Excel Maritime (EXM) announced Wednesday amendments to its credit facilities, securing all appropriate covenant waivers in the Nordea Bank Syndicated Facility and the Credit Suisse Bilateral Facility.

Under the amended agreement with Nordea, Excel will defer principal debt payment of $150.5 million until 2016. Furthermore, the company announced a $45 million equity infusion and set its fourth-quarter and 2008 financial reports for April 8. Excel shares were recently up 4.9% to $4.74.

In other shipping news, China's Xinhua announced Wednesday that it and the European Union had extended their maritime transport agreement to Bulgaria and Romania, making the pact applicable to all 27 member states of the EU, according to Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide.Widely held shipping stocks ended the day as follows: DryShips ( DRYS) fell 0.8% to $5.05.

Genco Shipping ( GNK) rose 1.3% to $12.50.

Diana Shipping ( DSX) fell 0.5% to $11. 37.

Eagle Bulk ( EGLE) rose 1.9% to $4.33. Atwood Oceanics ( ATW) rose 4.6% to $17.36.

Horizon Lines ( HRZ) rose 8.9% to $3.30.

Teekay Corp. ( TK) rose 2% to $14.51

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