ECONOMY

Hellenic Seaways listing is imminent

Coastal shipping company Hellenic Seaways (HSW) will be listed on the Athens Exchange at end-2007 or in early 2008, through a share capital increase via a public offering, said the company’s main stakeholder Panos Laskaridis. He added that the funds raised from the listing will be used for the further expansion of the company, which in the period 2008-2010 plans to invest -250 million. The new investment program of HSW envisages the acquisition of four state-of-the-art ships that will either be brand-new or relatively new. The chief executive of HSW, Gerassimos Strintzis, indicated that the company’s new investment program is aimed at expanding to new international markets such as the Eastern Mediterranean. «To this end, the purchase of two main engines has already been scheduled so as to speed up the construction time of the first new ship, while further negotiations with shipyards in Greece and abroad are in progress,» said Strintzis. In 2006, HSW was the leading player among coastal shippers with a turnover reaching -142 million. By mid-July the revenues of HSW showed a 12 percent increase over the previous year, before its new ships Nissos Chios and Ariadni began operating. The company has also completed the refinancing of its borrowing with a new loan of -154 million on the most favorable terms in the Greek coastal shipping sector. HSW additionally acquires fuel that is 15 percent lower than current prices, through hedging contracts that protect it from the risk of oil price hikes.