Last year was one of contrasts for the ship finance sector as the once dominating German ship finance market continued to contract with few banks remaining committed to shipping, while the competition from Chinese leasing continued to rise when it came to financing the key Greek shipping market.

With a total asset value of some $105bn bank financing to Greek shipping continues to contract, but at a slower rate.

The snap elections announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for 30 June or 7 July, after his government’s sound defeat in the European Parliament elections, on 26 May, have major repercussions on various pending privatisation projects.

Greece is a bridge and not a border between the West and the East and as a regional hub for growth that is gaining global influence and significance, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing 26 April.

A series of meetings in recent days between European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, and leaders of the Greek shipping community appear to have got Commissioner Bulc on side when it comes to regulating the maritime industry.

Bimco will open an office in Athens early this summer with the objective is to have a stronger and closer dialogue with Bimco's Greek membership and to recruit more Greek members and provide a back-up service to the owner’s every day challenges.

The Athens residence of UK ambassador to Greece, Kate Smith was the focus of a 'cyber attack' 5 March, but UK expertise in cyber security prevailed. The attack was the showcase of a presentation at the residence by the UK Society of Maritime Industries, which allowed attendees during a presentation on the challenges of maritime cyber security to take part in a tailored cyber 'war game'.

The delivery of fewer newbuildings has led to an aging yet still expanding Greek fleet capacity wise though the number of shipping companies is in steady decline according to a new study of the Greek shipping.

Though Greek owners continue to rule the global roost when fleet size and asset value, due to the unstable market conditions and new regulatory requirements, for the first time in decade on an annual basis in the 12 months to the beginning of March the size of the Greek-controlled fleet recorded a decline year-on-year.

Greek shipowners will pay at least EUR75m ($85.37m) annually to the state budget, under a deal reached by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS).

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