The shipowner and president of the Hellenic Shipowners Association Th. Veniamis with Tens of millions with zero interest rates with “guaranteed” shares of bankrupt companies…

by on 22 February 2021

The shipowner and president of the Hellenic Shipowners ‘Association, Th. Veniamis, was one of the shipowners who supported Vgenopoulos’ grand project, and in fact as a founding member of MIG and the IRF fund.

As has already been shown by the findings of the auditors of the Bank of Greece in 2010, Beniamis is said to have received loans of 190 million euros in companies of his interest – for the purchase of shares of MIG and IRF – on extremely favorable terms, such as low interest rates. repayment of the entire capital at the maturity of the loan and with only collateral shares of MIG and its affiliated companies, which, however, then collapsed, leaving the loans unsecured.

In total, the Beniami group had borrowed from Marfin, until 2009, about 190 million euros as follows:

Almirande Armadora S.A. 40,300,000.

● Theodoros Veniamis 12,425,000.

● Sunny View Trust Inc 12,600,000.

● Derby Shipping & Invest 5,540,000.

● Mentele Enterprises Ltd 118,400,000.

These loans were transferred to Cyprus along with other toxic Marfin loans, which caused a total loss of 2.5 billion euros to Marfin Popular Bank, according to the optimistic estimate, according to PriceWaterhouse Coopers experts.

Loans to the above companies of the group remained outstanding in 2012 and in fact had increased by 6.8 million euros. However, because the collapse of Marfin Popular Bank brought its assets to Piraeus Bank, the new owner of the loans was forced to restructure in order to keep them “alive”. So:

  1. The loan to Almirande Armadora S.A. split into two new loans: The first, € 16 million, was extended for eight years at an interest rate of Euribor + 1.2%. The second, EUR 23 million, was extended for eight years at zero interest rate. This loan has no collateral due to the collapse of the pledged shares.
  2. The loan to Derby Shipping & Invest, with a balance of 5.14 million euros, was extended for another eight years with an interest rate of Euribor + 1.2%. The loan coverage is almost zero.
  3. The loan to Sunny View Trust Inc, with a balance of EUR 11.7 million, was also restructured into two loans: For the first one, amounting to EUR 7.2 million, its maturity for 18.2.2020 was shifted with the possibility of further five years after that 50% has been repaid, with an interest rate of Euribor + 1.2%. For the second, amounting to 4.5 million euros, the same repayment date of the whole is set at its expiration with an interest rate of 0%. Zero coverage.
  4. The personal loan of Th. Veniamis, with a balance of 11.7 million euros, was also moved for 18.2.2020, with the possibility of extension by another five years if 50% is repaid by then. The interest rate was set at Euribor + 2%, but the coverage is almost zero, as it consists of the bankrupt shares of MIG.
  5. The loan to Mentele Enterprises Ltd (118 million euros) expired prematurely on 14.1.2014, but … without the repayment of the capital, as the loan simply changed company and was transferred from Marfin Popular Bank to Opus Holdings. This loan in the books of Piraeus Bank amounted to 160 million euros, of which 125 million were transferred to the company Supplier Shipping and Co S.A. – which is fully controlled by the Beniami family – with a duration of 12 years (expiring on 18.2.2027).

This loan was divided into two parts. The first, amounting to 73.9 million euros, with an interest rate of Libor + 2.25% and the second, amounting to 50 million euros, with an interest rate of Libor + 0.5% with a maximum ceiling of 0.75%, at a time when even the cost of deposits in the same bank was clearly higher … It should be noted that, although the first loan to Mentele brought personal guarantees of Th. Veniamis, the second to Opus did not bring similar personal guarantees of the borrower.

Now, of course, a heavy burden falls on Piraeus Bank, as the total amount of loans of Th. Veniamis to this bank amounts to 217 million euros at the end of 2016, of which 117 million relate to the share loans for the purchase of MIG. and the IRF fund, which were provided by Marfin in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

Piraeus has now received provisions for losses of 71 million euros (32% of the loan balances), while these loans are considered doubtful as to the possibility of repayment of all funds. But as lending regulations have already tightened considerably compared to previous years and banks’ prospects depend on reducing credit risk, the bank is eagerly seeking solutions in many similar cases, of which Benjamin’s is iconic, mainly because of status of the borrower.

The main risks stem from the fact that interest rates are extremely low for market conditions, and in fact, out of 190 million euros, 71 have an interest rate … 0%.

As for the scandalously low pricing of loans, in a related lawsuit in the past, Marfin Bank had returned them to the large deposits of 237 million euros, which the shipowner kept in the bank. Today, however, he continues to enjoy the same interest rates even though his deposits have been minimized!

Another “detail”, which is expected to be the focus of the expected prosecutions, concerns the personal loan of Th. Veniamis, which was provided for the purchase of MIG shares with an interest rate of Euribor + 2%, when during the same period the average interest rate of personal loans amounted, according to the official data of the BoG, to 7% and the total loans to individuals (not companies) to 4.88%.

Simply put: Loans with low interest rates, without collateral, without any certainty that they will be repaid.

(The above have data with dates up to 17-5-2018 !)