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Shipping crisis leaves little impact on Greek owners

Shipping crisis leaves little impact on Greek owners
The shipping crisis seems to have had little impact on Greece’s major owners as the largest owners have increased in number and their fleets are bigger.

The bosses of Greek shipping companies are in charge of one in six oceangoing ships trading around the world. In most of the trade sectors Greek interests are the leading players, and indications are they expect to remain so in the coming years, though trading powers are changing.

A recent survey by Greece’s Naftiliaki revealed there are presently 72 fleets under Greek control which top 1m dwt. There are 56 fleet running 20 or more vessels.

Between them the 72 ownerships run some 2,621 vessels of a total 257.9m dwt. This group thus runs some 74% of the Greek-owned oceangoing fleet and controls around 92% of its tonnage.

With some 490 shipping companies in all, this also emphasizes the fact shipping in Greece is a career with many small players earning a living from it.

Three names missing this year from the big boys also reflect the tough times shipping is facing. Naftiliaki took the Peter Georgiopoulos stable and the Eagle Bulk Carriers operation out of the list as their owners are now PE investors, while Gabriel Panayiotides Maryville Maritime/Excel sank with the takeover by the Petros Pappas-led Star Bulk which also merged with Pappas Oceanbulk with the backing of Oaktree Capital Management.

As a result Star was the star and rose from 22nd position in 2014 to seventh now with a fleet of 72 trading ships of 7.26m dwt. This does not include Pappas privately-owned energy fleet, Product Shipping, which debuts in the table for the first time in at number 33, making it the biggest riser.

The group led by John Angelicoussis, retains its position at the top of the table, with some 95 ships of 18.42m dwt under the banners of the energy fleets Maran Tankers and Maran Gas, and the dry bulk operation, Anangel Maritime Services. The group is pretty much the same as in 2014 but is waiting for newbuildings and is looking for tanker tonnage secondhand.

As all but a couple of the ships fly the Greek flag the Angelicoussis carrying capacity puts it 14th on the world’s list of fleets by flag, wedged between Norway and Italy and ahead of South Korea and Germany. Further it accounts for 23.6% of the total Greek-flagged fleet.

The Navios group run by Angeliki Frangou is closing in on Angelicoussis jumping to number two this time from number five a year ago. The group is buying ships, ordering ships and, more recently revolutionising the way banks deal with distress ship assets.

At the beginning of May, Frangou was running 15.54m dwt and 148 vessels under five Navios banners, comprising tankers, bulkers and containerships. The growth of the operation has been impressive, adding 6.91m dwt and 56 vessels in a year.

All but seven of the 20-plus fleets are among the fleets over 1m dwt. By way of comparison, at the same time in 2011, there were 50 Greek fleets of over 20 ships, but 13 of them were under 1m dwt.

In the group there are 28 fleets listed on a stock exchange in the US, London or Athens with Frangou running of most vessels.