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Greece Passes New Austerity Deal: Excel Maritime and Paragon Shipping Look to Benefit

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 | 00:00
Greek shipping stocks have been on the upswing this year after a challenging 2011 on hopes of a global economic rebound. Greek ship owners control 25 percent of the world tanker fleet. Shipping accounts for 6 percent of Greece's GDP and generates 75 percent of the country's estimated 400,000 jobs tied to maritime activities, according to George Gratsos, president of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping. Five Star Equities examines investing opportunities in the Shipping Industry and provides stock research on Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. and Paragon Shipping Inc.
At the start of the week, Greece's parliament passed a controversial package of austerity measures, demanded by the eurozone and IMF in return for a 130bn-euro ($170bn) bailout to avoid default. The Parliament gave the government the authority to sign a new loan agreement with the foreign lenders and approve a broader arrangement to reduce the amount Greece must repay to its bondholders.
According to a recent report from The New York Times, the new austerity measures include, among others, a 22 percent cut in the benchmark minimum wage and 150,000 government layoffs by 2015.
Five Star Equities releases regular market updates on the Shipping Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns.
With Greece's unemployment rate well above 20 percent, some experts continue to question the health of the shipping industry. Dimitri Papadimitriou, president of the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, recently told CNNMoney that "Greece is highly dependent on shipping from an employment perspective. It's hard to be confident."
On the upside, Greek shipping's cooperation with China is helping the industry weather the challenging economic storm. Last year China agreed in October to set up a 10 billion dollar fund to help Greek shipowners buy Chinese-made vessels. "China has pledged that the financing terms for Greek companies will be better than those offered by any other bank in the world," Greece's Maritime Affairs minister said.
Source: Five Star Equities
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