Greek shipping owners buying German vessels

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Since 2015, Greek shipowners have bought 140 vessels from Germany, with a total of 4.6 million gross tonnage, the Wall Street Journal writes citing data from the German Shipowners' Association (VDR).

Prolonged fare cuts and unsecured loans have led to a significant decline in Germany’s merchant fleet, the Wall Street Journal states. "The lack of funding for ships and the failure to cover interest and primary payments have resulted in mass sales of German ships," said Alfred Hartmann, president of the German Shipowners' Association.

"In the worst case scenario, there have been sales of five-year vessels at very low prices - double the scrap or 70% discount," said Basil Karatzas, chief executive officer of Karatzas Marine Advisors, based in New York, who has been involved in the sale of numerous German ships through insolvency administrators.

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