ECONOMY

More money for new ships

Greek shipowners submitted orders for 33 new ships at a total value of $1,681 billion in December 2007, despite the worries by shipping financial experts about the impact of the subprime mortgage crisis, suggests the monthly report of G. Moundreas & Co. In total last year, Greek shipowners appear to have invested over $47 billion in the acquisition of new and used ships. Some $32 billion of that concerns orders for the building of 555 ships, while the rest is for the acquisition of 388 secondhand ships. At the focus of their interest lie dry-bulk carriers, with tankers playing second fiddle. The year before, Greeks had invested only $23.5 billion in 322 new ships and 287 used ones. Bank of Greece data suggest that at end-2006 the value of the global fleet under construction came to $298 billion, of which $27 billion concerned Greek companies’ orders. Used ships Greek shipowners also play a dominant role in the secondhand market: By end-November 2007 they had invested $14.4 billion to acquire 388 secondhand vessels (December data on used ships are not available yet) against a total of $40.35 billion for 1,551 around the world. Dry-bulk carriers are not just the most popular choice for constructions but also for sales. Greeks have acquired 237 bulkers at a total value of $10.28 billion, while tankers are far behind with 99 transactions of $3.22 billion. Container ships follow with 30 transactions ($766.9 million), ahead of reefers (22 transactions for $135 million). Greek shipowners biggest competitors are the Norwegians and Germans, who had invested $2.2 billion each by November. The Chinese spent $2.15 billion, the Koreans $2.06 billion and the Americans $2.02 billion.