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Press release from GlobeNewswire (a Nasdaq OMX company)

Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Delivery of the Newcastlemax Dry Bulk Carrier M/V Philadelphia and Commencement of Time Charter Contract With EDF

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Delivery of the Newcastlemax Dry Bulk Carrier M/V Philadelphia and Commencement of Time Charter Contract With EDF04:45 EDT Friday, May 18, 2012ATHENS, Greece, May 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels, today announced that on May 16, 2012 it took delivery of the newly-built m/v "Philadelphia", a Newcastlemax dry bulk carrier of 206,040 dwt that was contracted in April 2010. As previously announced, the m/v "Philadelphia" is chartered to EDF Trading Ltd., London, at a gross rate of US$18,000 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a minimum forty-four (44) to a maximum fifty (50) month period. The charter commenced yesterday. This employment is anticipated to generate approximately US$23.76 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charter. The Company also announced that today, through one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, it has completed the drawdown of US$34.65 million from its previously announced loan facility of US$82.6 million with The Export-Import Bank of China ("China Eximbank") having a majority interest and DNB Bank ASA as agent. The purpose of this drawdown was to partially finance the acquisition cost of the m/v "Philadelphia". Including the newly-delivered m/v "Philadelphia", Diana Shipping Inc.'s fleet currently consists of 28 dry bulk carriers (17 Panamax, 1 Post-Panamax, 8 Capesize and 2 Newcastlemax), as well as two new-building Ice Class Panamax vessels expected to be delivered to the Company during the fourth quarter of 2013. As of today, the combined carrying capacity of our current fleet, excluding the two vessels not yet delivered, is approximately 3.2 million dwt with a weighted average age of 5.75 years. A table describing the current Diana Shipping Inc. fleet can be found on the Company's website, www.dianashippinginc.com. Information contained on the Company's website does not constitute a part of this press release.About the Company Diana Shipping Inc. is a leading global provider of shipping transportation services through the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels. The Company's vessels are employed primarily on medium to long-term time charters and transport a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, our management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand for dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.CONTACT: Corporate Contact: Ioannis Zafirakis Director, Executive Vice-President and Secretary Telephone: + 30-210-9470-100 Email: izafirakis@dianashippinginc.com Investor and Media Relations: Edward Nebb Comm-Counsellors, LLC Telephone: + 1-203-972-8350 Email: enebb@optonline.net