Chinese leasors are now thought to control a fleet in excess of 1,000 ships, making them one of the most powerful new forces in shipping.
According to a recent report from the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), China’s ship lease industry owned 989 ships, worth RMB113.9bn ($16.7bn), up 58% year-on-year, as of the end of the first quarter of 2017.
This figure is thought to have surpassed 1,000 ships in the past three months.
According to the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), there were 23 Chinese ship leasors as of the end of March this year, led by state run banks, but also increasingly leasing arms of major shipyard groups.
The KMI report noted, “Active supports from policy-making bodies have been helpful for Chinese shipyards to build and export ships and offshore plants, as well as shipping companies. In addition, the Chinese government has encouraged the China Development Bank (CDB), the China Exim Bank and so on to assist the finance sectors of shipbuilding and shipping industries based on the conclusion of strategic agreements.”