition of ABN AMRO Holding N.V. and its group companies ("ABN AMRO"). This is an important step towards the completion of the Banks' offer for ABN AMRO.
The Declarations of No Objection contain specific conditions and requirements. The Banks are confident they can comply with these conditions and requirements. The specific conditions and requirements in the Declarations of No Objection are available on the Banks' joint website, www.consortiumbid.com.
Certain of the conditions and requirements are summarised as follows:
The Banks shall ensure sufficient continuity within the Management Board and the Supervisory Board of ABN AMRO Holding and ABN AMRO Bank and shall ensure the preservation of knowledge of the organisation of the ABN AMRO Group as well as the availability of specific expertise so that these bodies can properly perform their legal and statutory tasks.
Within the Consortium, RBS is primarily responsible for the effective functioning of the ABN AMRO Group during the transition phase to the moment when the components to be acquired are transferred to the individual members of the Consortium. The ABN AMRO Group shall be consolidated in the financial statements and supervisory returns of RBS. RBS is responsible for compliance with the financial supervisory regulations applicable to the ABN AMRO Group in all relevant jurisdictions.
Within two months of the entry into force of the Declarations of No Objection, the Banks shall ensure that ABN AMRO draws up a robust and detailed Transitional Plan. The Transitional Plan and any material changes to it shall be submitted to DNB for approval.
The Banks shall not make any fundamental changes to the current set-up of the organisation, the division of tasks and responsibilities, the committee structure and the reporting lines of the ABN AMRO Group before:
- the Banks have obtained a degree of control with which the Banks may be deemed capable of effective execution of the proposed transition; and
- the above transition plan has been approved by DNB, unless DNB has agreed to such a change in advance.
DNB approval will be obtained for the Transitional Plan and for each separation before implementation.
The Banks commit to maintain target levels of capital and liquidity determined between DNB and ABN AMRO. An adjusted capital and liquidity plan will be submitted to DNB for approval within thirty days of the entry into force of the Declarations of No Objection.
The Declarations of No Objection will enter into force if the public offer for ABN AMRO is declared unconditional by the Banks on or before 31 December 2007, in the manner and subject to the conditions as detailed in the offer document of 20 July 2007, and if the financing has been secured in an adequate manner.
The Banks have agreed that ABN AMRO shall be governed and managed following its acquisition by the Banks in accordance with the provisions of a supplemental agreement, supplementing the Consortium and Shareholders' Agreement of 28 May 2007 (the "Supplemental Agreement"). The Supplemental Agreement has been prepared in close consultation with DNB. A summary of the provisions of the Supplemental Agreement can be found in the Appendix to this release.
Appendix: Supplemental Agreement
The provisions of the Supplemental Agreement include the following:
The roles of the Supervisory and Managing Boards of ABN AMRO will remain unchanged in concept following completion of the offer;
The Banks will propose three new members to the Supervisory Board and intend to retain at least five existing members (subject to their being willing to serve);
The Chairman of the Supervisory Board will be an independent member of the Supervisory Board and will not be a nominee of any member of the Consortium;
Three independent members of the Supervisory Board will be charged with special responsibility for ensuring that the interests of minorities are protected until such time as their interests are acquired by RFS Holdings;
As is the current practice of ABN AMRO, appointments to the Managing Board will be nominated by the Supervisory Board and ultimately decided by the general meeting of shareholders. The Consortium will recommend a number of appointments to the Managing Board, including Chairman, CFO and CRO. In addition, it is the Consortium's intention to secure continuity by retaining ABN AMRO experience and knowledge on the Managing Board. The Consortium will either retain a number of existing members if they are willing to serve or will seek to identify candidates from the Group Business Committee;
The ABN AMRO Group will continue to act as a single coordinated institution in respect of all liabilities, requirements and regulatory interfaces. In the event that any parental support were to be provided, it would come directly from RBS who would thereafter share the consequences with the Consortium, using the mechanisms set out in Clause 13 of the CSA. The respective ABN AMRO businesses will, prior to separation, be managed under the authority of the ABN AMRO Managing Board; and
The period during which the Consortium members have undertaken to agree the terms of the definitive agreements to implement the restructuring of ABN AMRO has been reduced from 180 days to 90 days after the date of the offer going wholly unconditional, after which time the matters in dispute, on the application of any Consortium member, will be determined as set out in the Consortium and Shareholders' Agreement.
The Supplemental Agreement will be publicly available on the Banks' joint website.
Fortis N.V., Archimedeslaan 6, 3584 BA Utrecht, Netherlands; Fortis S.A./N.V., Rue Royale 20, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Head Office, Gogarburn, Edinburgh EH12 1HQ, UK. Registered Office, 36 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2YB. Registered in Scotland No 45551
Banco Santander, S.A., Ciudad Grupo Santander, Avenida de Cantabria, s/n, 28660 Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, Spain
Source: Published: 20:15 17.09.2007 GMT+2 /HUGIN /Source: FORTIS /BXS: FORB /ISIN: BE0003801181
Piraeus Events Calender: Shipping Siminars, Meetings
October 1-5 Shipping Entrepreneurship in Action, Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2-3 Shipping Derivatives and Risk Management will take place in the Savoy Hotel in Piraeus. Further information: email@example.com
October 2 to 4 DNV Academy Piraeus: ISM Internal Auditor. Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2 to 5 Propeller Club of the United States Port of Piraeus: 81st international conference and convention of the Propeller Club of the United States, at the Eugenides Foundation. Further information: http://www.propellerclub.gr/
October 8 to 10 DNV Academy Piraeus: Incident Investigation Analysis & Practical Risk Assessment. Further information: email@example.com
October 11 & 12 DNV Academy Piraeus: OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems- Foundation. Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 15-19 Classic and Modern Financing Tools for Shipping. Further information: email@example.com
October 18 9th Annual Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forum. Further information: http://www.marinemoney.com/forums/GR07/index.htm
November 8 Greek Shipping Summit 2007. Further information: http://www.greekshippingsummit.com/conference.html
November 13-16 &19 Shipping Law for Non-Lawyers. Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 10-14 From the University to the Freight Markets: A Practical Guide. Further information: email@example.com
January 21-25 From Ship to Shipowning: A Seminar for Ship Officers. Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 4-8 Freight Rates, Loans and the Management of Cost in Shipping. Further information: email@example.com
March 3-7 Ship Management through Software Applications. Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: press releases