One of the largest shipping exhibitions, Posidonia is about to begin, and the industry is gearing up for the event that brings together thousands of exhibitors and buyers from over 90 countries for a few days of business, debate and, of course, social gatherings. The show kicks off on the 30th with the Posidonia Cup Yacht Race at Faliron Bay. But what if you’re not going until next week? Well then, you can keep yourself busy by reading our guide to the top Greek shipowners in 2014.
According to Clarkson’s Shipbrokers, Greek ship owners are the most successful in the world, owning 4,894 vessels with 291,735,318 deadweight tonnage (dwt) and 168,922,455 gross tonnage (gt), leaving Japan and China shivering nervously in its wake.
Right now, one in five ships being built all around the world belong to Greek shipowners, and one in three are being bought by Greek shipping companies. So it's easy to see, when it comes to shipping, Greece is a big player. Here are some of the men and women behind the biggest Greek companies on the map.
1. John Angelicoussis
Ranking first among Greek shippers and eighth in the world, this is one man who owns many a vessel. In fact the most vessels of all. Head of companies Anangel, Maran Rankers and Maran Gas, Angelicoussis has 114 vessels under his belt (not literally... that would be impossible) with 20,581.974 dwt and 12,088,789 gt.
Maran Gas is the biggest company of the bunch, with nine LNG carriers with a total of 1.4 million cam, and 17 more vessels of 2.8 million cbm currently on order. Deliveries for Maran run right up to the end of 2016.
Angelicoussis makes his business a family affair too. Keeping up the tradition of his father, Anthony J. Angelicoussis. John's daughter Maria showed off her negotiating skills in April 2014 when she purchased the Samco Asia from Alpha Frieghters and Tankers for a reported $33.5 million. Market reports suggest that Angelicoussis got the vessel for a bargain price at 12 percent less than Alpha paid for its sister, Samco America in November 2013.
2. George Economou
In second place with a fleet made up of 128 vessels with 16,433,577 dwt and 9,177,969 gt is George Economou. CEO of Cardiff Marine and serving as Dryships Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since its inception in 2004, George Economou has taken on a great many challenges. In 2005 he took Dryships public and managed to grow the company into one of, if not, the largest US listed dry bulk company in fleet size and revenue.
However many have questioned Economou’s way of working, with some saying that the CEO’s interests are not aligned with those of his shareholders. For example, after the IPO, DryShips had around 30 million shares outstanding. That figure now stands at over 432 million, an increase of 1,440 percent. A potentially reckless dilution perhaps?
With Dryships stocks down over 80 percent since its IPO, a net loss of $34.6 million in the first quarter, and the CEO admitting that charter rates for larger dry bulk carriers have been under performing, could trouble be brewing for the company?
Not according to Economou, who doesn’t seem fazed by the recent problems. In fact he seems to believe that a turnaround for dry bulk could happen this year. "Following a period of oversupply the recent volatility in the tanker and dry bulk sectors is a clear sign of a more balanced supply and demand. We continue to expect a sustainable recovery in charter rates during the second half of 2014 and beyond.”
3. George Prokopiou
Dynacom Tanker’s George Procopiou must be a busy man. Why? Because he’s in charge of a fleet of 95 vessels with 12,486,682 dwt and 7,443,560 gt of course.
With 54 vessels in Dynacom Tankers, 10 LNG carriers in Dynagas and 29 dry bulk carriers employed under the Sea Traders Flag, this is one businessman who’s not afraid of growth.
Like Angelicoussis, Procopiou is a bit of a proud father. Three of his four daughters have so far joined the Dynacom team in various roles, working in dry cargo, tankers, and LNG. And LNG is apparently one of Procopiou’s favourite sectors right now. Over the last five years he’s been working the spot market using three LNG carriers.
"This gave us a great experience in going into almost all existing terminals, loading and discharging, making the vessels flexible and compatible with all these terminals,” Procopiou told TradeWinds. "I believe we have the highest compatibility record on our vessels — above 100 terminals. [...] the LNG carrier market has a long way to go.”
4. Angeliki Frangou
CEO of Navios Group, Angeliki Frangou ranks fourth on the list of top Greek shipowners and 19th in the world’s shipping ranking too. Now with a fleet comprised of 117 vessels with 11,252,528 dwt and 6,268,888 gt, Frangou first started on her shipping career path at 25 when she bought her first ship, the Fulvia with a loan from her father. After launching a special purpose acquisition company, she bought International Shipping Enterprises, renamed it Navios and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since 2004 the Navios group has raised around $10 billion in financing, with the number continuing to rise month after month. In the first quarter of 2014, Navios Maritime Partners’ revenue rose 14.4 percent year-over-year to $57 million, outperforming all other dry bulk shippers. How did they do this? Surely a number of factors contributed, but some suggest that Frangou’s management experience and skills could have made all the difference.
5. Petros Pappas
Number five of our top Greek shipowners is none other than Petros Pappas, and this is one gentleman that doesn’t like to keep all his vessels in one port. The Pappas group includes the companies Oceanbulk, Star Bulk and PST Tankers.
Looking after 83 vessels with 9,141,075 dwt and 5,059,602, he’s known in the industry for being a excellent exploiter of the shipping cycle (buying low and selling high) and has one of the best investment records in the shipping sector.
Despite struggling after the dry bulk downturn in 2008, Pappas is currently flying high with Oceanbulk up $74.9 million since Posidonia last year and looking to take bulker fleets public soon.