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Greek shipowners control a world-leading fleet worth $105bn, having expanded their share of the global fleet from 13% in 2008, the year Lehman Brothers fell, to a 17% now, according to Clarksons Research's md, Steve Gordon. "Ten years on from the financial crisis, and despite domestic economic woes and much shipping market stress, Greek shipping continues to dominate the league table of owning nations," said Gordon.

In a report, May 25, Gordon said Greek owners were ahead of the Japanese, with a 13% share of the global fleet, and China, with 12%, and their growth contrasts with the decline of their German counterparts. Gordon calculates, German shipowners today have 6% of the world fleet, compared with 9% in 2008.

During the past decade, the Greek fleet has all but doubled, with both newbuilding orders and sale and purchase activity playing an important role in the expansion. While Gordon's data reveals Greek owners to have spent over $80bn on newbuildings over the last 10 years, dealings in the ship secondhand ring have played a major role in this growth. The Greek orderbook accounts for just 7% of the country’s fleet, below the 13% international average.

Gordon says Greek shipowners were both the top buyers and the leading sellers of ships in 2017. Further, whether buying new or secondhand, the kamsarmax bulker has been the most popular Greek purchase since the last Posidonia, in 2016, he adds. “The timing of ‘asset play’ remains a key feature of the Greek market,” said Gordon, adding: "A straw poll of reasons behind Greek success was dominated by their intuitive timing across market cycles."

Filed: 2018-05-29