Tag Archives: Greece

Thessaloniki Port: 4 Companies Expected to Bid for the 67% stake

Four bids are expected to be tabled this week for the 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki Port Authority.

The deadline of the tender – which has been going on since the summer of 2014 – is this Friday at 7 p.m. and the binding bids will be tabled at Morgan Stanley in London.

The offers will come from the consortium comprising Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, Terminal Link (a subsidiary of CMA CGM) and Russian-Greek investor Ivan Savvidis’s group, as well as from Dubai Ports World, Japan’s Mitsui & Co, and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services.

The preferred bidder will have to implement investments of at least 180 million euros within seven years.

Talk of ties between any of the above candidates and the Cosco group, which has acquired Piraeus Port Authority, is refuted. Sources close to Cosco noted to Kathimerini that “the Chinese group is examining the form of its reaction to the discrimination that took place [at its expense] as in Piraeus Port only 51 percent was sold with another 16 percent due under certain conditions, while in Thessaloniki Port 67 percent is conceded with far fewer commitments.”

Source: Ekathimerini

 

Report by Piraeus Bank: A Casual Observer’s Guide to the Greek Economy (May 2015)

The Piraeus Bank (Greece) has just published this report being introduced as:

A casual observer of the Greek political discourse should be excused for feeling completely confused by the cacophony created by a litany of the comments regarding the issue of Greek sovereign debt sustainability, re-negotiation, alleviation or even repudiation. While these comments reflect the importance of these issues for the future of the Greek economy, the way this dialogue is conducted obscures rather than clarifies the true nature of the problems that need to be addressed.

In what follows, we focus on some of the “hot topics” relevant to the Greek economy:

  • What has been the course of events since 2010
  • Where we stand now regarding the business cycle
  • What is the cyclical position of the Greek economy

What is the “state of affairs” regarding the Greek debt

Here is the full report (PowerPoint format):

a-casual-observers-guide-to-the-greek-economy

 

 

Greece: Ship Owners Fear Syriza Tax Plan

Several owners in Greece’s important shipping sector say they fear the new government led by radical-left party Syriza will levy higher taxes that the industry can’t afford.
If the industry is unable to reach a compromise with the government, elected Sunday, some owners say they plan to limit their operations in Greece or move out of the country altogether.
Shipping is one of the few sectors in Greece that has successfully weathered a ravaging debt crisis which wiped out about a quarter of the economy over the past five years and impoverished much of the population. It is one of the country’s biggest employers, providing about quarter of a million jobs, and makes up 8% of the economic output in a country where unemployment is running close to 30%.
But many Greeks also perceive shipowners as a privileged group, protected by special tax laws, who haven’t contributed their fair share to push the country out of the crisis. Many within Syriza share such views and say that they will push the shipping industry to pay more.
“Whatever we plan must be in the context of what Greek society is going through,” Theodoros Dritsas, the Syriza party official widely expected to be named merchant-marine minister, told a New Year’s gathering at the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping earlier this month. He said shipping, as the country’s most productive sector, must be prepared to “lift the heaviest possible burden” to help the country out of the crisis.
A Syriza policy paper before the elections called for a “new national agreement” with the shipping sector that would include the abolition of various tax breaks.
As in the rest of the world, shipping in Greece is subject only to tonnage tax, a complicated but relatively modest annual charge paid to the government based on the tonnage of the vessels operated by companies. The owners agreed in 2013 to double the amount they pay as a move of goodwill, but they say this is as far as they will go.
Union of Greek Shipowners President Theodore Veniamis told a maritime forum in Athens last week that owners want to stay in Greece, but keeping the existing laws governing the sector is “a non-negotiable requirement.”
Greeks are the world’s biggest shipowners, controlling around 15% of all vessels in the water, or about 4,000 ships in total, according to shipping-data provider VesselsValue.com. In recent years, the sector’s total annual revenue has amounted to around $15 billion.
“I don’t know if the new government knows that the majority [of the Athens-based companies] are involved in dry-bulk shipping, which has been in the worst-ever state over the last four to five years. These guys don’t even have money to pay their debts,” said Harry Vafias, who runs Stealth Gas Ltd., a New York-listed operator of 63 liquid-petroleum-gas carriers.
Dry-bulk shipping, which moves grains, coal, iron ore and other commodities, has been marred by overcapacity of around 20% above demand over the past decade, analysts estimate. The excess tonnage in the water suppresses freight rates, the main source of income for shipping companies.
Mr. Vafias said he is willing to make a larger contribution to the new government, “because I love my country and because I’ve been lucky enough to operate ships that make money.”
“But this view is not reflected by the vast majority of my peers, who have seen the value of their ships fall by 30% to 40% over the past few years,” Mr. Vafias continued. “So if the government gets nasty and doesn’t work towards a compromise they will pack up and go, and the state will lose the tax it currently gets, the ships will be reflagged and jobs will be lost.”
Five other owners contacted by The Wall Street Journal said they all had a “Plan B” that involves relocating to shipping centers such as London, Monaco, Singapore or Dubai. They said they want to wait for the new government to spell out its shipping policy before going public with their plans.

WSJ/HSN 28.1.2015