Thursday, April 20 2000

RINA boots out 22 ships
Italian classification society RINA withdrew class on twenty-two ships, totaling 394,100 gt, in the quarter ended March 31. In the same period, seven ships that did not meet RINA standards were refused entry to RINA class, and nine ships were scrapped.

RINA has been vigorously defending its credibility in the aftermath of the sinking of the RINA-classed tanker Erika and the ensuing massive pollution of French beaches.

"We said recently that we were determined to set and maintain the highest standards, says Giuliano Pattofatto, technical director of RINA. "Following an audit of the existing fleet, we have tried to help owners bring ships with potential problems up to the required standard. But where they are unwilling or unable to reach our standards, we have had to withdraw class.

In the same three month period, thirty-nine existing ships were accepted into RINA class, transferring from other IACS members, and thirty-one newbuildings joined the register. These included Princess Cruises 77,500 gt Ocean Princess.


Britain will spread defense orders among U.K. yards
Britain's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers announced today that he is to set up a high-level meeting to discuss with the shipbuilding industry how it improve competitiveness and win new orders.

The announcement comes at a time when the U.K. Ministry of Defense is set to generate orders with U.K. yards for well over 30 major warships.

Byers told a meeting of Scottish trade unions that all the warships will be built in the U.K. and that the first orders will be placed by the end of the year. Last week, he said, tenders were put out for two landing ships. Only U.K. yards were invited to tender. One of these was Govan.

"I am giving the industry a long-term stable platform for the next 15 to 20 years to invest," declared Byers.

"We shall ensure that these contracts are rolled out in a way which ensures a viable, competitive future for U.K yards," he continued. "We will work with the industry and the unions to build a world class industry."

"The MoD program provides us with an historic opportunity," Byers declared. "We cannot afford to miss this chance. By working together we can avoid the cycle of feast and famine that for so long has bedevilled shipbuilding in the United Kingdom.

Byers said that, besides the defense contracts, "possibilities" were also emerging in the commercial sector.


 

Law firm invites investors to join class action against Carnival
Cauley & Geller, LLP,a law firm which specialized in representing shareholders in class actions has issued a release naming eleven companies that investors have recently sued. Among them is Carnival Corporation.

The law firm, which has offices in Little Rock, Ark, Boca Raton, Fla. and San Diego, Calif., states:

"If you purchased common stock of any of these companies and suffered a loss on your investment, you may be a member of the shareholder class and should consider contacting Cauley & Geller concerning your legal rights and interests in these cases."

The law firm says that "Carnival Corporation and certain of its officers and directors are charged with violating federal securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements concerning the company's business, financial condition, earnings and prospects. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose the company's severe and pervasive safety, maintenance and regulatory problems associated with its Carnival Cruise Line Ships. Despite the numerous operational problems plaguing the
Carnival Cruise fleet, the company continued to tell the marketplace that such incidents were 'isolated.' Meanwhile, defendant insiders unloaded their own stock during the Class Period, reaping total proceeds of $11.5 million."

"If you purchased Carnival common stock between February 25, 1999 and February 16, 2000, inclusive," says the firm, "and suffered a loss, you may be eligible for inclusion in this action."

In its latest quarterly report filed with the SEC on April 14, Carnival notes:

"Four complaints were filed between February and April, 2000 against the Company and four of its officers on behalf of a purported class of purchasers of Common Stock of the Company, claiming that statements made by the Company in public filings violate federal securities laws. The plaintiffs seek unspecified
compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and costs and expert fees. The Company's time to respond to the complaints likely will be extended until such time as the court appoints a lead plaintiff and lead counsel for plaintiffs and a consolidated amended complaint is filed. It is not now possible to determine the ultimate outcome of these pending complaints if such claims should proceed to
trial. Management believes that the Company and these officers have meritorious defenses to these claims. Accordingly, the Company and these officers intend to vigorously defend against all such actions."

 

 

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