ECONOMY

Navios’s NYSE debut

Navios Maritime Holdings Inc began trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, a move its chairwoman said would help the Greek shipping company deal with expected market consolidation and demand fueled by China’s economy. The Piraeus-based company had been trading on the Nasdaq exchange for 15 years before switching. «This suits Navios’s profile very well,» Chairman and CEO Angeliki Frangou said in a telephone interview from New York, after ringing the opening bell at the exchange. «We have clients from… Japan to South America. There is a global brand than you can really leverage via the New York Stock Exchange,» she said. The company runs 45 vessels – the largest US-listed fleet of dry-bulk carriers – and emerged as a powerful operator after its $600 million acquisition in 2005 of Navios Maritime Holdings. Earlier this month, it purchased Belgian shipper Kleimar N.V. for $165 million. Frangou, who comes from an influential shipping family, broke with the tradition of the family based business pattern to adopt a more corporate model. «In a fragmented industry, consolidation is inevitable,» she said. «If Greek shipping wants to be on the forefront of our industry, it will have to adopt the innovation in the financial markets.» China would continue for at least another decade to spur strong demand in the dry-cargo sector, she said. «Five years ago, China was admitted to the WTO. That fundamentally shifted the world of dry cargo,» as China’s development has required the transport of goods, such as grain, coal and iron ore. Navios has offices in Piraeus as well as in South Norwalk, Connecticut, and Montevideo, Uruguay. (AP)