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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers meeting held in Athens; Crucial shipping issues discussed

Wednesday, 03 June 2009

The relations between ship brokers and ship owners, the banking system’s role in today’s environment and the element of potential lack of human capital in the shipping industry of the future were among the issues discussed during the recent event of the Hellenic branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS). Nikos Tsavliris, President of the branch was the moderator of the talks, which included speakers like Ioannis Tzoannos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Mercantile Shipping, Leonidas Dimitriadis-Eugenidis, president of Niver Lines Shipping, Alan Marsh, presiden of Braemar Seascope, Richard Sayer, president of Galbraith’s, Dimitris Vassilakos, head of shipping of National Bank of Greece, Vassilis Mantzavinos, CEO and head of Global Shipping’s office in Piraeus and Patrick Hawkings of Hill Dickinson law house, while Mrs. Natalia Margiolis Komninou, CEO of ICS concluded the talks.
Mr. Tzoannos mentioned that among the challenges facing the global shipping industry today is piracy, EU legislature and the environment. Mr. Leonidas Dimitriadis-Eugenidis said that the human element is now more important than ever before, stating that young people must be drawn to the sector on a sustainable basis, as “seafarers are the basis of a ship’s operation, the basis of the industry itself, the only stable parameter in constantly shifting conditions” said Mr. Dimitriadis-Eugenidis.
Mr. Alan Marsh noted that the following six months will be of crucial importance, determining whether ship owners will break or not their commitments regarding new building orders. For that not to happen, a much more positive approach by both shipyards and owners will be needed, by offering additional credit or through a closer cooperation with banks, a matter to be seen. He also said that the pace of ships heading for demolition is lower than the level required to secure a firming of both the dry bulk and the tanker markets.
Mr. Richard Sayer referred to the inevitable breach of contracts from charterers and recommended as a solution for both parts (charters and ship owners) a renegotiation of terms, instead of a judicial resolution, which costs both time and money. From his part, Mr. Dimitris Vasilakos of National Bank of Greece focused on the health of the global banking system as a prerequisite for an economic turnaround, while he pointed out the danger of a rise of new kind of “nationalism” and “protectionism” in stockmarkets, as a result of a more intense presence of state in the banking sector, after the various rescue packages towards ailing banks and financial institutions.
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is the only internationally recognised professional body representing shipbrokers, ship managers and agents throughout the world, boasting 24 branches in key shipping areas, 3,500 individuals and 120 company members.