Owners are walking away from their deposits claims Top’s Pistiolis

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More and more ship owners are walking away from their newbuilding deposits leaving shipyards with the impossible task of finding takers for the uncompleted projects, according to Evangelos Pistiolis, head of Top Ships.

Speaking ahead of today’s expiration of an extention to an exclusivity agreement with an affiliate of George Economou, the Greek shipowner, involving a possible takeover of Top Ships, Evangelos Pistiolis said this will mean many yards will have to drop their prices dramatically to attract interest which will result in a total imbalance in the values of 2011 deliveries verses ships due out of the shipyards in the next year.

He told SMI: “The market will find itself in a very strange position where 2011 deliveries will cost $10m to $20m more than 2009 deliveries because 2011 deliveries were placed six months ago but the 2009 deals, which will see owners walking away from these ships, will go out at a discount.”

With only hours to go to the extention’s deadline, Mr Pistiolis said there had not been any further developments: “These days pretty much nothing is changing hands and it is even hard to sell your car. But the way things develop, things at both ends can change. His mind could change because financing is hard and does he really want more ships than he already has? And on our front it might also change in that it might be better to stay in the game and get better opportunities at some point in time.

“It is a bit of a changing game. I am saying the deadline is today but it could happen sometime at a later stage or not happen at all. This whole thing started a couple of days before the storm started. Maybe it is worth keeping your assets and waiting until better days come along: a matter of realigning your priorities. Things are changing so quickly that we need the dust to settle,” Mr Pistiolis told SMI.