Tuesday, July 7, 2015

GREEK SHIPPING PROBLEMS, CHINA

Greek Shipping Company Shares Dive Post-Referendum, but China may be Cause

China’s faltering stock market and flagging economy are likely spooking marine shipping investors more than Greece’s debt crisis, analysts say

ENLARGE
Photo: Bloomberg News
Greek shipping companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges sank on Monday, though the previous day’s referendum wasn’t the reason many investors sold their shares.
The future of the Greek economy is more uncertain than ever after voters rejected international creditors’ bailout terms in a referendum Sunday. But an avalanche of negative economic indicators out of China, rather than Greece, is what’s spooking marine shipping investors, analysts say.
Since June 15th, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has fallen about 25%, raising fears that the world’s second-largest economy is headed for a sharp slowdown. Shrinking Chinese demand for imported commodities, and fewer exports from its factories, would be devastating for companies that own container ships, oil tankers and other vessels. On Monday, the Chinese government was readying an injection of capital into the stock market to halt the selloff, the WSJ reported.

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“If Greece exits the euro, it doesn’t mean they’ll stop shipping iron ore to China,” said Kevin Sterling, an analyst covering the big shipping lines for BB&T Capital Markets. “From a demand perspective, the biggest factor in my opinion is oversupply, and China slowing down.”
Athens-based holding company DryShips,DRYS-5.67% Inc., which owns a fleet of about 40 cargo carriers, 10 tanker ships and several deepwater drilling ships, saw its shares fall 9.2% to $0.54. Diana Containerships Inc.DCIX0.51% fell 5.3% to $1.95, while containership owner Danaos Corp.DAC0.00% fell 2.8% to $6. Costamare Inc.,CMRE-2.62% a lcontainer ship owner, fell 1.7% to $18.10.
The broader market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, ended down 0.3%.
Mr. Sterling predicts that the malaise among shipping stocks will last at least a few more months. He added that the prospect the Greek government will raise taxes on shipping companies headquartered in the country is also hurting the sector’s stocks.