05 Juli 2015

[050715.EN.BIZ] Greek Financial Crisis Expected To Have Little Impact On Shipping

THE Greek crisis will not have a direct impact on shipping companies, Morgan Stanley's New York-based analyst Fotis Giannakoulis said ahead the national referendum.

Mr Giannakoulis based his argument on the fact most shipping companies with offices in Greece are not incorporated in the country, reported London's Tanker Operator.

The Morgan Stanley report said that the closure of the Greek banks would not have a major effect on the shipping companies, as most keep money in non-Greek banks.

But the shipping companies would not be spared from an overall impact of the country's economic downturn on the global economy, he warned.

Greek owners make up 20 per cent of the global commercial shipping fleet and the industry has been a major profit source for the country, as it accounts for around 7.5 per cent of the Greek economy.

There's an 85 per cent chance that Greece will be forced to stop using the euro, Allianz economist Mohamed El-Erian told Bloomberg.

Said Mr Giannakoulis: "From our extensive discussions with several management teams during the last few years, we understand that all shipping companies keep their cash deposits in international banks, facing effectively no risk from the capital controls announced.

Said Hartland Shipping economic research chief Nigel Prentis: "It's hard to see how the Greek shipowners should be affected or how world trade should be affected. They're operating offshore assets in tax-free environments."

Earlier, the country's lenders had asked the Greek government to increase the tonnage tax rate and phase out the shipping industry's special tax treatments, according to Reuters.

Based on the tax system currently in place, shipping companies are enjoying lucrative tax breaks, which allow them to pay a voluntary amount.

The aim of this tax concession was to keep owners in Greece. The concessions included no taxes on profits from shipping operations, and no taxes on ship sales, Reuters said.

Source : HKSG.

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