Credit Suisse has elbowed Royal Bank of Scotland out the way into top place for Greek ship finance, according to a survey from Petrofin Research.
While Credit Suisse saw its Greek portfolio grow 13.53% last year, RBS, which has made clear its intention to cut back from financing ships, saw a 13.58% reversal. This is the first time RBS has not been in top spot since Petrofin began its annual survey more than a decade ago.
Ted Petropoulos, managing director of Petrofin Research, commented on how many owners in Greece have struggled to get bank loans lately. “Over the last year, lending to medium or small owners largely disappeared, rendering the ship finance market a one tier market,” Petropoulos said, adding: “The absence of ship finance became very pronounced, especially over the past six months, with most lenders either obtaining or scrutinising applications to extreme lengths. This trend forced medium to small owners to look for alternative forms of finance from private equity funds or specialised financial boutiques.”
Another growing trend in the local ship finance sector is the rise of Asian finance over traditional European banks.