Kristen Navigation Ranked as Greece's Biggest Shipping Company

Kristen Navigation Inc. topped the annual rankings of Greece's biggest shipping companies by capacity for a second year, according to Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Review.

Kristen Navigation, a closely held company owned by John Angelicoussis and based in Athens, manages a fleet of 32 vessels of a total 7.54 million deadweight metric tons, a measure of a ship's capacity for carrying cargo, fuel and supplies, Naftiliaki said on Friday.

Greece is the world's biggest ship-operating nation, controlling 17 percent of the global fleet by capacity, according to Lloyd's Register-Fairplay. Shipping was the country's biggest foreign-exchange earner last year, generating 13.3 billion euros ($16 billion), according to the Bank of Greece.

Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. came second in Naftiliaki's ranking of 48 companies, with 34 vessels of 5.7 million deadweight tons. Tsakos Group followed with 51 carriers of 5.23 million deadweight tons. Both companies are based in Athens.

The Restis Group gained the most in the ranking, reaching fifth place with 70 vessels of 4.69 million deadweight tons, Naftiliaki said. The Athens-based company expanded its fleet by buying 32 vessels from Malaysia International Shipping Corp. for $740 million in December.

Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd., Greece's biggest operator in 2003, dropped the most in the ranking, reaching 37th place, with 19 carriers of a total 1.6 million deadweight tons, according to Naftiliaki. The Piraeus, Greece-based company sold 16 oil tankers to Belgium's Euronav SA for $1 billion in March.

Profits for shipping companies including Copenhagen-based A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, the world's biggest, surged to records last year, as Chinese demand for commodities such as oil and coal strained vessel supply, pushing freight rates to all-time highs.

The Bloomberg Tanker Index, which includes Athens-based Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. (TNP), rose 82 percent in 2004, the third-best performance of 480 industry indexes ranked by Bloomberg.

Greek shipowners operate about 3,338 vessels with a total capacity of 182.5 million deadweight tons, according to Redhill, U.K.-based Lloyd's Register-Fairplay.

To contact the reporters on this story: Saijel Kishan in London at at skishan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Justin Carrigan in London at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net

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