Greece Seeks to Lure U.K.-Based Shipowners, Brokers on Brexit

31 May 2017
1056 Views

The Greek government wants to persuade shipowners and shipping-insurance companies based in London to move their European Union headquarters to Greece as the U.K. prepares to exit the bloc.

“We’re in contact with five large ship-insurance brokers who are considering various EU member countries for the transfer of their headquarters,” Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis said in an interview in Piraeus, Greece’s biggest port. Kouroumblis declined to name the firms as the talks are private. “We’ll meet by the latest in June to discuss the terms they’d like in order to choose Greece,” he said, according to bloomberg.

The government has also asked U.K.-based Greek shipowners to consider returning their headquarters to Greece after Brexit, even though the country can offer little in the way of financial incentives given its tight financial situation, the minister said. Greece will instead attempt to appeal to the shipowners’ patriotism, he said.
Greece is the world’s largest ship-owning nation, accounting for over 16 percent of the global merchant fleet ahead of Japan and China, according to the United Nations. Greek-owned vessels account for 22 percent of the world fleet and 50 percent of the EU’s maritime carrying capacity, Kouroumblis said.

The government wants Piraeus to become “one of the world’s largest shipping centers and a modern maritime cluster,” Kouroumblis said. “We want to create a service center for shipping in Piraeus,” he said.

Cruise Operations

Shipping contributes around 7 percent to Greece’s economic output, and the government also wants to boost shipping-related activities like vessel repair and sees opportunities from cruise operations and yachting at regional ports, especially for so-called home porting, where cruises begin and end at a given harbor, Kouroumblis said.
Greece hosted over 4 million cruise ship passengers in 2015, making it the third-most popular destination in Europe after Italy and Spain. Direct spending from cruise activities brought in 489 million euros ($547 million), according to the latest data from the Cruise Lines International Association.

Since Greece needs to improve infrastructure to accommodate new ships with capacity of more than 4,000 passengers, the government will ask cruise operators “to invest in those ports that interest them in return for incentives, including favorable port fee arrangements,” Kouroumblis said. There’s already interest in Santorini, Lavrio and Katakolon, he said. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, MSC Cruises SA and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd all feature Santorini on their summer schedules.

The shipping ministry is also working with the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission to attract Greek shipowners to the Athens exchange, rather than other bourses, to issue a bond. There’s interest from two or three large Greek shipping companies, Kouroumblis said. “We’ll perhaps see the first such bond issue in September.”

You may be interested

Greece: 7,000 applications for adult movies
GREECE
shares30 views
GREECE
shares30 views

Greece: 7,000 applications for adult movies

Panos - Jun 23, 2021

After the first casting of the newly formed production company SugarBabes.tv in September 2019 and the endless queues of about…

Menendez Bill passed unanimously & goes to Senate for approval
DEFENCE
shares19 views
DEFENCE
shares19 views

Menendez Bill passed unanimously & goes to Senate for approval

Panos - Jun 23, 2021

The new bill on US-Greek defense cooperation was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with universal support. Now the…

Signatures for Line 4 of the Metro – Mitsotakis: The country is turning the page (videos)
FINANCE
shares22 views
FINANCE
shares22 views

Signatures for Line 4 of the Metro – Mitsotakis: The country is turning the page (videos)

Panos - Jun 23, 2021

The signatures for the biggest construction project that is taking place after Attiki Odos, fell tonight in Galatsi, where in…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.