Greater China

China filling finance gap

Oslo: China is going to become ever more important in international ship finance, a top lawyer has told our sister site, Maritime CEO.

Geir Sviggum was appointed to the newly established position of managing partner international at Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein a couple of years ago. Drawing on five years of experience from the company’s Shanghai office, Sviggum said that Chinese banks are filling much of the gap in ship finance vacated by European counterparts.

“Four of the world's 10 largest banks by market cap are now Chinese, and Norwegian and international ship and rig owners are key targets in their process of internationalisation,” he said.

For Westerners, Chinese financing is, to a large extent, “a black box”, Sviggum said, and knowledge of how to enter into deals with these banks and – even more so – how to collaborate with these financiers in times of difficulty, when the need for renegotiation is pressing, is very limited.

Commenting on the interview, a Shanghai-based senior executive from a top foreign dry bulk owner told SinoShip News: “It is incredible just how much Chinese money there is for foreign shipping, but no one knows how to access it.”
For the full Maritime CEO article, click here.  [10/02/14]


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