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Greek merchant marine regains its lead in 2013

05 September 2013 / 14:09:53  GRReporter
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One of the axioms in economics is that lower taxes release free capital which is being invested in the real economy. This fully applies to Greek shipping magnates who are not only the richest Greeks but also are exempt from all taxes, the consequence of which is free capital available to them. The results are evident as, in the first eight months of 2013, Greeks bought 209 from a total of 867 cargo ships in the world which had changed their ownership.
    The data of the intermediary company Allied Shipbroking show that 2013 is going to be the second best year for the world’s merchant marine after 2008 when the global financial crisis began and the decline in global shipping due to it. At the same time if you look at the capital which changed ownership from January to August, it turns out that 2013 is going to be the year of the lowest prices of cargo vessels. The prices of commercial ships have fallen dramatically and the Greek magnates have taken advantage of this, although not all of them but only those who have had enough cash and good connections in the banking circles.
    In the period from January to August 2008, which was the peak in the development of the world's merchant marine and which is used as a benchmark for comparisons with all other years, 26.9 billion dollars had been spent for the purchase of 891 ships with a total carrying capacity of 42.93 million dwt (deadweight tonnage is a measure of how much weight a ship can safely carry). By comparison, 867 ships with a total carrying capacity of 46.84 million dwt worth nearly 10 billion dollars were sold in the first eight months of 2013. Greek magnates had focused on second-hand ships in perfect condition and fully meeting the environmental and technical requirements of the International Marine Organization.
    In the first eight months of  2013, 209 ships totaling 2.98 billion dollars passed into Greek hands whereas in the same period of 2008 the number of the acquired ships had been 164 and their total value 7.37 billion dollars. From January to August 2012 Greek ship-owners acquired 125 vessels amounting to 2.28 billion euro. This means that this year, one out of every three dollars spent on sea freight worldwide belongs to a Greek shipping company which has purchased one of every four ships that have changed ownership.
    In terms of types of ships this year the preference of Greek magnates are bulk carriers which are suitable for the transportation of cement, grain and various types of metals. They have purchased 109 such vessels worth 1.56 billion dollars. The second most preferred vessels are the tankers for the transportation of oil and petroleum products. Greeks have bought 91 such ships worth 1.09 billion dollars. Third in the preferences of Greek ship-owners are cargo ships for the transportation of containers and they have bought 29 vessels of this type worth 0.32 billion dollars.
    An interesting comparison is the one with Chinese businessmen who are interested in the merchant marine and who, in recent years, have taken the lead in the industry. The data of Allied Shipbroking show that the Chinese are "tired" in 2013 and they have yielded precedence to the Greeks in the trade of second-hand ships.

Tags: Greek ship-ownersWorld merchant marineTankersCargo shipsBulk carriers
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