Used ships fetch good prices for shipowners

Greek shipowners have recently shown increased activity as the program for renewing the Greek fleet with fresher vessels is in full development, while several companies are rushing to take advantage of the high prices used ships have by selling older ones. As a result there now are many ship sales and purchases bearing a Greek stamp. Making the most of the current trend of a rise in the prices for used ships, Diamantis Diamantidis’s Marmaras Navigation recently sold two capesize vessels, securing profits of 50 million euros. The company sold the Faneromeni, 149,000 dwt, built in 1989, and Koutalianos, 172,000 dwt, built in 1987. Their buyer was the Chinese Hebei Ocean Shipping Co (Hosco), for $75 million. It will receive the vessels by April. Marmaras Navigation had purchased the Faneromeni and Koutalianos for $16.5 million and $10.6 million respectively. The price of the deal has apparently impressed some analysts who suggest it might be particularly high, given that there is no certainty prices will remain at current levels; the rise of prices is estimated to be near its end. Stamford Navigation has also begun sales in order to renew its fleet. The company sold its bulker Anemi Breeze, 72,000 dwt, to a Greek-owned company for more than $28 million, having purchased it last July for $19.75 million. It further sold the smaller Pioneer Sky, 10,000 dwt, for $11 million, which had also bought in the same period for $6 million. It therefore continued the sales it began in the last quarter of 2004, when it sold another two ships for $22.75 million, having bought them for only $7.9 million. With nine bulkers bought in 2004, Stamford Navigation has set its course toward renewing its fleet, controlling 16 ships today after its recent sales. According to a statement by Mr Zolotas of Stamford, the company will continue its expansion into the dry bulk market, while also preparing its penetration into the tanker and the liquified petroleum gas sectors. It is now negotiating with a Japanese firm for the purchase of a 50,000dwt bulker built in 1996.

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