ECONOMY

Merchant marine firms pick up

Greek merchant marine companies listed on foreign bourses are showing a mixed picture as the negative results of previous months are beginning to improve. This conveys some reserved optimism from the rising course of shipping fares and companies? expected profits.

An analysis by the Center of Planning and Economic Research on Shipping showed that the total capitalization of the 31 Greek-owned shipping companies listed on foreign stock exchanges amounted to $6.893 billion in August.

With the sector picking up, Greek shipowners are continuing to invest in new vessels, which represents their biggest asset against their rivals: Clarkson Shipbrokers suggests that in the year?s first 10 months, Greek shipowners invested about $3.7 billion to acquire 162 used vessels and $9.4 billion in 91 new ships.

Nevertheless, shipping, the country?s main exporting sector, ?continues to suffer significant pressures from the supply side, with charges remaining about 47 percent lower than the average of the last decade,? according to the National Bank of Greece.