Increasing concentration trend in Greek shipping The number of small Greek shipping companies owning one or two vessels has shrunk steeply, from 483 last year to 318 today, indicating an increasing trend toward concentration, the Petrofin company said. The Greek-owned merchant fleet today numbers 4,142 vessels, up by five in the past year, and its total tonnage has risen 9.16 percent to 166.7 million tons dwt. The number of companies has fallen from 785 to 749, while those owning between 16 and 24 ships have increased by 127.3 percent in the last five years and those with 25 or more by 26 percent. The data show that only one in six newcomers to the industry survives. The number of Greek tanker-owning companies has fallen from 174 to 159 since last year, while the number of tankers rose by 56. The average age of Greek-owned tankers fell from 28.48 to 24.49 years, while the number of cargo shipowning companies fell by five but the number of their vessels rose by 16 and their average age improved slightly, from 20.13 to 19.76 years. Market circles said the trend is inevitable following rapid changes in the operating environment, new safety regulations, strict controls and the very tight and selective lending policy of maritime banks. May PMI rises to 54.5 from 54.3 month-on-month Greece’s purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 54.5 in May from 54.3 in April, confirming that manufacturing is continuing to expand at rates higher than eurozone averages. NTC Research and the Hellenic Purchasing Institute said May’s seasonally adjusted PMI marked the 36th rise in Greece in 37 months, at expansion rates not seen since November 2000. May’s increase was due to a continuing pickup in production growth rates, new orders and stronger exports. «For the sixth consecutive month demand for Greek manufacturing products rose… with companies reporting stronger demand in the wider economy,» NTC Research said. Delivery times lengthened at the fastest pace since November 2000, based on a survey of about 300 purchasing managers. Manufacturing employment increased from the previous month to levels unseen since June 2001. (Reuters) World Bank seminar Senior officials of the World Bank (WB) will speak at a seminar on «How to Work with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the Balkan Region,» scheduled to take place in the Nikolaos Germanos conference center in Thessaloniki on June 14. Interested businesspeople will have the opportunity for individual contact with IFC officials. For further information, contact Theologia Voulgari in the WB’s Liaison Office at tel 0310.282.313 and 0310.286.032. Creta Farm Listed food company Creta Farm has acquired meat-processing firm Carna for 9 million euros in a multiple-round auction from Agricultural Bank. The sum will be paid through a leasing arrangement in 15 years. Carna has installations measuring 1 hectare on the northern-bound highway out of Athens. Creta Farm said the acquisition will enable it to optimize production and logistics. Investors The Athens bourse yesterday launched its Hellenic Investor Relations Institute (HIRI).