Capital Link's 7th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum a Resounding Success; Achieves Record Attendance of 975+

Capital Link's 7th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum a Resounding 
Success; Achieves Record Attendance of 975+ Delegates 
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/28/13 --  Capital Link held its
7th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum in New York City
Thursday, March 21, 2013, and with record attendance, the Forum was a
resounding success. The Forum, organized in cooperation with NYSE
Euronext and NASDAQ OMX, attracted a record of 975+ influential
C-level executives, institutional investors and analysts, bankers,
financial advisors, financial media, and other qualified investors,
to come together to discuss, debate and exchange information on
critical maritime industry topics.  
Nicolas Bornozis, President of Capital Link, remarked, "Shipping is a
cyclical and volatile business -- but it is a business that
ultimately endures the test of time and it has been, is, and will
continue to be a critical link in the global economy and trade.
Today's market conditions put to the test the whole shipping industry
-- owners, charterers, financiers and the multitude of service
providers. Currently, shipping is at a crossroads of sorts; however
one can't count out shipping over the long term, as history has shown
throughout the many cycles the shipping industry has endured, weak
markets can generate attractive opportunities for well selected, well
timed and well-priced asset acquisitions. 
"The real challenge today is not whether opportunities will surface
-- they always do surface during weak markets. The real challenge is
who can take advantage of these opportunities given the new landscape
in the world of finance and capital markets. Strong liquidity and
access to financing are critical success factors in this pursuit,
especially as bank financing has become less available and more
costly and capital markets have not been particularly friendly to
"Today, Capital Link works with the majority of shipping companies
listed on U.S. Exchanges, as well as with those listed in London and
Milan. This enables us to be in the midst of activity by listed
shipping companies, investors, analysts and media, all of which
recognize Capital Link as the 'go-to' place when it comes to the
shipping industry. It translates into unique information flow,
know-how, and insight when it comes to shipping and investors. With
our forums, webinars, newsletters, industry websites, and stock
market indices, Capital Link has built marketing platforms that are
effective, and raise awareness about shipping to a wider and ever
expanding investor audience."  
Conference Material 
 All conference materials (presentations, panel
and audio files) are available on Capital Link's website, at:  

--  19 September - 5th Annual Global Derivatives on Energy, Commodities
    and Freight, NEW YORK
--  26 September - 6th Annual International Shipping & Marine Services
    Forum, LONDON
--  24October - 3rd Annual Sustainability (CSR) in Shipping & Offshore
    Sectors, LONDON


--  25 February - 5th Annual Greek Shipping Forum - ATHENS. GREECE
--  20 March - 8th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum, - NEW
--  2 June - 4thPosidonia Analyst & Investor Day, - ATHENS, GREECE

The 7th Annual Invest in International Shipping Forum took place in
New York City with a diverse body of shipping professionals from
around the globe in attendance. An investor-focused event held every
year in New York, influential C-level executives -- belonging to U.S.
and foreign listed shipping companies -- came together to discuss and
examine the macroeconomic issues that are shaping and transforming
international shipping today. The forum provided a comprehensive
review and outlook on the various shipping markets, made more
relevant by the annual release of companies' performance results.
Attending investors, who wish to evaluate how companies continue to
finance their vessels and projects, were able to assess both the
current and future financial status of the international shipping
With panel discussions that included senior executives from 22
shipping companies and 36 executives from charterers and industry
experts, commercial and investment banks, analysts, private equity
firms, law firms, consulting firms, maritime organizations and
classification societies, the Forum not only covered the latest
developments and trends in international trade, offshore drilling,
dry bulk commodit
ies and the energy markets -- framed against the
broader backdrop of the global economy -- but also reviewed the
various funding alternatives for raising capital among listed and
private shipping companies. It also addressed other critical topics
that the industry faces such as restructuring issues and discussed
investment opportunities in various sectors including ship recycling. 
Opening Address: 
Nick Kounis, Head of Macro Research, ABN AMRO Group Economics, opened
the program sharing his views on the world economy and world trade.
Despite recent developments in Cyprus, systemic risks related to the
euro crisis have come down over recent months, helping to ease
financial conditions and uncertainty. Cyprus still looks like a
special case, while the ECB's OMT program remains a credible
sovereign safety net. In the US too, risks to the global economy
related to the logjam in the US political system have been reduced
given the resolution of the fiscal cliff and extension of the
deadline for the debt ceiling. Private sector de-leveraging is
advanced and the private sector is regaining some traction. Advanced
economy central banks -- led by the Fed -- have put in place
aggressive monetary stimulus, with the balance sheets of the big four
heading for the 10 trillion dollar mark by the end of this year.
Emerging market central banks have also eased monetary policy, and
this is starting to underpin demand. Indeed, China's economy has
experienced as soft landing and growth is starting to firm. This list
of positives suggests that the seeds have been sown for a recovery.
However, there are a number of negatives that suggest that the global
recovery will be slow this year. In particular, aggressive fiscal
consolidation across the developed world will weigh on demand.
Fortunately, this year will most likely mark the peak, and the pace
of budget cuts will slow next year. As such, cyclical tailwinds
should start to overcome fiscal headwinds in 2014, so that the pace
of global growth should accelerate. China's great transformation,
from investment-led to consumer led growth will also means that the
days of double digit GDP growth in China are over. As such, the boost
from Chinese demand will be somewhat less compared to before the
crisis. Overall, we expect global GDP and world trade growth to
improve in 2013, while still remaining below historical averages. A
more convincing recovery will take place in 2014. 
 Michael Webber, Senior
Analyst, Director, Equity Research, Global Shipping - Wells Fargo
Securities, LLC 
 Evangelos Chatzis, Chief Financial
Officer - Danaos Corporation
 Aristides Pittas, Chairman & Chief
Executive Officer - Euroseas Ltd.
 Hermann Klein, Chief Executive
Officer - E.R. Schiffahrt
 Michael Kastl, Senior Director, Treasury &
Finance - Hapag-Lloyd 
 Claes Devantier, SVP, Containers - Maersk
 The discussion began with an outlook on
containerized trade in 2013. With the recent decline in freight rates
year over year, counterparty risk weighed heavily on the group, but
for containership and box lessors, these groups have largely been
able to escape those questions. Pockets of strength, particularly the
Intra-Asia and the North-South trades, carried the load in terms of
growth in 2012; our panelists opined on whether this would play out
again in 2013, and what would it take to see containerized trade
growth back near more normal levels.  
Regarding bank financings, it appears that while several high-profile
banks recently pulled out of the shipping space, vessel financing
seems to be available for the right owners, with the right
specification. This launched the discussion into the ECO-Class ships,
with recent waves of ECO-Class orders across several shipping
sectors, including containerships, where the time charter equivalent
savings appear to be the most significant. 
 Harris Antoniou, Managing
Director, Energy, Commodities & Transportation - ABN
 Paul Young, Chief Marketing Officer - EXMAR
Saroglou, Chief Operating Officer - Tsakos Energy Navigation
Lauritzen, Chief Executive Officer - Dynagas  
 The LNG
panel focused on the current state of the market, as well as the
overall supply-demand balance, access to capital, and the competitive
landscape. While overall volumes in LNG were down year over year,
there remains opportunity for future growth in Angola, Nigeria and
Qatar. This was a key point, as the current orderbook for new LNG
carriers came to the forefront of the discussion, with the consensus
being that the additional supply of vessels can be easily absorbed by
the demand. 
The current ship lending climate brought about the question of
whether the banks were open to financing LNG carriers with or without
period charters. The banks, still jaded from the most recent shipping
cycles, may prefer visible cash flows from a long term charter, but
at what has become a significant cost in capped revenue. The access
to capital necessary for long term growth in LNG companies has been
most efficiently raised from the publicly-traded Master Limited
Partnerships (MLP) model. 
 Herman Hildan, Shipping
Analyst - RS Platou Markets AS 
 Marco Fiori, Chief
Executive Officer - d'Amico International Shipping
 Fred Gordon, VP
Corporate Affairs - Navios Maritime Holdings 
 Robert Bugbee,
President - Scorpio Group 
 Nikolas Tsakos, Chief Executive Officer -
Tsakos Energy Navigation 
 The panel agreed that demand is
on the pick-up and it has actually been stronger than expected.
Shipping remains a small fraction of the overall product cost and
this explains why there is an increasing number of trades that are
difficult to understand (e.g. Asia to US product trade when it's
cheaper from US Gulf). Major market participants such as Shell, Vitol
etc. go long on ships, indicating the expectation that demand will
firm up while current asset prices are still attractive. However,
asset prices have started to move up. The panel also debated how much
of a catalyst eco ships are to the industry and opinions were
divided. Given that the sector's problems stem to a large extent from
oversupply, there was a lively debate on the issue of over-ordering
and its impact in the future. Some panelists expressed the opinion
that owners should exercise restraint and not succumb to the
temptation of placing new orders given the attractive packages that
shipyards are offering. Other panelists noted that shipping is not a
team sport, and given the low asset prices, anyone who has the
resources at hand should take advantage of the situation and expand
the fleet. 
Speaker: Evan Sproviero, Director - Global Marketing Systems (GMS) 
 "Ship Recycling in Today's Market Conditions and the Role
of the Cash Buyer." The presentation highlighted the importance of
ship recycling as a catalyst to help rebalance the greater shipping
markets. In 2012 alone, 56.5+ million DWT was recycled and GMS, as
the world's largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, predicts 2013
to be an even larger year in terms of the number of vessels and DWT
that is expected to be recycled.  
Mr. Sproviero also illustrated the evolving role of the cash buyer as
the center of the recycling industry which now has a $5 billion+ per
year turnover. In addition, Evan went into detail about how cash
buyers, and GMS in particular, are now potential sources of finance
and equity in the shipping space.  
 Douglas Mavrinac,
Shipping Analyst - Jefferies & Company, Inc. 
 Tom Beney,
Head of Ocean Transportation - Cargill Americas
 Fred Gordon, VP,
Corporate Affairs - Navios Maritime Holdings
 Polys Hajioannou,
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer - Safe Bulkers
 Spyros Capralos,
Chief Executive Officer - Star Bulk Carriers
 George Economou,
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer - DryShips Inc. 
 The dry bulk owners panel concluded that the cause of the
collapse of dry bulk shipping charter rates was due to the deluge of
supply of new dry bulk carriers over the past few years. In fact, dry
bulk shipping demand has actually remained quite robust in recent
years despite the slowing of Chinese economic growth. Furthermore,
with significant new iron ore production capacity scheduled to come
online in Australia in 2H13, dry bulk shipping demand growth could
accelerate further later this year and into 2014. Finally, as it
relates to dry bulk shipping demand, the panel agreed that dry bulk
shipping demand growth was going to play a key role in the recovery
of the dry bulk shipping market.  
The panel concluded that one of the biggest hindrances to a recovery
in the near-term was the current degree of oversupply in the form of
dry bulk vessels that were slow steaming. While there was some
disagreement about whether slow steaming was permanent or temporary,
the panel agreed that if slow steaming were to end, it would only be
once dry bulk shipping spot charter rates had improved dramatically
from current levels. The lack of an order book beyond 2013 was viewed
as a reason for optimism for a recovery of the dry bulk shipping
market over the next 12-18 months. 
 Truls Troan, Head of
Corporate Finance - RS Platou Markets AS 
Economou, Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer
- Ocean Rig
 Ole B. Hjertaker, Chief Executive Officer - Ship Finance
International Ltd.
 Paul Bragg, Chief Executive Officer & Director -
Vantage Drilling
 Scott Kerr, Chief Executive Officer - Sevan
 Robert W. Rose, President & Chief Executive Officer -
Prospector Offshore Drilling 
 The drilling markets is less
fragmented compared to the shipping market, and thus drillers are
more disciplined compared to ship-owners when it comes to placing new
rig or drillship orders, which should prevent periods of excessive
over supply. For UDW drilling, it takes more time to drill the UWS
wells and this is the reason behind the dramatic increase in the
number of UDW rigs used. A significant number of UDW discoveries are
yet to be developed and this should add to the demand for rigs. For
jackups, there is an increasing need for higher spec jackups, and the
lead time to secure them has almost doubled from 9 to 18 months. The
panelists were in consensus that current stock valuations do not
reflect sector fundamentals.  
Leptos-Bourgi, Partner, Global Shipping & Ports Industry Leader -
 Harris Antoniou, Managing Director, Energy,
Commodities & Transportation - ABN AMRO 
 Michael Parker, Global Head
of Shipping - Citi  
 The Banking and Shipping panel
analyzed some of the issues banks are currently facing that restrict
their ability to extend loan finance in general and to the shipping
industry in particular. Such issues relate primarily to capital
adequacy considerations and regulator pressure and are expected to
continue to be at the forefront in the short to medium term.
Companies seeking to raise loan finance need to be well capitalized,
have projects with visible cash flows and be ready to accept tighter
terms on such loans. Smaller companies are likely to face more
difficult conditions in attracting loan finance, so should be
preparing themselves to find alternative sources of finance, such as
organizing themselves in more transparent and corporate structures or
improving their corporate governance. The panelists suggested this
may lead to some consolidation in the industry for smaller players
since larger entities will likely be more attractive to finance
providers, including banks.  
On the issue of problematic exposures, the panelists indicated that
time may be running out for companies that have consistently failed
to meet covenant obligations or keep to agreed repayment schedules.
While banks have been accommodating to such situations in the past,
increasing pressure from regulators is likely to lead to more
decisive action rather than continuing to extend waivers or
refinancing the problematic exposures. However, this may not
necessarily mean it will lead to a significant flow of distressed
opportunities, although some such transactions can be expected by the
end of the year.  
Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited, a leading product, crude and LNG
tanker operator, celebrated its 20th Anniversary as a public company.
Mr. Nikolas Tsakos, President and CEO of the Company, remarked on the
company's track record of solid growth and value creation for its
shareholders since 1993 when TEN first listed on the Oslo Stock
Exchange and then in 2002 on the New York Stock Exchange. From a
fleet of just four vessels in 1993, TEN has become one of the largest
independent transporters of energy in the world controlling a
versatile fleet of 49 modern crude and product tankers and liquefied
natural gas ("LNG") vessels. TEN has the largest product tanker fleet
currently in operation and one of the largest tanker fleets with
ice-class capabilities. Since its listing on the New York Stock
Exchange in 2002, TEN has generated over $1 billion in net income and
has paid without interruption a dividend every year. The day
following the Forum, on Friday, March 22, 2013, senior members of the
Company's management team and guests attended a specially held
ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange and rang the closing bell.  
To view the Closing Bell ceremony, please click on the following link
or copy and paste it in your browser 
Introduction by: Nikolas Tsakos, Vice-Chairman, INTERTANKO, and
President & Chief Executive Officer of Tsakos Energy Navigation
Speaker: Katharina Stanzel, Managing Director, INTERTANKO 
The Luncheon keynote address, delivered by Katharina Stanzel,
Managing Director of INTERTANKO, touched on various themes covered
throughout the event. Kathi also spoke about shipowners' resilience
and real life concerns in the light of the tremendous complexity
brought about by increasing regulation and the volatile and often
unpredictable and dramatic changes in market conditions. She finally
suggested why this shipping cycle was different from previous ones
and why some of the fundamental trading imbalances needed redressing
through collaboration of stakeholders in order to keep global supply
chains working. 
Allan Reiss, Partner - Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP  
Chris Christopoulos, Director, Transportation Investment Banking -
Bank of America Merrill Lynch 
 Erik Helberg, Chief Executive Officer
- RS Platou Markets AS 
 Eric Schless, Managing Director - Wells
Fargo Securities 
 The panelists concurred that debt and equity investors
particularly favored shipping companies with energy related assets,
particularly in the LNG, product tanker and offshore sectors. Well
managed, moderately levered companies with strong counterparties in
these sectors are able to tap a broad range of debt and equity
sources, from Norwegian and US high yield bonds to preferred equity
to common equity of both corporate and master limited partnership
(MLP) issuers. While most of these offerings appeal to investors'
thirst for yield, there are signs that value oriented international
institutional investors are increasingly entering the shipping
capital markets.  
 John F. Imhof Jr.,
Partner - Watson, Farley & Williams (New York) LLP  
Sofia Kalomenides, Partner, Central & Southeast Europe, Markets
Leader - Ernst & Young
 Hamish Norton, Head of Corporate Development
- Oceanbulk Maritime (USA) Inc. 
 Jasvinder Khaira, Principal,
Tactical Opportunities - Blackstone Group LP  
 The panel opened by discussing the market conditions that
have led to many of the recent private equity investments in
shipping, including the cyclical nature of the industry, the current
industry downturn and the industry's need for additional capital. The
panel also discussed the types of private equity investments being
made, the perspectives and objectives that private equity funds and
their partners bring to joint ventures, and the kinds of issues that
can arise in structuring a shipping joint venture. The panel
concluded by discussing the future of private equity in shipping,
whether further investment can be expected, and the kinds of future
investments that may be attractive to private equity investors.  
 Robert Burns, Partner -
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP  
 Jeffrey Pribor, Global Head of
Shipping Investment Banking - Jefferies & Company, Inc.
Friedman, Managing Director - Evercore Partners 
 Alexander Tracy,
Managing Director - Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC 
 The Restructuring Panel sought to examine the more recent
trends emerging within distressed shipping companies that have led to
far fewer bankruptcy proceedings than was originally anticipated, in
light of the market volatility for shipping over the past several
years. They also reviewed changes in bank attitudes and approaches
towards restructurings, including packaging and selling shipping debt
and seizing assets. Specifically regarding the resale of debt, it
seems that the demand has grown amongst hedge funds and private
equity investors, looking for an ideal entry point into the shipping
space without the inherent risks that the equity market brings 
 Clay Maitland, Managing Partner
- International Registries; Founding Chairman - NAMEPA  
Douglas Mavrinac, Shipping Analyst - Jefferies & Company, Inc.
Nolan, Director of Shipping Research - Knight Capital Americas, L.P. 
Fotis Giannakoulis, Shipping Analyst - Morgan Stanley
 Herman Hildan,
Shipping Analyst - RS Platou Markets AS 
 Michael Webber, Senior
Analyst, Director, Equity Research, Global Shipping - Wells Fargo
Securities, LLC 
In Cooperation With: NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ OMX 
Global Lead Sponsors: ABN AMRO, Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. 
Global Gold Sponsor:  DVB Bank 
Global Sponsors: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bracewell & Giuliani
LLP, Clarkson Capital Markets, Ernst & Young, Global Marketing
Systems (GMS), Jeffries & Co., The Marshall Islands Registry, Moelis
& Company, PwC Greece, RS Platou Markets, Watson, Farley & Williams
LLP, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC 
Event Sponsors: Evercore Partners, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP 
Participating Companies:  Cargill Americas; d'Amico International
Shipping (MILAN: DIS), Danaos Corporation (NYSE: DAC); DryShips Inc.
BB); Hapag Lloyd (HPL: GR); Maersk Broker; Navios Maritime
Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: NNA); Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NYSE:
NM) Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM); Ocean Rig (NASDAQ:
ORIG); Oceanbulk Maritime (USA) Inc.; Prospector Offshore Drilling
(OSLO: PROS); Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE: SB); Star Bulk Carriers
(NASDAQ: SBLK); Scorpio Group (NYSE: STNG); Sevan Drilling (SEVDR:
NO); Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL); Tsakos Energy Navigation
Ltd (NYSE: TNP); Vantage Drilling (NYSE MKT: VTG)  
Supporting Organizations: INTERTANKO, NAMEPA, NYMAR, Norwegian
American Chamber of Commerce 
Media Partners: All About, American Metal Market
(AMM), BarclaysHedge, Lloyds' List, Maritime Professional, Ship to
Shore, Steel First, TradeWinds, Worldoils 
Capital Link is a New York-based advisory, investor relations, and
financial communications firm. Capitalizing on our in-depth knowledge
of the shipping industry and capital markets, Capital Link has made a
strategic commitment to the industry, becoming the largest provider
of investor relations and financial communications services to
international shipping companies listed on the U.S. and European
Exchanges. Capital Link's headquarters are in New York with a
presence in London and Athens. Capital Link is a member of the Baltic
Exchange. In addition to the two recognitions from the
Intercontinental Finance Magazine, Capital Link won in 2011 a Lloyds
List Greek Shipping Award for its contribution to the shipping
In our effort to enhance the information flow to the investment
community and improve awareness about shipping and the maritime
sector to a wider audience, Capital Link has undertaken a series of
initiatives beyond the traditional scope of our investor relations
activity, such as: A free, web-based resource that provides
information on the major shipping and stock market indices, as well
as on all shipping stocks, it also features an earnings and
conference call calendar every quarter, industry reports from major
industry participants, and interviews with CEOs, analysts, and other
market participants.  
Weekly Capital Link Shipping Markets Report: A free weekly report
with information on the news and activity of all U.S., UK, and Milan
listed shipping companies, it offers a review of the dry bulk,
tanker, container, sales, and purchase shipping markets, a review of
the equity and bond markets for shipping, interviews, company
profiles, and more. This report is distributed to an extensive
audience in the U.S. and European shipping investor community. 
Sector Forums & Webinars: Capital Link organizes panel discussions
among CEOs and analysts on various shipping sectors (container, dry
bulk, and tanker) and on other major topics of interest. 
Capital Link Invest in Shipping Forums: Spanning across New York,
Athens, and London, these forums bring together investors, financial
advisors, listed companies' CEOs, analysts, and shipping industry
participants. Through the Capital Link Maritime Indices,
Capital Link has developed and maintains a series of stock market
maritime indices, which track the performance of U.S. listed shipping
stocks (CL maritime Index, CL Dry Bulk Index, CL Tanker Index, CL
Container Index, CL LNG/LPG Index, CL Mixed Fleet Index, CL Shipping
MLP Index - Bloomberg page: CPLI). These Indices are also accessible
through Bloomberg, Reuters, and FactSet. Capital Link has developed a new initiative
focusing on Sustainability -- it aims to identify and showcase best
corporate practices in innovation, environment, health, safety and
corporate governance in the maritime and offshore sectors. This
initiative includes a web based information resource, am Annual
Conference taking place in London every October, webinars and
informational newsletters and reports. 
To become part of our database and to be invited to future events or for any 
other request please contact: 
New York - U.S.A. 
Nicolas Bornozis & Eleni Bej
+1 212 661 7566 
Athens - Greece 
Olga Bornozi & Maria Chercheletzi
+30 210 6109 800 
London - U.K. 
Ioanna Messini
+ 44 (0) 20 3206 1322 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.