EuropeFinance and Insurance

Credit Suisse topples RBS in Greece

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.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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